CSE490T/590T: Intellectual Property Law for Engineers
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Instructor: Ben Dugan
Schedule: Wednesday, 3:30-5:20
Credit: 2 units CR/NC
Location: MGH 251
Contact: dugan at cs dot washington dot edu
Office Hour: Wednesday, 2:30-3:30 Allen Center 220.
This course will provide a survey of intellectual property law for a
technical (non-legal) audience, with a primary focus on patent law.
The purpose of the course is to assist engineers and scientists in
navigating and utilizing various intellectual property regimes
effectively in the business context. In the patent realm, topics will
include patent preparation and prosecution, patent claim
interpretation, and assessing patent validity and infringement. Other
intellectual property areas that may be covered, time permitting,
include copyright, trademark, and trade secret law. Where possible,
the course will also endeavor to balance the discussion of practical
legal considerations with broader policy questions (e.g., should certain
subject matter be off limits for patenting?, the relationship between innovation and IP, approaches to patent reform, etc.).
Prerequisites: The course is open to graduate students and
4th-year College of Engineering students. Many of the cases and
teaching examples will be situated in the computer arts, so some
background in computer science or engineering is preferred. In the
unlikely event that the course is over-subscribed, a simple
application process may be used to select participants.
See the ever changing course schedule.
- Week 1: Introduction & Reading a Patent
- Week 2: IP Survey (Lecture with PTC)
- Week 3: Conditions for Patentability
- Week 4: Patent Prosecution, Provisional Applications, Priority, Foreign Rights
- Week 5: Claim Drafting
- Week 6: Patent Analysis
- Week 7: Copyright & Open Source Licenses
- Week 8: Open Source Licenses
- Week 9: Patent Reform
- Week 10: Wrap Up: DMCA, Patent Reform, etc.
- HW #1: Understanding Patents (Due: In class, April 20, 2011) HTML
- HW #2: Provisional Applications and Patent Prosecution (Due: In class, May 4, 2011) HTML
- HW #3: Patent Searching (Due: In class, May 18, 2011) HTML
- HW #4: Claim Drafting (Due: In class, May 25, 2011) HTML
Required Texts and Papers
Recommended Texts or Resources
Adelman, et al., Patent Law in a Nutshell,
Thomson West, 2007. Other introductory legal texts would also work.
- Open Source Initiative
Send me email -- I try to respond within 24 hours, usually sooner. We'll also use the course email list: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also view the list archives.
We may also use this goPost Board.
This is a pass/fail course. To pass, you will need to:
- Attend class.
- Do the readings.
- Participate. If you don't ask or answer questions, then you likely aren't participating.
- Do the assignments -- yes, there may be small assignments. As the
class is somewhat expiremental in nature, I will be asking you to help
me determine what types of assignments are appropriate for this type
of course. Possible example assignments include: read and
briefly summarize a patent, design around a claim, perform a patent
search, research and report on a patent litigation, and the like.
Course (Self) Evaluation.
The following are some common areas of interface between engineers and
the law. The course, if effective, will enable the student to be more
effective in navigating one or more of these.
- Patent law: reading and understanding patents for legal effect and as prior art; invention mining / portfolio development; assisting in patent preparation (invention disclosure, patent drafting); patent prosecution (explaining the prior art); patent analysis (claim construction, prior art analysis)
- Copyright law: open source license selection and impact, copyright registration
- Contract issues: understanding and negotiating employment-related IP-rights assignment agreements; understanding and using non-disclosure agreements