Patent and Trademark Law (3 credits)

This course covers the law of patents and trademarks. These "industrial property rights" play a critical role in American and international business. Patents are granted to inventors of new, useful and non-obvious products or processes. Students will examine the subject matter scope of patent protection, the criteria of patentability and the basic mechanics of filing patent applications. The nature of the rights granted to patent holders, and the enforcement of those rights, is considered. Trademarks are symbols that distinguish the goods and services of one enterprise from another in commerce. Students will examine the types of symbols that may serve as trademarks, how an enterprise goes about securing trademark protection (common law and registration) and the rights that are accorded to trademark owners. They will also learn about the limits on the use of certain symbols (e.g., generic terms) as trademarks and the rights reserved to the public (e.g., fair use).