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Intellectual Property Law: Advanced - Spring 2009

Spring term, Block C
M,T,W 10:15 AM - 11:50 AM

Professor William W. Fisher
4 classroom credits LAW-41415A
2, 3, or 4 optional clinical credits Spring
or 2 optional clinical credits Winter

This course is intended for students who are already familiar with the main contours of intellectual property law and would like to explore the subject further. Approximately one half of the class will be devoted to close examinations of the economic and political theories upon which patent, copyright, and trademark law are (or might be) based. The other half will examine in depth a few topics that, in recent years, have proven especially controversial or troublesome: fair use; the right of publicity; possible solutions to the crisis in the entertainment industry; the boundary between patent law and antitrust law; how legal reform might help address the health crisis in the developing world; and trademark dilution. Each student will be expected to participate in the discussion of these issues (both in the classroom and online) and to write a short research paper addressing an aspect of one of them. Group projects are encouraged. There will be no exam.

Clinical placements are at the Cyberlaw Clinic of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Students who would like to participate in the optional winter or spring clinical must enroll through clinical registration. Please refer to the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs ( for clinical registration dates and early add/drop deadlines.