The Catholic University of America


 Patent Curriculum


Foundation Courses

Patent Law

Copyright Law

Trademarks & Unfair Competition

Introduction to Intellectual Property

Key Electives

Administrative Law

Antitrust Law

Advanced Patent Law*

Patent Enforcement*

Patent Prosecution*

Advanced IP Courses (courses with an asterisk (*) fulfill Upper Division Writing Requirement)

Advanced Copyright/Trademark Law *

Art Law

Cyberlaw I: Legal Issues Relating to Computer Networks

Entertainment Law

Intellectual Property Transactions*

International Intellectual Property

Other Related Electives

Advanced Civil Procedure

Complex Litigation


Federal Courts

Federal Regulation of Food and Drugs

Legal Drafting*

Law, Science and Medicine*


Related Skills Courses  (These courses fulfill the Professional Skills Requirement)

Appellate Advocacy*

Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiating Skills

Mediation & Arbitration Skills

Pre-trial Litigation*

Trial Practice 

Course Descriptions

A study of inventions that are protectable under United States patent laws; the requirements for patentability, including concepts of utility, novelty, non-obviousness, and adequate disclosure; the nature of acts constituting patent infringement; interpretation of patent claims and the scope of exclusive rights under a patent; and remedies for infringement.  Professor Winston   
This course covers the nature and subject matter of copyright, including literary, artistic, and musical works; computer software; and motion pictures; how copyrights are acquired, licensed, and enforced; the fair use privilege and other limitations on the copyright owner’s rights; and principles of international protection.  Professor Fischer and Judge Damich
This course covers the nature and subject matter of common law and statutory trademark protection, including distinctiveness, genericism, and the development of secondary meaning; the acquisition,retention, and scope of trademark rights; the registration process and its effect; infringement issues, dilution, rights of publicity, false advertising, parody and counterfeiting. Professor Winston   
This is an overview course covering the core areas of intellectual property law — copyrights, patents, trade secrets, and trademarks. Study will include the scope of these rights, infringement, defenses to infringement, and available remedies for infringement. We will also consider the relationship between the four types of intellectual property, as well as the theoretical justifications for legal protection of intellectual property rights and the appropriate balance between legal protections, technological protections, and a robust public domain. There are no prerequisites for this course, and scientific background is not required. The course grade will be based primarily on an in-class final examination. Professors Fischer, La Belle, and Watkins
This course involves the study of the administrative process, including formal and informal processes within various administrative agencies, as well as judicial, legislative, and executive control of administrative activity. The investigative, interpretative, rulemaking, adjudicatory, and enforcement operations of administrative agencies will be covered. Professors Breger, Mintz, and Gregg
A study of those federal statutes intended to preserve the benefits of competition in unregulated industries. The course considers the impact of the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act as amended by the Robinson-Patman Act, and the Federal Trade Commission Act on the practices and structure of American business. The course includes some economic analysis, but a background in economics is not necessary. The relevant concepts are developed throughout the course. Professors Garvey, Greaney, and Perez
This seminar explores advanced topics in copyright and trademark law including, but not limited to, digital copyright law, cybersquatting, misappropriation of intellectual property, and indirect copyright infringement. The course also focuses on recent legal developments in the fields of copyright and trademark law. The purpose of this course is to explore copyright and trademark topics that are not covered or are covered only superficially in the introductory intellectual property courses. Successful completion of this course may satisfy one of the two upper-level writing requirement. Refer to Academic Rule X - Writing Requirement and Directed Research.  Prerequisite: Introduction to Intellectual Property, Copyright Law, or Trademark Law. Judge Damich
This seminar explores advanced topics in patent law including, but not limited to, the history of patent law, the intersection between patent and antitrust law, various issues regarding pharmaceutical patent law, patent reform, specialized patent courts, and current developments in patent law.  The purpose of this seminar is to introduce students to patent law topics that are not usually covered in other intellectual property courses offered at the law school.  Each student will be required to write a qualifying course paper on a patent law topic of choice.  Because advanced patent law topics will be discussed in this course, students are required to have taken Introduction to Intellectual Property, Patent Law, or Patent Enforcement.  This prerequisite may be waived by the professor if a student has other significant patent law experience (e.g., student is a current/former patent examiner).  On occasion this course may be offered as a two-hour course for administrative convenience. Professors La Belle, Sung and Watkins
This survey course introduces students to major legal issues relating to visual art. Topics will include artist's rights (such as copyright and moral rights); cultural property disputes over visual art and antiquities (such as the dispute over whether the Elgin Marbles should be returned); plundering and destruction of artworks during times of war; forgeries and problems of authenticity in the art market; the major players in the art market, including dealers and collectors; the inner workings of art auctions and the legal rights and duties of art auctioneers and art dealers; the legal structure of art museums, including some issues of internal management and governance, and some tax issues relating to  gifts to museums; some tax and intellectual property issues relating to the commercialization of museum collections (e.g., merchandising, corporate sponsorship; use of facilities); and some First Amendment issues relating to visual art. There are no prerequisites for this class. Professor Fischer 
This course focuses on law and policy relating to network security, privacy, cybercrime, and copyright enforcement issues arising from file sharing, circumvention software and other new digital technologies. No prerequisites and no technological or engineering knowledge is expected or required. Professor Kennedy
This course emphasizes specialized contract law for the entertainment industry, including the role of attorneys, agents, and managers in the negotiation of recording, management, publishing, and performance agreements. The course will address the substantive law of the entertainment industry as well as a practical approach to the representation of clients involved in various fields of entertainment. Professor Keene
This limited enrollment course is focused primarily on the analysis and drafting of documents related to transactions involving the transfer of interests in intellectual property, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and know-how. Through the process of analyzing and drafting transactional documents, students will be introduced to the relevant statutory and case law and will become familiar with substantive legal principles related to title, express and implied licenses; license transfers; and assignments of rights in intellectual property. Students may also be exposed to substantive areas of the law having significant impact on intellectual property rights, such as international law, antitrust, tax, and bankruptcy. The grade will be based primarily on the final written work products produced by each student. At the discretion of the instructor, this course may include a qualifying portfolio paper that fulfills a portion of the upper level writing requirement. Refer to Academic Rule X — Writing Requirement and Directed Research. Prerequisite: Students must have taken at least one of the following: Patent Law, Copyright Law, Trademarks and Unfair Competition, or Introduction to Intellectual Property. Judge Colaianni and Professor Ratcliffe
An overview of the international aspects of intellectual property law, focusing on the major areas of copyright, patent, and trademark law. The course will cover the development and nature of international protection under domestic law as well as under bilateral and multilateral agreements; the use of trade negotiations as a mechanism for the implementation and harmonization of rights; and enforcement problems, including issues of jurisdiction, territoriality, exhaustion of rights, and conflicts of law. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: Patent Law, Copyright Law, Trademarks and Unfair Competition, or Introduction to Intellectual Property. Professors Fischer, Chambers, and Laskoski
This course is designed to teach advanced students about the intricacies of litigating a patent infringement suit from inception to trial. The course will go beyond the basic understanding of substantive patent law issues and give students a theoretical and practical understanding for resolving those issues in the context of a patent case. Throughout the semester, the students will litigate a hypothetical patent case. The course is offered as a qualifying portfolio class (refer to Academic Rule X) and an understanding of basic patent law is preferred. Professors Pivnick and Fuhrer
This course provides students the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills related to the preparation and prosecution of patent applications before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Students will develop efficient patent and claim drafting techniques, and will learn effective prosecution strategies, such as analyzing and responding to office actions and avoiding prosecution history estoppel. This course will meet the requirements for an Applied Portfolio course (refer to Academic Rule X). Prerequisite: Patent Law or permission of the instructors. Professors McLeod and Blinka.
This is a course in advanced civil procedure in the federal courts. While some fundamental principles of federal civil procedure will be examined to ensure that all students possess an equal grounding in basic civil procedure, the course emphasizes the study of those advanced topics in civil procedure that are not studied extensively (or at all) in the first year. Federal jurisdiction is examined with an emphasis on federal supplemental and removal jurisdiction. Joinder of claims and parties (who may or must be parties, how to get them in and how to get them out) is examined in depth as are the complexities of class suits, multidistrict litigation, federal interpleader, substitution, and intervention. The course also covers shareholder derivative suits, motions practice (with an emphasis on summary judgment), federal discovery practice (with an emphasis on privilege and attorney work product), enforceability of judgments, relief from a judgment, and appeals from federal district courts to Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal and from federal circuit courts to the United States Supreme Court. Practical problems will be worked on throughout the course. Examination. Professor Hartley
This advanced course will offer an in-depth examination of procedural problems involved in multiparty, multiclaim litigation in federal and state court. The course will focus extensively on class action practice, criteria and litigation strategy. The course covers the disposition of duplicative litigation, problems peculiar to large case discovery, judicial control of litigation, and res judicata and collateral estoppel involved in multiparty, multiclaim litigation. The course also explores alternatives to the class action device. This is an exam course. Professor Malveaux
The course entails the study of the fundamental principles in the fields of agency, unincorporated businesses, corporations, and securities regulation, examined in relation to the functioning of the corporate enterprise. Both publicly owned and closely held corporations are considered, with detailed consideration of basic formation, issues of governance, and shareholder rights, as well as additional attention to more advanced areas relating to conflicts of corporate control, questions of corporate responsibility and shareholder input in corporate decision making, and federal regulation of capital formation and investor interests. Professors Duggin, Schooner, Lipton, Wyrsch
The course examines the nature of the federal judicial function, explores in depth an aspect of federal-state relationships — the dual court system — that is a particular concern and responsibility of lawyers, and provides the opportunity for systematic thought about a series of problems important to an understanding of our constitutional system. Among the topics that may be considered are historical development of the federal court system, congressional power to regulate the jurisdiction of federal courts, standing as it affects judicial power, political questions, the meaning of “arising under” jurisdiction, actions claiming constitutional protection against official state action, the original and removal jurisdiction of the district courts, and the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Professor Hartley
This course explores the Food and Drug Administration’s development of regulatory controls in response to Congress’s legislative enactments regarding the safety of food and the safety and effectiveness of drugs. Coursework entails an analysis of FDA’s enforcement tools; the agency’s substantive regulatory authority over foods, drugs, and selected other regulated commodities; and the agency’s creative use of its legislative authority to develop regulatory mechanisms for the protection of the public health. While focusing on substantive food and drug law, the course also scrutinizes the operation and problems an administrative agency faces in dealing with sometimes conflicting legal, scientific, and policy concerns regarding a given issue. To this end, the course focuses on FDA’s efforts to establish safe levels for added carcinogens in food, to ensure the safety of foods produced by recombinant DNA technology, to improve the public health by comprehensive food labeling reform, and to establish the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals in an ethical and timely manner. This course is highly recommended for persons interested in the regulatory process and in the practical aspects of administrative law. Professor Degnan 
This course offers students an introduction to legal drafting, with an emphasis on such essential skills as writing with clarity and precision, conforming with statutes and ordinances, using form books appropriately, achieving the goals of clients, identifying and eliminating ambiguity, editing and proofreading a written product, and simplifying complex thoughts and ideas. This course will provide students with a thorough introduction to the principles of general drafting through the use of written exercises, peer critique, and in-class workshops. These may be general office documents or documents in a particular doctrinal area. Through the course of the semester, students will draft a minimum of three major legal documents in addition to rewrites and shorter written exercises. Successful completion of this course will satisfy one of the two upper-level legal writing requirements. Enrollment will be limited to 16 students per section. Professors Danzig, Everhart, Farrar, Goldman, Judge Krauser, and Judge Timony
This course deals with the nature and source of the remedies of specific performance, reformation, rescission, damages, restitution, injunction, and declaratory judgment. Emphasis is placed on the historical development and modern application of equitable principles and the limitations that have been recognized on the exercise of equitable powers. This is an exam course. Professor Sky
The seminar investigates legal, ethical, and social problems caused by developments in medicine and the biological sciences. Topics include informed consent, death and dying, genetic planning and manipulation, fetal research, treatment of and experimentation with institutionalized persons, societal controls on scientific advances, and allocation of health care resources. At the discretion of the instructor, this course may require a qualifying course paper that fulfills one half of the upper-level writing requirement. Refer to Academic Rule X — Writing Requirement and Directed Research. Professors Destro and Smith
Students will study standards of appellate review, review of the trial record, and appellate practice techniques. Instruction will focus on the presentation of a simulated case to a federal or state appellate court. Students will review the trial record for appealable issues, submit an appellate brief, and argue the case orally before panels of judges and attorneys at the Appellate Advocacy Competition. Successful completion of the Lawyering Skills course is a prerequisite to enrollment in this course. Successful completion of the appellate brief in this course fulfills one half of the upper level writing requirement. Refer to Academic Rule X — Writing Requirement and Directed Research. The final grade is based on evaluation of the student’s written work, oral advocacy and class participation. Professor Fair
This course introduces students to the basic lawyering skills of interviewing, counseling, and negotiating. It employs simulation exercises, self-critiques, and feedback from the course instructor as well as other students. The course is intended to teach and improve basic skills needed for the practice of law. In addition to the exercises, students will be exposed to the theoretical underpinnings of the skills and will examine some of the ethical issues involved in interviewing, counseling, and negotiating. Enrollment is limited. On occasion this course may be offered as a two-hour course for administrative convenience.  At the discretion of the instructor, this course may include a qualifying portfolio paper that fulfills a portion of the upper-level writing requirement. Refer to Academic Rule X — Writing Requirement and Directed Research. Professors Kelly, McGonnigal, Mitchell, and Woods.
The focus of this course is on the theory, skills, and attitudes involved in the conduct of mediation and arbitration. In addition, some attention is given to the role of counsel in mediation and arbitration. Skills are learned through active participation in simulated exercises, which are videotaped, reviewed and critiqued by other students and the faculty member. Readings and discussion of the theoretical bases for mediation and arbitration and the ethical issues inherent in these practices also form a part of the course. Enrollment limited to 16. On occasion this course may be offered as a two-hour course for administrative convenience. Professors Pope and Raskin
This course acquaints students with what goes on in pretrial practice and helps students to learn the form and purposes of what lawyers do in this stage – and how to do it effectively. The course will focus on a hypothetical piece of litigation and will be taught for two semesters. During the first semester, students will study drafting the kinds of papers lawyers draft in pre-trial practice. In the second semester, students will engage in intensive deposition training. The course concludes by requiring students to draft a Post-Discovery Memorandum Recommending Strategy, in which students advise clients about settlement and, in particular, the “walk-a-away” value at which you will take the case to trial rather than settle. Professor Goldman
A semester-long limited enrollment course covering the role of the advocate in the trial process. The course deals with the various facets of trial court litigation including voir dire of jury panel, opening and closing statements, direct and cross-examination of witnesses and presentation of exhibits. The course will include tactical and ethical problems that confront trial lawyers in both civil and criminal cases. The course will end with a mock jury trial involving either a criminal or a civil case. Limited to 16 students. In case of over enrollment, preference will be given to students who have not taken another Trial Practice or Trial Skills course. The course will be either graded or pass/fail at the discretion of the instructor. If graded, the course grade will be based on student performance during the semester. Prerequisite: Evidence. Judge Bacon, Judge Boynton, Judge Iscoe, Professors Balter, Barger, Frey-Balter, Holt, and Williams