Patent Law 277W

Meeting Time:
TuTh 11:30 - 12:35 PM

Robert P. Merges
438 Boalt Hall (North Addition)
Admin. Assistant
Chris Swain,  793 Simon Tower (642‑0503)
This course will cover the core concepts of U.S. patent law with special focus on the issues of patent reform that have been raised over the past few years. Using the perspective of an inventor or entrepreneur, we will examine how patents are used as a business tool to commercialize new technologies and innovations. We will also consider fundamental policy questions about the current patent system such as whether it favors big institutions over independent inventors or start-ups and whether it inhibits scientific research and access to medicines.
Class Meeting Times:
The class will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 - 12:35 PM in Room 170.
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 1:30 – 2:40 PM; or by appointment.
Required Reading:
Merges & Duffy, Patent Law & Policy (4th ed.,  LexisNexis 2007) (M&D)
Merges et al., IP in the New Technological Age, Case and Statutory Supplement (2010) (Stat. Supp.)
Syllabus PDF



 Materials; Statute; Problems

Tu 8/17

Pat System & Drafting Historical Introduction M&D 1-13; Introduction to the patent document, pp. 13-26; Introduction to Claims & Patent System: M&D 26-66
Th 8/19
Bilski- Software and Business Methods Patentable Subject Matter: Stat. Supp. 35 USC § 101; In re Bilski, Book Supp.
Tu 8/24
101 Part 2 101 (cont’d): Chakrabarty, Laws of Nature, etc.: M&D 67-78; Natural Substances, M&D 106-110; Association for Molecular Genetics (Myriad), & Notes, Book Supp.
Th 8/26
Utility Utility: Brana, M&D 230-240; Ex parte Fisher, M&D 240-256.
Tu 8/31
Enablement and WD Enablement and Written Description: Intro and Incandescent Lamp, M&D 261-272; Janssen v. Teva, Book Supp.; Stat Supp. 35 USC § 112.
Th 9/2
Indefiniteness and Best Mode Gentry Gallery, M&D 299-309; Additional Notes on Written Description; Ariad v. Eli Lilly, Book Supp.
Tu 9/7
Written Description Written Description II: Rochester v. Searle, 314-320; LizardTech v. Earth Resource Mapping, Inc., 321-327
Th 9/9
Indefiniteness and Best Mode Definiteness and Best Mode: Orthokinetics, M&D 327-332; Note on Standard Oil, 332-337; Note on Functional Language, 337-340; Chemcast, 348-356.
Tu 9/14
Novelty Introduction to Novelty: Intro and Robertson, M&D 357-370; Stat. Supp. 35 USC § 102; In re Hafner and Notes, 380-387; Intro, 393; In re Klopfenstein, 405-413.
Th 9/16
Novelty Beyond 102(a) Novelty II, 102(e) and (f): Note on Novelty and the Economics of Search, M&D 417-421; §102(e): Alexander Milburn, 421-431; §102(f): Campbell, M&D 431-438.
M-F 9 /20 - 9/24 No Class - Fall Break  
Tu 9/28
  Priority, §102(g)(1) & (2): Intro., Brown v. Barbacid, M&D 438-456; Peeler, M&D 456-464; Dow, 468-478; Note on Rule 131, 481-483; Stat. Supp. § 102(g).
Th 9/30
  Statutory Bars I: Intro and Pennock, Egbert, Moleculon, Metallizing Engineering, M&D 509-536.
Tu 10/5
  On Sale Bar and Experimental Use: Pfaff, 536-550; City of Elizabeth, M&D 555-562; Lough, 562-570.
Th 10/7

Third Party Activity: Baxter, WL Gore, M&D 570-584; International Considerations, 586-589; Summary & Problems, 589-593.

Tu 10/12
  Nonobviousness: Intro, Hotchkiss, Historical Note, Graham, M&D 611-645 [stop reading Graham opinion before discussion of Cook case]; US v. Adams, 653-662.
Th 10/14
  Suggestion Test: Intro (“Subtests”) and  KSR v. Teleflex, 665-685; Obviousness after KSR & In re Kubin, Book Supp.
Tu 10/19
  §102/103 Prior Art and Analogous Arts: Intro and Hazeltine, 730-734; Note, Economic Rationale, 743-744; Oddzon, M&D 745-750; Intro & Clay M&D 764-773.
Th 10/21
  Claims I: Intro and Merrill, 781-787; Intro and Phillips, 787-804; Note on Canons, 804-812.
Tu 10/26
  Claims II: Intro and Wright Co. v. Paulhan, M&D 820-826; Note on Purposive Claim Construction, 826-829; Intro and Markman, 829-839; Phillips (Part II), 845-849.
Th 10/28
  Claims III: Doctrine of Equivalents: Warner-Jenkinson, M&D 856-867; Prosecution History Estoppel: Festo, 867-88.
Tu 11/2
  Joint and Divided Infringement, BMC Resources v. Paymentech & Notes, Book Supp.; other recent infringement/claim construction case (look for email update).
Th 11/4
  Indirect Infringement and Foreign Activity: Intro and Aro, CR Bard, M&D 908-923; Intro, Brown, and Microsoft v. AT&T, 923-931.
Tu 11/9
  Injunctions: Intro, eBay, Notes, z4, Additional Notes, M&D, 933-956;, 956-967.
Th 11/11 No Class - Veteran's Day  
Tu 11/16
  Damages: Panduit, M&D 969-985; Grain Processing, and Note M&D 1000-1019; Note, Entire Market Value Rule, 1025-1029; Lucent v. Gateway & Notes, Book Supp.
Th 11/18
  Willful Infringement, Reissue and Reexamination: In re Seagate Technology, Book Supp.; Intro to Reissues, M&D 1073; Intro to Reexamination and Rodime and Notes, Note on Inter Partes Reexamination, M&D 1092.
Tu 11/23
  Defenses: Prosecution Delay Laches and Inequitable Conduct: Symbol Technologies, M&D 1130-1140 ; Briefs in Therasense v. Becton-Dickinson (pending Federal Circuit en banc case – look for email updates).
Th 11/25 No Class - Thanksgiving  
Tu 11/30
  Coinvention and Ownership: Burroughs-Wellcome; Stark, Eli Lilly, Ethicon, M&D 1142-1180.
Th 12/2
Makeup Exhaustion and First Sale: Quanta v. LG Electronics, Book Supp.
TBA Review Session