Curriculum and Degrees

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Intellectual Property Emphasis

Hamline’s Intellectual Property curriculum is designed to provide students with a well-rounded educational experience in basic intellectual property law, and one or more of the areas of intellectual property specialization: copyright, trademark, or patent law. The curriculum also ensures that the student is exposed to contexts in which IP issues arise, such as in federal court litigation or in mass media law. The IP emphasis is greatly enriched by talented local IP attorneys who teach several of its specialized courses. Students interested in an emphasis in this area can choose courses from the following recommended courses.

Recommended Courses

Comparative Law (3 credits)

Comparative study of the origins, development, and characteristics of the world’s major legal systems, with emphasis on civil law systems.

Intellectual Property (3 credits)

Surveys substantive provisions of federal statues governing patent, copyright, trademark, and unfair competition. Examines common law doctrines and state statutes relating to unfair competition. The course is both an advanced torts class and an advanced business law class, with substantial statutory components.

International Intellectual Property (2 credits)

Examines the law of copyright, patent, trademark, trade secrets, and other forms of intellectual property rights in the international setting, with special attention to multinational treaties and conventions. (Prerequisite:  Intellectual Property)

International Law (3 credits)

Examines basic principles of international law, including the jurisdiction of states, treaty-making and effect, recognition of governments, nationality of persons and corporations, extradition, expropriation, international legal forums, the law of war and the United Nations.

Unfair Competition and Other Predatory Practices (2 credits)

Advanced investigation of federal and state law of trade secrets and unfair methods of business competition, including preemptive doctrine and criminal and civil sanctions and private remedies.

Copyright Law and Related Rights (2 credits)

Advanced investigation of the federal law of copyright, covering subject matter, ownership, infringement, remedies, and defenses; and related rights areas such as the Visual Art Rights Act of 1990, Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. (Recommended: Intellectual Property)

Patent Law (2 credits)

Focus on an advanced and in-depth investigation of patent law including the requirements of patentability, the patentability of various traditional and nontraditional subject matters (e.g. computer software and biotechnology), the process of securing patent protection including the procedures of the U.S. Patent Office as well as post allowance procedures, licensing of patents, and issues confronting the patentee and an alleged infringer including the burdens and presumptions surrounding patent validity, the standard of infringement, and available remedies. (Recommended: Intellectual Property)

Trademark Law (2 credits)

Advanced investigation of federal and state law of trademarks, including subject matter, ownership infringement, remedies, and defenses; and of trade dress and famous marks. (Recommended: Intellectual Property)

Arts & Entertainment Law (2 credits)

Encompasses a variety of topics relevant to an understanding of the practice of art & entertainment law. Specific areas of the law that will be covered include contracts, copyrights, trademarks, artists’ moral rights, labor law, the law of non-profit corporations, immigration law and its effect on foreign athletes and artists, and international law as it relates to the transportation of art. The study of contract issues will be broken into particular areas, such as fine arts, performance arts, the entertainment industry (music and film), publishing, and sports. The issues of artistic censorship as it relates to obscenity laws and the first amendment will be discussed. (Prerequisite: Intellectual Property or Copyright Law)

Computer & Internet Law (2 credits)

Examines a wide-range of legal issues related to the protection and use of computer technology. It begins with an exploration of the various methods of protecting computer hardware and software and the means of distributing and using such technology. Next it examines issues such as privacy, personal jurisdiction, liability (civil and criminal) and free speech that have arisen because of the Internet. (Recommended: Commercial Transactions or Intellectual Property Law)

Seminars and Selected Topics Courses (2 or 3 credits)

In-depth studies with an IP focus that can include Arbitration, Litigation Practice, or Mediation Skills.

Related Courses

Federal Courts (3 credits)

Examines jurisdiction of the federal courts over federal questions and a diversity of citizenship cases; distribution of powers between state and federal courts; use of state law in federal courts; civil procedure in federal districts courts; and appellate review of federal and state court decisions. (Recommended: Constitutional Law I)

Constitutional Law I (3 credits)

Introduces U.S. constitutional interpretation, including doctrines and competing philosophies, and the framework of state and federal government under the Constitution. It includes the historical background of the drafting and interpretation of the Constitution, and the development of the Supreme Court as an institution.

Conflict of Laws (3 credits)

The rules applied by courts in resolving cases involving transactions or occurrences with relationship to more than one jurisdiction. Emphasis on selection of appropriate rules where the laws of the jurisdictions differ. Also studies is recognition of judgments of other states; limitations imposed on state courts by federal law.

Dispute Resolution Practices (2 credits)

Basic course in dispute resolution processes designed to enable lawyers to advise and represent clients. It will explore the full range of traditional and emerging alternative dispute resolution mechanism, both court-annexed and extra judicial. It begins with negotiation theory and strategy, followed by mediation, arbitration, and various hybrid devices using third-party intervention (such as early neutral evaluation, non-binding arbitration, summery jury trial and mini-trial). (Recommended:  Lawyering Skills, Professional Responsibility, and Evidence)

Mass Media Law (3 credits)

Examines topical issues and problems concerning the relationship of law and the mass media. Areas covered include defamation, invasion of privacy and other common causes of action against the media, constitutional limitations on media liability, prior restraint, reporters’ privilege, rights of access to governmental information and proceedings, governmental regulation of the mass media, and constitutional limitations on such regulation.

International Business Transactions (3 credits)

Examines international business issues involving the export sale of goods; letters of credit in financing export sales; and resolution of international commercial disputes, including alternative forms and enforcement of judgments, tariffs on the importation of goods, customs classification and valuation, antidumping and countervailing duties, national restrictions on the export of goods and technology, and international transfer of technology. Also covers franchising and agreements for the transfer of “know-how”, foreign direct investment in developed and developing countries, doing business in the European Economic Community, and with non-market economics.

*Additional Electives

Additional electives require consultation with advisor. Students have the option of taking additional electives above the 24 required units. However, students must verify the terms of their visa if electing to take additional credits that may take more than one year to complete.

Participation Opportunities

Hamline Law School has an active Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law Society student organization. Work experience opportunities through internships or other programs may be available.