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There are two basic requirements for this class: (1) in-class participation; and (2) three short writing assignments. In-class participation (as described in more detail below) will count for 25% of the final grade, and the three writing assignments will count for 75% of the final grade (each individual writing assignment will count for 25% of the final grade).


There will be two components to in-class participation: (1) general in-class participation and (2) two assigned classes for which you will play a role in facilitating class discussion. Together, these two components will account for 25% of your final grade for the course.

General Participation: Because this is an upper-level seminar, class participation is critical to the quality of the learning experience. Accordingly, I will expect you to attend class and to be generally well-prepared. In addition, the week before each class I will pose a question based on the readings for the following week. The purpose of the question is to help focus both your reading and the discussion in class, and I will expect you to be prepared to respond to the question in class.

Class Facilitator: In addition to general in-class participation, you will be assigned two classes during the term for which you will play a role in facilitating class discussion. Given present enrollment numbers, I expect approximately 3 to 4 facilitators to be assigned for each class session. The role of the facilitators will vary depending on the subject for the week. In general, however, facilitators will be asked to respond, in class, to a question or hypothetical posed by me during the previous class session. This may require you to adopt a certain role during the class (e.g. general counsel to a software company, litigator, policy-maker, discussion leader, etc.). I will meet with facilitators during the week before the assigned class to go over how the class will be run.


There will be three 5-page writing assignments due during this course. The first paper will be based on the readings in part II of the syllabus below (copyright protection). The second paper will be based on the readings in part III of the syllabus (patent protection). The third paper will be based on the readings in parts IV and V (sui generis protection and licensing). Each paper will be due one week after we complete the relevant readings. I will provide you with the topics for the papers. Each paper will be worth 25% of the total final grade for the course.


Probably the easiest way to contact me is by email, at If you have a short question or comment, feel free to email me or call me. However, I also encourage you to come talk to me at my office hours or by appointment. Feel free to swing by to chat about anything, whether related to the course, about intellectual property generally, about career-advice, or about nothing at all.


Updated: April 16, 2002
Maintained: Joseph P. Liu
2002 The Trustees of Boston College. Legal