IP Overview assignments


Dates for class

There are only four classes. To comply with the STU attendance policy, you must attend every class. Because you cannot miss a class, I do not strictly enforce my normal late entrance policy. You may enter late if you must, but as always please do your utmost to be on time.

Class dates and times:

  • Class: Thursday June 1, 9AM-noon
  • Class: Thursday, June 8, 9AM-noon
  • Class: Thursday June 15, 9AM-noon
  • Class: Thursday June 22, 9AM-noon
  • Final exam: in-class, Thursday, June 29 starting 9AM (open book, printed materials only)


Course syllabus, available here.

Chart comparing four main areas of IP protection (copyright, patent, trade secret, trademark)

Copyright readings in McJohn E&E:

  • 1-5 (intro to main areas of IP)
  • 9-25, 48-59 (subject matter of copyright)
  • 69-73 (excluded subject matter)
  • 109-19, 157-59 (ownership, duration)
  • 161-66, 168-76, 194-213 (infringement, exclusive rights, defenses)

Copyright statutes, available below or in statutory supplement:

Explore: go to the Copyright Office website at http://www.copyright.gov. Explore. See how you can search registrations, file applications for registration, and find information of interest such as the Fair Use index. Note the existence of helpful Circulars.

New: other helpful materials:


We will start with a short quiz on the first two weeks’ readings. We will then finish any remaining copyright materials and then move onto patents.

Patent readings in McJohn E&E:

  • 233-61 (subject matter, exclusions)
  • 263-71, 282-85, 290-300 (novelty, nonobviousness)
  • 327-45 (infringement)

Patent statutes, available below or in statutory supplement:

Explore: here are two interesting patents. Look through them. Using the readings, figure out what is claimed. What types of patents are they? Products or processes? Do you believe them to claim patentable subject matter? Are they novel, non-obvious, and useful? Why or why not?

New: other helpful materials (shown in class):


We will start with a short quiz on today’s new readings. We will then finish any remaining patent materials and move into trademarks.

Note (added 6/12): you will get credit for the best of your two quiz scores. The lower-scoring quiz will not count.

Trademark readings in McJohn E&E:

  • 365-77 (subject matter)
  • 385-414 (spectrum of marks, unprotectable symbols)
  • 415-23, 431-40 (searching, acquisition, priority, assignment, loss of rights)
  • 441-62 (infringement)
  • 471-75 (dilution)

Trademark statutes, available below or in statutory supplement:

NEW: Materials that have been displayed or may be displayed in class:

Note (added 6/12): the portion of the assignment below is not required. It’s left in in case you’d like to do it. Instead, what I’ll be looking for is this: please invent a trademark (word mark) and determine what the goods and services are. On the quiz, I’ll ask you what your mark and goods/services are.

Explore: Go to the Trademark Office website and:

  • Find a trademark. Click here and then click on the link for the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). Use the Basic Word Mark Search and find a famous trademark that you know of.
  • Invent a trademark. Create a trademark and goods and then use TESS to search for it. Has somebody already filed an application for your trademark?


We will start with a short quiz on today’s new readings. We will then finish any remaining trademark materials and move into the new materials.

Required: Trade secret readings:

Note (added 6/12): the portion of the assignment below is not required. It’s left in in case you’d like to do it.

Right of publicity readings:


Final examination, in class, at 9AM in our normal room.

Examination will be open book for printed materials only (You cannot access anything on your laptop besides essay answers, as limited by ExamSoft or similar STU-assigned examination software).

I would suggest that you bring, at a minimum, the following paper or printed materials:

  • McJohn’s E&E
  • Any statutes that have been assigned
  • Your notes
  • Your outline
  • Any handouts I have given you or that you found on the course website

You may bring other materials as well, so long as they are in paper or printed form.

Format of exam [tentative]: The exam is written as a two hour exam, but you will be given 2.5 hours to complete it. You should complete all parts of the exam. There is also an optional multiple-choice activity that follows one of the short written-answer questions. The [tentative] breakdown of the exam is noted below:

  • Fill-in-the-blank (5 questions, 30 minutes): Write your answer in the exam itself using a pen. Blanks and spaces are provided in the examination for your answers.
  • Short written-answer (3 questions, 30 minutes): Write your answer either in a bluebook (using a pen) or using a laptop or tablet, subject to compliance with STU’s laptop exam procedures regarding ExamSoft or the equivalent. The short-answer questions include an optional extra credit activity worth up to an additional five (5) points.
  • Multiple-choice (20 questions, one hour): Use a # 2 pencil to enter answers on a scantron sheet. The only answers that matter are those on the scantron.

Revised June 20, 2017  (adding items shown in class)