Intellectual Property: Scientific Evidence in Patent Litigation


Course Code:
LAW 343
Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail


(Same as GENE 243). This seminar will explore the role of scientific experts in patent infringement litigation. The class will have a mix of law students and doctoral candidates from the sciences and engineering. The law students must have some familiarity with United States patent law from classes or work experience. The graduate students must have completed their required coursework and have TGR status. In other areas of the law where scientific experts are used — medical malpractice, environmental law, criminal law — the science itself is often in dispute. In patent cases, however, the parties generally agree on the science. This affects the relationship between the lawyer and the expert and the substantive content of their interactions. Patent experts need to be able to explain science to the judge and jury, of course. But they also must help the litigators to choose which legal issues to press and which to concede, and to be aware of how the complications of the science might help, hurt, obscure or reveal how the law should be applied to the facts. Thus, both the lawyer and the scientist must educate the other about their specialties.nnFor the first several weeks, the class will examine judicial decisions and trial documents involving scientific evidence in patent litigation. The rest of the quarter is largely devoted to work on the final projects: simulations of expert testimony in a patent case. Students will work together in teams an will meet regularly with the instructor in order to: select suitable patents; identify a balanced issue on either validity or infringement; prepare claim charts and materials for testimony; and give short, illustrated talks to inform their classmates about their projects. Finally, they will choose sides (patent owner or accused infringer) and finetune their presentations. The simulations will be performed at the end of the quarter before panels of practicing patent lawyers.

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