Skip to main content
Trade Secrets & Patents

This topic provides an overview of the law related to trade secrets and patents, which are two areas within intellectual property law. For trade secrets, we will examine the historical development of trade secret law, the normative justifications for trade secret law, and core requirements for trade secret litigation. For patents, we will discuss the normative justifications for patent law, the process for acquiring a patent, the five statutory requirements for patent protection, and patent litigation.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Understand the normative justifications for trade secret and patent protection.
  2. Learn the requirements for acquiring and preserving information as a trade secret.
  3. Understand the claims and defenses available in trade secret litigation.
  4. Learn the statutory requirements for attaining patent protection, and the stages of patent prosecution necessary for acquiring a patent.
  5. Understand the claims and defenses available in patent litigation.
Copyright & Trademark

This module will introduce you to Intellectual Property (IP) Law, the area of the was focusing on intangible rights for products of the human mind. It will then discuss two of the main areas of IP law: Copyright and Trademarks. Copyright law protects fixed and original work of authorship, such as books, movies, music, and software, against free exploitation by others. Trademarks law allows companies to protect words, symbols, sounds, and more that identify their products or brand and prevent others from using them.

Learning outcomes:

  1. The students will understand the primary functions of IP law and its various branches.   
  2. The students will gain introductory knowledge of how copyright law operates.   
  3. The students will gain introductory knowledge of how trademark law operates.  
Data Privacy Law

The Law of Cyberspace modules are designed to provide an overview of legal issues that arise from technological change and activity on the Internet, by discussing samples of different types of state and federal law, civil and criminal, applicable to the Internet.  In many areas of the law, traditional legal concepts must be modified for the ever-changing structures, threats, and opportunities posed by online activity; in others, internet-specific statutes regulate targeted forms of online activity.  This course will explore these issues as they arise in three general areas: (1) online speech; (2) Ecommerce; and (3) computer fraud and “hacking.” 

Learning outcomes:

  1. Understand some of the common themes and objectives behind key US laws applicable to online communications and commerce. 
  2. Understand the general provisions of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and its broad protections for online content providers. 
  3. Become familiar with the basics of how and other online marketplaces work, and why their structures present challenges for regulation. 
  4. Understand how some states’ traditional products liability laws have been applied to online marketplaces. 
  5. Understand generally how the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Stored Communications Act apply to various forms of “hacking” and unauthorized access.  
Counseling Startups

This topic provides an overview of legal and practical considerations related to counseling start-up companies. We will discuss the role of lawyers in start-up companies, how lawyers can add value to start-up companies, corporate governance and funding issues, and intellectual property matters commonly encountered by start-up companies. 

Learning outcomes:

  1. Understand the role of lawyers in start-up companies, and how lawyers can add value to start-up companies.
  2. Learn to distinguish legal and ethical obligations that lawyers may come across during their work as attorneys for a start-up company.
  3. Learn the foundations of corporate governance issues in start-up companies.
  4. Learn how lawyers can help start-up companies interact with angel investors and venture capital firms.
  5. Understand technology transfer and other intellectual property issues commonly encountered by start-up companies.

Meet the Faculty

Jackie Ford
Partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP; Adjunct Professor of Law