Usefulness of a "federal courts" course for patent lit?

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huzhongxiaohe
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Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:51 pm

Usefulness of a "federal courts" course for patent lit?

Postby huzhongxiaohe » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:58 am

Does anyone think that a course on federal courts or federal jurisdiction will be helpful or necessary for patent litigation? It looks like an advanced civ pro class to me, but I'm not sure about its value in practice. Would love to hear some advice from practicing attorneys. Thanks!!

c3pO4
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Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: Usefulness of a "federal courts" course for patent lit?

Postby c3pO4 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:59 am

huzhongxiaohe wrote:Does anyone think that a course on federal courts or federal jurisdiction will be helpful or necessary for patent litigation? It looks like an advanced civ pro class to me, but I'm not sure about its value in practice. Would love to hear some advice from practicing attorneys. Thanks!!


Going into patent lit and I've heard it's an important class to take. This would be a good thread to ask: what courses are good for patent lit?

Should we take IP courses and trial practice / advanced civ pro / ev / fed courts? or do the IP courses (trademark, patent, copyright, ip lit, ip licensing, etc.) not matter?

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Bosque
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:14 pm

Re: Usefulness of a "federal courts" course for patent lit?

Postby Bosque » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:41 am

I'm doing Patent Lit, and while I am only a 3L I can pass along the answers I have received from others.

Patents - I'd say the only upper level class you HAVE to take is patents. You can learn everything in practice, even the whole patent system, but as a signaling class I would say patents will make it a lot easier to get the job you want.

Evidence - You're doing litigation, and this is on the bar. Might as well. But if you can't fit it in, again, don't worry. I am going to stop saying this now, but any class you can and will learn/relearn in practice.

Fed Courts - Probably a good idea. I am not taking it, but only because it doesn't really fit my schedule. A lot of patent litigation involves this stuff.

Some sort of Economics course - In general, seems to be a lot more useful than you would think for litigation. I wouldn't go overboard here (unless you want to transition to a transactional practice) but knowing basic microeconomics is going to at least let you understand your client's motivations.

Copyright (or an IP survey course) - Even if you don't want to practice anything but patent, I would say this is useful. A lot of concepts overlap in IP, so it helps reinforce concepts. Also, I'd say this lets you recognize when someone is misapplying a concept from copyright or trademark to patent, so you can more efficiently identify why it is wrong and move on. And of course, not every case is cleanly just patent, depending on the industry (i.e. software).

Antitrust - Been told I should take this, but I haven't and don't plan to. I will let someone else convince you it is necessary.

Few others you might take (First Amendment, a licensing/advanced contracts class, a practical trial practice class, ect.) but I think the ultimate piece of advice for picking classes is pretty universal. Don't worry so much about what you need to take, but instead look for things you want to take and, more importantly, professors you want to take them with. You will be relearning all this anyway, so go for classes where you will be motivated and excel.




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