Intellectual Property Law Survey

Professor Grimmelmann

University of Maryland

Fall 2014


First Assignment

For the first day of class, please read chapters 1 (introduction) and 2.A (trade secrets) from the coursepack. Be prepared to discuss both the cases and the problems.


This course covers the basic doctrines of the major federal and state intellectual property regimes, including patent, trade secret, copyright, trademark, false advertising, and publicity rights. The coverage is broad rather than deep; the course provides an introduction to the essentials of intellectual property for students entering all areas of practice. The overlap with advanced courses in intellectual property is minimal. No technical background is required, as most fields of intellectual property are non-technical.

The course will ask and answer common questions for each distinct type of intellectual property:


You will need the following:

Class Meetings

We meet Tuesdays 9:50 to 11:50 and Thursdays 9:50 to 10:45 in room 107. Note that the meeting times are uneven: 120 minutes on Monday and 55 minutes on Tuesday. (The second hour on Thursdays will be used for the Drafting add-on.) There will be a break in the middle of the Tuesdays class so we can all stretch, use the restroom, etc. Because we meet on back-to-back days, I will provide reading assignments in weekly, rather than daily, sets.

Our coverage of each topic will generally follow a common pattern. First, I will give a concise lecture on the black-letter doctrines and the policies behind them. Then we will discuss the related case or cases, with an emphasis on the factual details and the problems that lawyers confront applying the black-letter doctrines to those facts. Finally, we will discuss the related problems, allowing you to try your hand at applying the law yourself.


Office: Room 231
Phone: (410) 706-7260
Email: jgrimmelmann at
Office hours: Wednesdays, 9:30 to 11:00 AM

Email is the best way to reach me and will generally lead to the fastest response.


All dates are approximate and subject to revision as we proceed.


There will be a 3-hour final exam on a date to be determined by the Registrar. It will be open-book and subject to a strict word limit. I will grade the final examinations blind to determine preliminary grades. I may then adjust preliminary grades up or down by a third of a letter grade – or, in extraordinary circumstances, two-thirds of a letter grade – baed on class participation. Good participation is anything that helps your classmates learn; bad participation is anything that detracts from their education.