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  • This Subject Area Index lists all CALI lessons covering Patent Law.
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Patent Law

Infringement Beyond the Borders: 271(f)

This lesson covers one type of patent infringement involving activity beyond the borders of the United States. In particular, what constitutes infringement under 271(f)(1) and (f)(2) is addressed, including the US Supreme Court decision, AT&T v. Microsoft.

Students may use this lesson to review material already covered in a course, or to learn this material on their own. Students should at least have prior knowledge and understanding of direct and indirect infringement under 271(a)-(c).

Introduction to TRIPS - Patent

This lesson is an introduction to patent issues under TRIPS, an important international agreement that impacts the national patent laws of all member countries of the World Trade Organization. This includes over 170 countries, including not only industrialized countries, but all developing and least developed countries. Because TRIPS imposes restrictions on national law in all countries, understanding TRIPS is important to understanding what changes to patent law is possible - in the United States and beyond.

Nonobviousness: The Scope and Content of the Prior Art

This lesson focuses on one of the factual inquiries underlying the legal determination of nonobviousness: the scope and content of the prior art. It assumes that you are familiar with the patentability requirement of novelty under 35 U.S.C. §102 and with the basic framework of the obviousness analysis. If you would like a review of the basic framework for determining obviousness, you may want to do the lesson on "Basic Concepts of Nonobviousness" before you complete this lesson.

Novelty (Section 102(a))

This lesson works through the details of patent law's novelty requirement as set out in Section 102(a) of the Patent Act. It also briefly covers Section 102(e) and inventorship. It does not deal with Section 102(b) statutory bars.

A general understanding of the nature of claims and the application process is assumed background context. The lesson can be used as supplemental preparation for class, to confirm your understanding afterwards or as a final self-test before the exam.

Obviousness: Secondary Considerations

This lesson can serve as an introduction or review of the way in which "secondary considerations" are used in assessing the nonobviousness requirement in patent law. The lesson assumes a basic familiarity with the nonobviousness doctrine. Before doing this lesson, students may wish to review the lesson dealing with Basic Concepts of Nonobviousness. Other aspects of the nonobviousness doctrine are covered in the lesson dealing with Scope and Content of the Prior Art. Students may do this lesson either before or after that lesson.

Patentable Subject Matter

This lesson covers the kinds of inventions that can be patented. The first section discusses how the Constitution and the federal Patent Act (specifically Section 101) define and limit those categories of innovations, including the open issues in that on-going debate. The second section offers a variety of problems ranging from the straight-forward to the more complex, permitting confirmation of understanding and practice in application.

Although the two sections build on one another, they are sufficiently independent that either can be done as a stand-alone exercise.

Policy and Patentable Subject Matter

This lesson examines the public policy objectives driving and defining United States patent law. The first section explores the nature and logic of the regime's generally accepted core purpose - providing optimum incentives to invest in useful arts innovation. The next section discusses how that goal generates the basic doctrinal requirements for patentability (novelty, nonobviousness, utility, enablement/disclosure - patentable subject matter is covered separately in lessons on Patentable Subject Matter and Non-Obviousness).

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