Course Descriptions

Professor Ben Templin

Global intellectual property law is one of the core issues for international business attorneys. This course studies the international systems for establishing trademark, copyright and patent rights. Within that context, the course will consider the roles of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) as well as the various multilateral and bilateral agreements that exist, including but not limited to the TRIPS Agreement. The patchwork of intersecting treaties that relate to intellectual property rights has led to an increase in litigation in recent years over international patents, trademarks and copyrights. This course examines recent cases with an emphasis on preparing students for the practice of law. Students do not need a background in technology or intellectual property to take this course

Professor Claire Wright

This course will review the 21 WTO Agreements and major WTO cases decided to date, using China as a case study and focus for the class. China has been accused by the U.S. and other countries of committing a number of WTO violations. Furthermore, the U.S. maintains an enormous trade deficit with China, thousands of U.S. companies have outsourced their production jobs to China, and intellectual property protection concerns continue to be a major point of contention between the U.S. and China. In addition, since joining the WTO in 2001, China has played a very significant role in the organization. Its huge market renders it an important player in the international economy in any case, but China at this point is also considered to be the unofficial leader of the developing country status in the WTO. As the majority of WTO members are developing countries, China is in a very powerful position to influence the future of the WTO. For all of these reasons, China makes an excellent case study for WTO issues. It is hoped that the class will be able to visit some manufacturing facilities in China as well as meet with U.S. consultants working in China and Chinese government officials involved in trade issues.

Professor Maurice Dyson

This course serves as both an introduction to European tort law and as a comparative inquiry into especially thorny areas of U.S. tort law. First, we will gain a basic understanding of the nature of the tort law systems in three European countries (France, Germany, and England), focusing especially on standards for intent,  negligence, strict liability,  and liability for defective products. Then, we will examine more deeply, and from a comparative perspective, how these three European legal systems have sought to resolve a number of specific issues that remain especially contentious in U.S. tort law. Examples of the types of specific questions covered in the course include: whether liability should attach for not providing assistance in emergency situations (the “no duty to rescue” rule); the extent of the privilege of self-defense (the “no duty to retreat” rule); liability  for stand-alone emotional distress; liability for wrongful conception (birth); liability for children; and liability for the mentally incapacitated.

Professors Yongxin Song, Hongdao Qian, Leslie Kuan-Hsi Wang, and Jun Zhao

This is an introduction to the Chinese legal system taught within the framework of the thirty-six year economic reform that has brought dramatic change to the Chinese economy and to the lives of the Chinese people. Students will learn about recent legal reforms in intellectual property legislation and in several other areas of the law. This course is team-taught in English by four distinguished Chinese professors of law from Zhejiang University Guanghua School of Law. No prerequisites are needed for this course.