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CS 202: Law for Computer Science Professionals

Businesses are built on ideas. Today's successful companies are those that most effectively generate, protect, and exploit new and valuable business ideas. Over the past 40 years, intellectual capital has emerged as the leading assets class. Ocean Tomo® estimates that over 80% of the market value of S&P 500 corporations now stems from intangible assets, which consist largely of intellectual property (IP) assets (e.g., the company and product names, logos and designs; patentable inventions; proprietary software and databases, and other proprietary product, manufacturing and marketing information). It is therefore vital for entrepreneurs and other business professionals to have a basic understanding of IP and how it is procured, protected, and exploited. This course provides an overview of the many and varied IP issues that students will confront during their careers. It is intended to be both informative and fun. Classes will cover the basics of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade s more »
Businesses are built on ideas. Today's successful companies are those that most effectively generate, protect, and exploit new and valuable business ideas. Over the past 40 years, intellectual capital has emerged as the leading assets class. Ocean Tomo® estimates that over 80% of the market value of S&P 500 corporations now stems from intangible assets, which consist largely of intellectual property (IP) assets (e.g., the company and product names, logos and designs; patentable inventions; proprietary software and databases, and other proprietary product, manufacturing and marketing information). It is therefore vital for entrepreneurs and other business professionals to have a basic understanding of IP and how it is procured, protected, and exploited. This course provides an overview of the many and varied IP issues that students will confront during their careers. It is intended to be both informative and fun. Classes will cover the basics of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law. Current issues in these areas will be covered, including patent protection for software and business methods, copyrightability of computer programs and APIs, issues relating to artificial intelligence, and the evolving protection for trademarks and trade secrets. Emerging issues concerning the federal Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA) and hacking will be covered, as will employment issues, including employee proprietary information and invention assignment agreements, work made for hire agreements, confidentiality agreements, non-compete agreements and other potential post-employment restrictions. Recent notable lawsuits will be discussed, including Apple v. Samsung (patents), Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank (software and business method patents), Oracle v. Google (software/APIs), Waymo v. Uber (civil and criminal trade secret theft), and hiQ v. LinkedIn (CFAA). IP law evolves constantly and new headline cases that arise during the term are added to the class discussion. Guest lectures typically include experts on open source software; legal and practical issues confronted by business founders; and, consulting and testifying as an expert in IP litigation. Although many of the issues discussed will involve technology disputes, the course also covers IP issues relating to art, music, photography, and literature. Classes are presented in an open discussion format and they are designed to be enjoyed by students of all backgrounds and areas of expertise.
Terms: Aut | Units: 1
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