The Catholic University of America

Communications Law

Advanced Issues in Copyright and Trademark Law (2 credits) — QP This seminar explores advanced topics in copyright and trademark law including, but not limited to, digital copyright law, cybersquatting,misappropriation of intellectual property, and indirect copyright infringement. The course also focuses on recent legal developments in the fields of copyright and trademark law. The purpose of this course is to explore copyright and trademark topics that are not covered or are covered only superficially in the introductory intellectual property courses. Successful completion of this course may satisfy one of the two upper-level writing requirements. Refer to Academic Rule X - Writing Requirement and Directed Research. Prerequisite: Introduction to Intellectual Property, Copyright Law, or Trademark Law.  Judge Damich

Copyright Law (3 hrs.) This course covers the nature and subject matter of copyright, including literary, artistic, and musical works, computer software, and motion pictures; how copyrights are acquired, licensed, and enforced; the fair use privilege and other limitations on the copyright owner’s rights; and principles of international protection. Ms. Fischer

Cyberlaw I:  Legal Issues Relating to Computer Networks (2 hrs.) — E This course focuses on law and policy relating to network security, privacy, cybercrime, and copyright enforcement issues arising from file sharing, circumvention software and other new digital technologies. No prerequisites and no technological or engineering knowledge is expected or required.  Ms. FischerMr. Kennedy.

Directed Research (2 hrs.) This course offers students the opportunity to conduct original, in-depth legal research and produce a quality written analysis in an area of special interest under the close supervision of a faculty member. A faculty member who agrees to serve as the student’s supervising instructor will provide guidance and feedback throughout the research and writing process. The student’s final grade will reflect the supervising instructor’s evaluation of the quality of the student’s legal research and legal analysis as well as the quality of his/her legal writing. To register, a student must submit a statement of topic, signed by the supervising instructor that describes the proposed research topic and establishes the tentative research and writing schedule. The signed statement of topic must be submitted to the Office of the Academic Dean before the end of the add-drop period for the semester. Faculty.

Intellectual Property Transactions (3 hrs.) — opt. PP This limited enrollment course is focused primarily on the analysis and drafting of documents related to transactions involving the transfer of interests in intellectual property, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and know-how. Through the process of analyzing and drafting transactional documents, students will be introduced to the relevant statutory and case law and will become familiar with substantive legal principles related to title, express and implied licenses, license transfers, and assignments of rights in intellectual property. Students may also be exposed to substantive areas of the law having significant impact on intellectual property rights, such as international law, antitrust, tax and bankruptcy. The grade will be based primarily on the final written work products produced by each student. At the discretion of the instructor, this course may include a qualifying portfolio paper. Prerequisite: Students must have taken at least one of the following: Patent Law, Copyright Law, Trademark Law, or Trademarks and Unfair Competition. Mr. Ratcliffe.

International Intellectual Property Law (2 hrs.) An overview of the international aspects of intellectual property law, focusing on the major areas of copyright, patent, and trademark law. The course will cover the development and nature of international protection under domestic law as well as under bilateral and multilateral agreements; the use of trade negotiations as a mechanism for the implementation and harmonization of rights; and enforcement problems, including issues of jurisdiction, territoriality, exhaustion of rights, and conflicts of law. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: Copyright Law or Patent Law. Ms. Chambers, Mr. Laskoski, Ms. Fischer.

Law Journal Editing (2 hrs.; pass/fail) During the first five weeks of the semester, the course focuses on topic selection, publication decisions, substantive editing, style editing, word editing, and professional working relationships. The instructor provides editing exercises and workshops and leads discussions of classic law review articles and trends in legal scholarship. For the remainder of the semester, students supervise and edit at least two student writing projects or critique or edit at least two other manuscripts submitted to the law journal. During this time the instructor conducts editing tutorials, as the need arises, and is available for student conferences. If a student has not completed the required editing assignments by the end of the first semester, work may continue into the second semester, in which case course credit will not be awarded until the end of the second semester. The journal faculty adviser, in consultation with the editor-in-chief, must certify that each student has successfully completed the required assignments.  Dr. Harmon.

Law Journal Writing, CommLaw Conspectus (2 hrs. over two semesters; pass/fail) -- This  course is open only to students who are producing a writing project for the CommLaw Conspectus  journal. These students must take this course if they choose to receive academic credit for their journal writing project. Generally, students register for one credit for each of the two semesters; the credits are not awarded until the end of the second semester. During the first three weeks of the first semester, lawyering skills faculty conduct workshops that focus on writing skills such as organization, integrating research, transitions and headings, substantive footnoting, grammar and vocabulary appropriate to the journal audience, constructive use of editor and expert-reader feedback, and re-drafting. The instructor schedules writing tutorials for students throughout the year as need dictates. Students must complete a journal portfolio that includes all drafts of the writing project, an expert-reader’s comments, the supervising editor’s comments, the editor-in-chief’s comments, and a certification that the student attended all required workshops. The journal’s faculty adviser, in conjunction with the editor-in-chief, must certify the portfolio is complete and that the student’s Writing Project is of publishable quality.  Dr. Harmon.

Legal Externship:  Becoming a Lawyer; Legal Externship: Becoming a Communications Lawyer (3 or 4 hrs.)  After consultation with the coordinator of clinical programs or faculty instructor, students select a placement at which to do uncompensated legal work under the supervision of an attorney or faculty instructor. Placements must be approved by the coordinator of clinical programs. Placements include federal, state, and local government agencies, judicial chambers, prosecutor’s and defender’s offices, law firms, corporate general counsel’s offices, public interest organizations, and labor unions. The placement is combined with a seminar focused on enhancing learning from the externship, techniques for learning from experience useful after graduation, and issues in becoming a lawyer and joining the profession. For three credits, students are required to do 120 hours of uncompensated fieldwork; for four credits, 180 hours are required. One of the credits awarded is considered an academic credit and the remaining are clinical credits. Grading is on a pass/fail basis. Legal Externship: Becoming a Lawyer is a prerequisite for Legal Externship: Supervised Fieldwork.  Ms. Harold, Mr. Tramont.

Legal Externship:  Supervised Fieldwork (2 or 3 hrs.) Students perform 120 hours of uncompensated legal work for two credits or 180 hours for three credits, under the supervision of an attorney in placements such as federal, state, and local government agencies, judicial chambers, prosecutor’s and defender’s offices, law firms, corporate general counsel’s offices, public interest organizations, and labor unions. Placements must be approved by the coordinator of clinical programs. Students must have completed Legal Externship: Becoming a Lawyer, Legal Externship: Becoming a Communications Lawyer, or Becoming a Public Policy Lawyer as a prerequisite. Supervising faculty members will specify some accompanying assignments designed to enhance the externship, such as agreement on a learning agenda with the faculty and placement supervisors, journal reflections on the externship, and meetings with the faculty supervisor. Grading is on a pass/fail basis. Ms. Frost, Ms. Harold, Ms. Lerman, Mr. Ogilvy, Mr. Tramont, Ms. Tschirch.

Patent Enforcement (2 hrs.) —  PP or QP  This course is designed to teach advanced students about the intricacies of litigating a patent infringement suit from inception to trial. The course will go beyond the basic understanding of substantive patent law issues and give students a theoretical and practical understanding for resolving those issues in the context of a patent case. Throughout the semester, the students litigate a hypothetical patent case. The course is offered as a portfolio class and an understanding of basic patent law is preferred. Mr. Fuhrer, Mr. Pivnick.

Patent Law (3 hrs.) A study of inventions that are protectable under United States patent laws; the requirements for patentability, including concepts of utility, novelty, unobviousness, and adequate disclosure; the nature of acts constituting patent infringement; interpretation of patent claims and the scope of exclusive rights under a patent; and remedies for infringement. Ms. Winston.

Problems in Telecommunications Law and Policy (2 hrs.) This Communications Law Institute course, limited to institute students in their final year, will examine a series of broadcasting, domestic and international common carrier, spectrum allocation, media definition, and technology planning issues. Students will prepare for each class by reading the assigned materials and generally taking responsibility for additional research to achieve a complete understanding of the major constituencies or coalitions involved and the policy choices presented. For each issue, an appropriate number of students also will prepare a written position statement advocating one particular constituency’s legal interpretation/philosophy. These students will present this position in a panel discussion that at times may parallel a debate, moot court proceeding, FCC meeting, or international policy-making forum. After presentations by the students responsible for advocating particular positions, the entire class will have the opportunity to pose questions and additional complications. Enrollment limited to 25 students. Mr. Golant.

Regulating the Internet and New Technologies  (2 hrs.) How should the Internet be regulated, if at all?  How is it possible to develop regulatory regimes for any new technology without stifling it or scaring away investment?  This course will explore the several critical lenses necessary to struggle with these questions and ultimately arrive at a thoughtful regulatory regime.  The first is technology.  A deep appreciation for the technological underpinnings of any communication system is essential to adopting carefully tailored and relevant policies.  Getting it wrong can destroy innovation.  The second is economics.  How does regulation impact the cost of networks, methods of funding the network, and the sources of investment?  Capital moves quickly in a free market and a regulation’s viability depends on maintaining the right mix of economic incentives.  The third is social policy.  Inevitably, communications is about people and community.  The government has a long history of weaving social policy objectives into communications policy.  Fourth is politics.  The FCC is not a collective of philosopher-kings insulated from the fray of politics.  Managing the politics is critical to getting policy right, and requires an understanding of the interests and influence of stakeholders in the politics.  In this course, you will examine a number of issues related to the Internet and new technologies—including infrastructure, indecency, copyright, privacy and others—applying the four regulatory lenses. Mr. Carlisle

Telecommunications Law, Policy and Core Technologies (2 hours; 2 semesters) This Communications Law Institute survey course encompasses the historical and contemporary treatment of telecommunications, including the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Topics include the history and development of common carriers in general (carriers by water, carriers by rail); the development of communications common carriers (carriers by wire, i.e., telephone and telegraph); the emergence of common carrier regulatory theories and policies; telecommunications legislation; government intervention in the regulatory process; and the emergence of competition. A major component of the course includes the growth and composition of information processing and Telephone/telecommunications industries, their increasing interdependence, and the evolving regulatory environment regarding this phenomenon. This component will also include a study of the FCC’s computer inquiry decisions, current legislative and judicial initiatives, and their anticipated impact on the information processing and telecommunications industries. Significant emphasis is placed on emerging wireless and broadband services. Enrollment limited to 25 students. Ms. Gregg.

Trademarks and Unfair Competition (3 hrs.) This course covers the nature and subject matter of common law and statutory trademark protection, including distinctiveness, genericism, and the development of secondary meaning; the acquisition, retention, and scope of trademark rights; the registration process and its effect; infringement issues,  dilution, rights of publicity, false advertising, parody and counterfeiting. Students may not take both this course and Trademark Law.  Ms. Winston.

Courses with a writing requirement are identified by the following symbols found in the key provided below:
req. QP —    required qualifying course paper
opt. QP —    optional qualifying course paper
req. PP —    required qualifying portfolio paper
opt. PP —    optional qualifying portfolio paper
E or QP —  examination or qualifying course paper
E or PP —   examination or qualifying portfolio paper
WC      —  advanced writing course

For the complete listing of courses, visit the Courses of Instruction section of the law school Announcements catalogue.