Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Week 7: Aaron, Scott, Syed

This is the first week of student presentations. Aaron, Scott, and Syed will be speaking. The rest of you are expected to read their posts and to comment on them in class, on the blog, and directly to the speakers. I haven't asked you to do much so far for the class -- light reading, all at no cost -- but this is where I really expect everyone to be thinking about the student proposals. It doesn't matter that you don't know much about a particular area -- you all are intelligent law students and should be able to provide some reaction to any topic presented.

Your homework for Thursday is to read each of these posts. If there is any part you don't understand as way of background, you should post a comment to the blog entry asking the person about it. This will help the presenter know what other background to discuss in class to make the topic understandable. I would recommend to the presenters to be able to discuss concrete examples or cases that help to illuminate the problem you are talking about for the rest of the class. You need to be able to speak in terms understandable for people who haven't had patent law.

1. Aaron's topic: reforming the current patent standards under Festo and progeny related to prosecution history estoppel (The very simplistic nutshell version of prosecution history estoppel is that a patentee can't later argue for infringement based on substantial similarity or equivalents if, during the application process, the patentee narrowed the patent claims to deal with objections of the Patent examiner. In other words, once you shrink your patent claims before the Patent office, you can't later expand them against a defendant.) See here.

2. Scott K's topic: reforming the patent system in regard to software patents, including adopting a fair use defense and requiring the disclosure of source code as a part of the application. See here.

3. Syed's topic: whether the law should recognize a constitutional expectation of privacy in Internet communications. See here.

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