This summer I participated in Stanford Law School's summer program on understanding U.S. intellectual property law. This certificate-granting course is primarily targeted at international (non-U.S.) intellectual property lawyers, as an overview of U.S. IP law. In fact, among the 40 or so students from around the world, I was the only non-attorney, and one of two Americans, to participate in the week-long program at Stanford's campus.
As a survey course, a broad range of information is covered including utility patents, copyrights, trademarks, design patents, and data-driven litigation. In addition, classes on trade secrets, and on the venture capital process, provided valuable and interesting information from the tech business perspective. The majority of instructors were very good, although I would highly recommend that participants first review a self-paced primer on U.S. IP law, such as the the Michelson Institute videos that I have previously reviewed. This pre-work will make concepts and term much clearer, especially for those who are not native English speakers - but really for everyone.
What I found more valuable than the class time were the field trips we took to meet with in-house IP teams at Google and Twitter. Twitter requested that we sign a non-disclosure agreement, while Google was more open (even letting us wander around a bit of the campus). The Google presentation included representative from key IP areas (copyright, patent, and trademark) and included a useful Q&A session.
One delight from the week occurred during Lixian Hantover's class on design patents. In going through examples of design patents, D753,683 came up on the screen. Coincidentally, I'm a co-inventor on that patent for a graphical user interface on an oven display - resulting in the photo above. Additionally, wandering around Stanford's beautiful campus was a nice experience, I particularly recommend the cactus garden.
Last, but not least, I'd like to than my employer, EY, for generously funding my participation in the program.