Computer Law 2019 - Berkeley School of Law

Welcome to Computer Law 2019!

Please see Syllabus and First Assignment below. See you on August 28 at 8 AM in Room 130.

First Assignment

Your friend has developed a new computer program, which can pull data from the Internet and other sources, and compile and organize such data in an intuitive way for use on mobile devices. For example, you can type in “Townes van Zandt” and the program creates a brief summary biography and then downloads songs, lyrics, movie files from various sources and links them to the summary biography. Or, if you type in "Mono Lake," the program pulls photos, video and information on Mono Lake, including the recent news regarding arsenic-incorporating bacteria from outer space.

Your friend asks you: Aren’t you a law student? How should I go about commercializing this product? Any legal stuff I should be worried about? How can I make the law work in my favor?

Assignment: Please prepare a bullet point outline of 5-10 legal considerations to discuss with your friend. Remind yourself about the different types of intellectual property law regimes that exist and prepare a brief outline for each regime and how they are relevant for your friend’s business plan.

(We will go over this in class – no worries if you don’t have time to prepare).

In class we will discuss this and prepare a table comparing the various aspects and features of different IP law regimes and consider how these can be put to use to help commercialize the software program developed by your friend; specifically, list the answers to the following questions for each of the IP regimes (Copyrights, Patents, Trade Secrets, Trademarks) and add a column where you answer the same questions for Contracts:

- What is protected? (e.g., works of authorship under copyright law, namely, regarding software, 102(a), ...)

- What is not protected? (e.g., see 102(b) Copyright Act)

- Against what is the IP protected? (e.g., copying, under Copyright Act, and ...?)

- What conditions apply (e.g., registration? filings?)

- How long is protection available (i.e., term of intellectual property rights - "IPR").

- What remedies are available?