Career Center



  Scientific Evidence and Expert Testimony: Patent Litigation
Course Number: 343-0-01
Date:   Fall Quarter 2008
September 22-December 5

Time:   Mondays, 7:15-10:15 PM

Location:   TBA

Instructor(s):   Roberta Morris, has practiced and taught patent law for many years and has a Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia as well as a law degree from Harvard. She invites experienced patent litigators and professors to observe and comment on the simulations. 

Course details:  

This seminar will explore the way scientific evidence is presented in cases where the science is complicated but not itself in dispute. The major emphasis will be on patent infringement litigation. The parties' experts have two different tasks: the obvious one is to explain the science to the judge and jury, the less obvious one is to help the litigators determine which legal issues to argue at all. Thus, both the lawyer and the scientist must educate the other about their specialties.

Half the class will be law students who already know some patent law. The other half will be doctoral candidates from the sciences and engineering who have completed their required coursework.

For the first part of the term, the class will consider relevant patent law and expert testimony law. Next, the law and graduate students will work together to select patents for their final simulation projects. Working collaboratively in small teams, the students will analyze their patent's file history with an eye toward identifying issues for experts which give each side adequate room for argument. Each team will prepare a claim chart and, depending on what the file history suggests, devise a plausible design-around. Students will then be assigned a client, either patent owner or accused infringer, and will prepare demonstratives (powerpoint) and both direct and cross examination testimony for the final simulations. In the final weeks of the term, the teams will perform before panels of knowledgeable persons who may be practicing patent litigators, patent professors, or former students of the seminar.

Special Instructions: Prerequisites for law students: You must have knowledge of patent law from a course, a clerkship, or experience as a patent applicant on your own invention. Prerequisites for grad students: You must have completed your course work for your doctorate and have begun your research. You need not, however, have any knowledge of patent law.

Grading Elements: Weekly assignments and performance of all requirements for the simulations including preparatory written and speaking assignments, meaningful attendance at class and at team meetings with instructor, preparation of visual exhibits, performance of simulation, critiquing a classmate and attending all simulations of other students.

Additional information and/or registration:   For more information, please see the course description at or email Prof. Roberta Morris, .

Graduate Students are required to complete a consent form,, and return it to Prof. Morris, by Friday, August 29.

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