The classes below refer to the 2014-2015 academic year.
Seminar: Law and IT – Prof. Michael Birnhack
What is the relationship between law and information technology (IT)? Does the law lag behind IT? Can the law regulate technology? This seminar will query the complex relationship between law and IT. It is a conceptual seminar, with the intention of providing students with tools to address additional IT Law topics in their individual works. We will encounter several answers to the over-arching question and a few explanatory models. We shall ask not only whether the law can regulate technology, but also how. We will examine various regulatory modalities and legislative techniques. Accordingly, each of the topics we will discuss serves as a case study for one or more strands of the above, broader theoretical themes.
During the first meetings, we will sample few topics related to IT Law, such as online speech (shielding children from harmful material; the use of technological filters, the rise of new intermediaries, e.g., search engines), ISP liability, online anonymity, and digital privacy. The remainder of the seminar will be devoted to students' presentations of their individual research.
The purpose of the seminar is to equip students with informed general perspectives about the law/information technology relationship, delve into several topics in the seminar's meetings, and then enable the students to closely study one topic, in their seminar papers. As such, the seminar is also meant to improve academic legal skills.
Workshop: Information Technology Law – Shibolet & Co. Workshop – Prof. Michael Birnhack, Dr. Assaf Yaakov
Digital networks have an almost infinite number of speech opportunities, communications, commerce and more, but also posed substantial challenges of copyright infringement, privacy violations, harm to one's reputation, terrorist activity, scams and more. What is the relationship between law and information technologies? This is the topic of the workshop. We will discuss these issues by way of critically reading several yet-unpublished works in progress on cutting edge topics, written by leading scholars in Israel and abroad, and discussions the papers with the authors.
This is an advanced seminar, and assumes prior familiarity with the general themes of law and technology (please see pre-requisites). The workshop invites experts from Israel and abroad to present their current work, from law and other relevant disciplines. Students will be required to read papers in advance, comment in writing, participate in classes, and comment in the workshop itself.
For foreign / exchange students: students in the Law & Technology track of the International LL.M program may take the course. Exchange and other foreign students should meet the prerequisite of having studied at least one course on internet law / cyber law / intellectual property / digital privacy. In case of doubt, please contact Prof. Birnhack prior to registration.
Introduction to Intellectual Property – Adv. Tony Greenman & Adv. Eran Bareket
The course will introduce the student to the theoretical basis and the legal foundations of intellectual property protection. We will examine the fundamentals of the laws of the traditional forms of intellectual property: copyright and related rights, patents, designs, trademarks and trade secrets, as well as more modern concepts, such as the right of publicity and IP in traditional knowledge. In particular, we will explore the subject matter, scope and term of protection, as well as questions of ownership and infringement. Emphasis will be placed on the balancing of IP rights with the public interest, such as the right of free speech and the free flow of information, and on the influence of advances in technology on that balance. Additionally, we will discuss the international regimes of protection and different approaches to the subject matter in various jurisdictions.
(Mandatory for International LL.M. - Technology Track students without a prior background in IP)
Business Law, Innovation and Value Creation – Prof. Erik Vermeulen
This course focuses on the life cycle of a company - from idea to fully mature company, the sources of capital available at each stage of a company's development, and the importance of collaborations and partnerships with other firms to ensure innovation, growth and value creation. The law and economics of start-up companies, partnerships and joint ventures is discussed in the first part of the course. In the context of a company's life cycle, students also examine international trends in corporate law and governance and the development of securities regulations in the second part of the course.
The course addresses the following questions facing policymakers, lawmakers and legal practitioners: What should governments do to create an ecosystem in which small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can thrive? What should governments do to stimulate private sector investments in start-up companies? What makes an ecosystem for venture capital spur innovation, collaboration and rapid growth? What is the role of lawyers in promoting innovation and economic growth? What is the role of courts in resolving conflicts in venture capital backed companies and joint ventures? How do companies succeed? Why do companies fail? What is so great about the new internet companies, such as Facebook, Twitter and Alibaba? How do corporate law and corporate governance mechanisms facilitate economic growth?
The issues will be approached by integrating conceptual, empirical and case methods. The course's main emphasis will be on bringing theory and practice together. In this course students learn to identify the objectives of a corporate client that intends to enter into a particular transaction, and how to structure and draft appropriate legal documents.
Intellectual Property and Antitrust – Prof. Michael Carrier
This course provides an overview of the intersection of the antitrust and intellectual property laws. It introduces the laws and then covers specific issues in the intersection, including (1) refusals to license, (2) standard setting, (3) standard essential patents, (4) the pharmaceutical industry – settlements and product hopping, (5) Google, (6) the smartphone patent wars, and (7) patent trolls.
Introduction to Information Law – Dr. Guy Pessach
This is an introductory course to the interface of law, technology and networked communication platforms. The course examines legal aspects of the Internet and digital technologies with emphasis on the creative industries. Topics to be discussed include: legal regulation of search engines, liability for online copyright infringement, net neutrality, digital cultural preservation, online privacy and new business models for content distribution.
International Intellectual Property Law – Dr. Amir Khuri
Unlike many fields in law, the national laws dealing with intellectual property protection are substantially affected by international agreements and conventions pertaining to the protection of IP rights. This course follows the development of these agreements namely how they were conceived and how they have evolved over time.
The course reflects on the changes that have occurred within the international IP régime namely with the advent of the World Trade Organization. It also considers the "trade-off" which leads countries to adopt that régime. The course also devotes attention to the "North-South" debate between Developed and Developing countries ("have"s & "have-not"s, respectively) and considers how this has been (and is being) resolved.
Licensing of Intellectual Property – Adv. David Mirchin
This is an advanced licensing class for students who already have a solid foundation in intellectual property law and contract law. The focus will be practical rather than theoretical, and the course will address real-world business and legal scenarios faced by technology companies.
Students will also learn about various forms of agreement related to intellectual property licenses, such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) agreements and software escrow agreements.
The Law of Innovation – Prof. Pierre-Emmanuel Moyse
Innovation is the driving force behind most recent legislation in intellectual property. It is a "myth" waiting to be debunked. In fact, recent studies show that instead of incentivizing innovation, rigorous intellectual property regimes hinder innovation. A large body of literature, mostly from sociology, anthropology and economics, is now focusing on knowledge mobility as an alternative to property. Some sociologists attribute the success of California's Silicon Valley to the unenforceability of non-compete covenants. This year, a class action was instituted by employees against the two giants, Apple and Google, for allegedly illicit no-poaching agreements controlling flux of hiring between the two firms.
What is the recipe of Silicon Wadi? This course is an invitation to rethink principles and objectives of modern legislations in intellectual property and explores alternative normative models, which may provide for a better environment for talents and creative employees to grow and thrive.
Pre-requisites: Basic knowledge of intellectual property would be preferable but not necessary.
Cross Border Intellectual Property Litigation – Prof. Neil Netanel
Digital communications and global intellectual property markets have brought about a dramatic increase in cross border intellectual property litigation. In such cases, for example, a foreign defendant might be sued for allegedly infringing content located on a website housed on a server in the defendant's country but accessible in the plaintiff's country or a plaintiff might petition a court to enjoin conduct in several other countries. We will examine an array of issues that arise in cross border intellectual property litigation. They include legislation jurisdiction (the extraterritorial application of a country's IP law to govern allegedly infringing conduct that takes place abroad), parallel imports and exhaustion of IP rights, adjudicative jurisdiction, forum non conveniens, choice of law, the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, and internet domain name dispute arbitration.
The Economic Analysis of Law – Prof. Robert Cooter
This class draws on chapters and topics in a recent book with a similar name: Robert Cooter and Ariel Porat, Getting Incentives Right: Improving Torts, Contracts, and Restitution (Princeton University Press, 2014). Chapters in the book will be read, along with supplementary materials. The book contains new ideas about private law based on asymmetrical information among injurers, victims, and courts. The second part of the course will focus on law and economic growth, especially intellectual property law and economic growth. This part of the class will draw heavily on Cooter's manuscript in progress, which is currently viewable online by googling "Cooter Falcon's Gyre". It explains how law and growth economics differs from law and efficiency economics.
Visual Arts and the Law – Prof. Kurt Siehr
The course "Visual Arts and the Law" introduces into public international law, private international law and national law on the matter of protection of cultural objects and the cultural heritage. Also the law of the European Union is considered. The course touches on export prohibitions, stolen property, cultural property in times of war and times of peace and Holocaust art.
Prerequisites: It may be of some advantage if students had some knowledge in public and private international law.