In January 2020, Jonathan Masur (Chicago Law) and I decided to write a free patent law casebook, which has turned out to be a rewarding pandemic project. As James Grimmelmann has documented, there are now many inexpensive and open-access IP and technology law casebooks, but none focused on patent law. Jonathan and I plan to pilot our casebook with our own patent law courses in spring 2021, and we will release the casebook in summer 2021 for free download online and in print on an at-cost, royalty-free basis through Amazon.
For a sample of what we've been working on, you can now download Patent Law: Cases, Problems, and Materials – Chapter II.A Novelty from SSRN. And in a win for future patent law students, instructors looking for a free patent casebook will soon have more than one option—Sarah Burstein, Sarah Rajec, and Andres Sawicki also have one in development, with an excerpt available here.
To help instructors use active-learning pedagogical strategies, our casebook emphasizes problems and practical exercises that ask students to apply patent doctrine to situations from recent cases. We are also attempting to make the book as concise and conceptually clear as possible, with graphical illustrations to summarize the doctrine and manageable reading assignments focused on the details of modern patent practice and policy.
We will provide adopting instructors with corresponding PowerPoint slides and a Teacher's Manual containing suggested answers to the practice problems and discussion questions. If you are teaching patent law in 2021–22 and are interested in seeing the Teacher's Manual, providing feedback on this chapter, or receiving further updates, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.