Monday, July 12, 2021

New Free Patent Casebook by Masur & Ouellette

As previously announced, I have been writing a new free patent law casebook with Prof. Jonathan Masur (Chicago Law), and we're very grateful to everyone who has provided helpful comments on the beta edition over the past year.

We are excited to be releasing the 1st edition. You can download a free PDF or purchase an at-cost color printed copy through Amazon here:

We've tried to achieve a number of goals with this project beyond simply lowering the cost of course materials:

  • The casebook is heavily problem-focused, including problems that can be used for out-of-class assignments, in-class multiple-choice polls, and small-group activities. Some problems are drawn from real cases, while others are hypotheticals constructed to isolate and explain difficult concepts.
  • A key goal was bringing conceptual clarity to the details of modern patent practice, which means that cases are very heavily edited, some topics are presented through means other than case excerpts, and we have many diagrams and notes to help explain the points that are most likely to trip students up.
  • Finally, we have worked to place patent law in its social context, including by surfacing issues of race and gender and exploring the connections between patent law and inequality among innovators and inequality in access to innovations.

For adopting instructors, we have an accompanying slide deck (including many multiple-choice questions and figures from the patents at issue in excerpted cases) and a teacher's manual with answers to practice problems and suggestions for Q&A with students about cases. We are also happy to share a Word version of the casebook.

The casebook is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. We are likely willing to authorize many derivative uses; please contact us to discuss.

If you have questions, suggestions, or interest in adopting the casebook, please let us know at and

We're delighted that patent law instructors will have multiple free course materials to choose from for the coming academic year. For those looking for free or low-cost options across different areas of IP, James Grimmelmann maintains a helpful compilation here.

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