The Law School’s Innovation curriculum consists of two intertwined areas of legal study— intellectual property, and antitrust and competition policy. Each of these areas has a rich curriculum in its own right, but what has distinguished NYU Law's approach to the study of innovation is an appreciation of the interaction between the two. Intellectual property looks directly at the incentives that the law can give to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,” as the U.S. Constitution says. Antitrust looks to those laws that structure and control marketplace competition, creating incentives to innovate while at the same time controlling monopolies and restrictive trade practices.
Intellectual property. The intellectual property curriculum begins with introductory courses in each of three major areas—patents, copyrights, and trademarks—or with a survey course on intellectual property law that provides an overview of the key aspects and theories of all three areas. Students can then select from a rich menu of advanced courses. In patent law, for example, students can study patent litigation issues with one of the country’s premier patent litigators or learn about international patent law from Professor Rochelle Dreyfuss, one of the drafters of the American Law Institute’s Project on Intellectual Property: Principles Governing Jurisdiction, Choice of Law, and Judgments in Transnational Disputes. In the copyright area, in addition to an advanced copyrights course, students can study art law, First Amendment rights of expression, entertainment law, media law, and privacy on the Internet. Trademark issues are further explored in the Advanced Trademarks seminar.
Antitrust and competition policy. The antitrust and competition policy curriculum begins with the introductory course in U.S. antitrust law. Students can then select from a diverse group of advanced courses that focus on four different areas related to competition policy. The first area is economics, and includes Professor Daniel Rubinfeld’s antitrust law and economics course and his course in quantitative methods. The second area examines the regulated side of the economy, including courses such as Professor Harry First’s Antitrust and Regulatory Alternatives. The third area is international, which includes Professor Eleanor Fox’s courses in European competition law and comparative competition law. The fourth area is practice-oriented, featuring courses such as Antitrust Issues in the Distribution of Goods and Services, taught by a leading antitrust specialist.
The Colloquium on Innovation Policy. For more than a decade, the capstone of the study of innovation at NYU has been the Colloquium on Innovation Policy. Co-taught each spring semester by two of NYU’s Innovation faculty members, the colloquium provides students with an opportunity to explore in depth the current work of scholars who examine innovation policy from various disciplines, including law, economics, history, psychology, sociology, and English. The colloquium draws guests from the New York area's innovation policy community—academics from other institutions, intellectual property and antitrust practitioners, and businesspeople. Our students are the heart of the colloquium, however, critiquing the papers that the outside speakers present, and preparing and presenting research papers of their own.