Course Information

Where, When:

  • Spring 2020 — Rm. 314
  • MW 2:35-3:50 p.m.

Instructor Information:

Professor Christopher Cotropia
Room: Law School Room 321
Tel: 804-484-1574
Office Hours: By Appointment

Course Objectives:

To gain a better understanding of intellectual property law fundamentals and demonstrate and apply that understanding through quizzes, practice assignments, and a final exam.


  • Lydia Pallas Loren & Joseph Scott Miller, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW: CASES & MATERIALS (Ver. 6.0, 2019) (available here — (hereinafter “L&M”)
  • Lydia Pallas Loren & Joseph Scott Miller, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW: CASES & MATERIALS — Remedies Supplement (Ver. 5.0, 2017) (available here) (hereinafter “L&M Remedies”)


The basic components of the grading plan are as follows:

Final Exam (40% of final grade):

The grading for this class will be based in part on a final, open book and open note exam.

Class Participation (20% of final grade):

All students receive a class participation score. I am looking for consistently insightful participation, not merely rapid observation of the obvious. The best sort of in-class comment is one that goes beyond mere recitation of the assigned material and adds a different perspective or insight to the discussion.  Class participation starts with coming to class and being ready to engage in the material being discussed.

Quizzes (20% of final grade):

There will be based on six (6) quizzes administered in class throughout the semester.  These quizzes will be used to encourage, reinforce, and evaluate your mastery of the material just covered.

The quizzes will be short (no more than five (5) questions and taking no more than twenty (20) minutes)).  And the quizzes will be administered via Blackboard and made available  after the material tested on the quiz has been covered.  For example, the quiz regarding the trade secret material covered in classes 1-4 will be distributed via Blackboard after class 4 on Thurs., January 23, 2020 and must be completed before the beginning of class 5 on Tues., January 28, 2020.  The day of these must be completed by is noted on the syllabus so you can schedule accordingly.

“Practice” Assignments (20% of final grade):

There will be based on the four (4) “practice” assignments (“PAs”) assigned throughout the semester.  These PAs will be graded on a five (5) point scale.  Note the following guidelines and rules:

  • Timing

PAs are due no later than 2:30 p.m. before the class session in which we will discuss the results of the PA. For example, if the Syllabus indicates that the “Outline a Trade Secret Policy” PA is assigned Tues., January 28, 2020 and will be discussed on Thurs., January 30, 2020, your PA is due by 2:30 p.m., January 30.

PAs turned in late will be graded as a zero (0).

  • Turning In PAs

To turn in a PA, you must email the PA (copy and paste into an email message or attach as a document to the email) to me ( with the following subject: IP FundamentalsPA for [Your Name]. (Please be sure to use the correct subject line or your message might get tangled up in my spam filters and be considered “late.”)

  • Word Length

The word limit for each PA is 1500 words. PAs over the word limit will be given a zero (o) grade. There is no minimum length.

  • Scoring

Each PA is read and assigned a grade between 0-5 (with 5 being an outstanding score).  The PA should stay true to the format indicated for each assignment. They should also be well organized and well written. Factors considered in grading include:
– legal and factual correctness of the PA
– reasoning and logic of the PA
– clarity and coherence of the PA