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Health Law Society


Bioethics and Public Health Law 

This course explores the intersection of law and ethics in the fields of medicine and public health. The primary focus is patient control of medical decision-making, particularly as it relates to life-sustaining treatment, organ donation, reproductive choices, and public health regulation. A central theme is the conflict between patients’ interests and interests of others and/or societal interests. The course also addresses legal and policy issues regarding access to care and the rationing of limited medical resources.


Health Care Law

This is a survey course on health law, and includes the analysis of legal issues related to the delivery and financing of health care services. It will explore the roles and responsibilities of health care providers, both individual and institutional, as well as the regulatory and public and private financing mechanisms affecting access to care for individuals and the community.


Health Law and Policy Seminar

This seminar is designed to explore selected topics in the history, evolution and regulation of some components of our current “health care delivery system”. Seminar sessions will focus on discussion and analysis of common readings throughout the semester. Requirements include a short paper mid-term and a final paper.


Medical Technology Law

This course will explore the influence of law on the development, diffusion, and financing of medical technology. A major focus of the course will be the process through which the Food and Drug Administration regulates the development of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The course will also examine products liability doctrines affecting manufacturing, design, and labeling. Additionally, the course will address the impacts of insurance systems and intellectual property regimes on access and innovation.


Patent Law and Policy

This course covers the main aspects of U.S. patent law.  It explores the policy arguments for and against using patents as a mechanism for inducing technological innovation.  Students will learn the basics of patent drafting and claim construction. The course will cover the central patentability criteria, including subject matter, novelty, nonobviousness, and adequate disclosure; infringement; and remedies.  Other important topics will include the relationship between patent and antitrust law, and the role of the two major institutions responsible for administering the patent system, the Patent and Trademark Office and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Evaluation will be by scheduled exam.


Reproduction and the Law Seminar

This seminar examines how laws regulating reproduction impact constitutional and human rights. It explores reproductive regulation from domestic, international, and comparative perspectives. The course will begin with an analysis of the traditions and historical practices associated with the regulation of reproduction. We will examine all the major U.S. cases concerning contraception and abortion. The U.S. abortion decisions will be compared to major decisions on abortion in a number of other countries. The course also examines other significant topics in reproduction and the law, including assisted reproductive technology and maternal/fetal conflicts. The course will conclude with an analysis of foreign and international laws impacting reproduction, including population control laws.


Administrative Law

Administrative law is the law relating to administrative agencies. It includes constitutional law (especially separation of powers and procedural due process), Federal statutory law (especially the Administrative Procedure Act), and state statutory law (for example, Oregon’s Administrative Procedure Act). Study of administrative law focuses on the activities of government agencies, from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Social Security Administration, from the Federal Trade Commission to the National Labor Relations Board. The validity of their actions depends on compliance with administrative law. Thus, lawyers for agencies, regulated industries, and public interest groups are vitally concerned with administrative law. Much of their practice both as litigants and advisors involves administrative law. Thirteen states, including Oregon, test Administrative Law on their bar exams. This course uses a problem orientation to stress practical application of administrative law.


Medical Malpractice Law and Practice Seminar

This seminar on medical malpractice will cover both basic issues of law, and practical issues related to the preparation and trial of such cases.

Legal issues include: issues of agency  (doctor/hospital/independent practice organizations); admissibility of medical peer review findings; physician/patient privilege; hypothetical questions; res ipsa loquitur; practical lessons regarding expert qualifications; the law of informed consent; the law concerning physician/patient relationships; pleading requirements; statutes of limitations and statutes of ultimate repose; wrongful death due to medical malpractice; and vicarious liability.

These issues will be presented through applicable case law, both national in scope and based upon cases from the Oregon State trial and appellate courts. Guest speakers from both the plaintiff and defense bar will occasionally visit the class to offer insights into the actual practice of this litigation specialty.


Technology, Transfer and Licensing

Typically offered every other year

Intellectual property licensing is becoming pervasive in business. Businesses regularly license technology from third parties and sometimes license their own intellectual property. In this course, we will examine the issues associated with intellectual property licensing. In addition to examining general trademark, patent and copyright licenses, we will study specialized licensing arrangements, including industry-sponsored standard-setting organizations, technology transfer arrangements (used by universities and private research institutions)and licensing issues relevant to the biotech industry. In addition to examining select statutes and case law, we will review and discuss numerous licensing agreements with an emphasis on developing practical drafting and negotiation skills needed for licensing attorneys. Students will participate in a mock negotiation of a license agreement. It is strongly recommended that students complete the Intellectual Property Survey course or have an extensive working familiarity with intellectual property law before taking this class. There will be no final exam. Students will be graded on a written report and class participation.


Intellectual Property Survey 

NOTE: Students are not permitted to enroll in the Intellectual Property Survey if they have already taken: (a) two or more of the following three courses: Copyright Law, Patent Law & Policy, Trademark Law; or (b) one of those three courses and will be concurrently enrolled in one or more of the three courses in the same semester as the Intellectual Property Survey.

Taught by Professor Loren

This course surveys the main areas of intellectual property law, including state trade secrecy and unfair competition law, and federal patent, copyright, trademark law. It introduces each subject and explores commonalities and differences among different systems of intellectual property protection. A central theme is the challenges to traditional legal paradigms posed by new technologies and the shift to an information-based economy. The course is intended for all students who seek a basic understanding of the laws applicable to key assets of most businesses, as well as for students interested in becoming intellectual property specialists. Each unit of the course includes a required hands-on exercise to reinforce the doctrine covered during class.

Each student enrolled in Professor Loren’s class may select to have their grade based on either: (1) a series of four memo assignments completed throughout the semester along with a one-hour multiple choice exam at the end of the semester (limited to 15 students), or (2) a standard three-hour exam at the end of the semester. Student election of the grading method must be made at the end of the first week of class.  If more than 15 students elect to complete the memo assignments, a lottery will be held to determine which students will have their grades determined by the memo assignments and multiple choice exam. Students completing the memoranda will be required to attend three separate sessions focused on writing craft throughout the semester and will be eligible to satisfy the WIE writing requirement. Class participation may also be considered in grading for the course.

Taught by Professor Laakmann

This course surveys the main areas of intellectual property law, including state trade secrecy and unfair competition law, and federal patent, copyright, trademark law.  It introduces each subject and explores commonalities and differences among different systems of intellectual property protection.  A central theme is the challenges to traditional legal paradigms posed by new technologies and the shift to an information-based economy.  The course is intended for all students who seek a basic understanding of the laws applicable to key assets of most businesses, as well as for students interested in becoming intellectual property specialists. 

Evaluation will be by scheduled exam.