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Gastprofessur von Steven Wilf, University of Connecticut School of Law

Professor Steven Wilf promovierte in Geschichte und Rechtswissenschaft an der Yale University und lehrt an unserer Partneruniversität University of Connecticut School of Law Strafrecht, Rechtsgeschichte und Urheberrecht. Im Sommersemester 2008 unterrichtete er am Fachbereich Rechtswissenschaft der Freien Universität Berlin im Rahmen einer DAAD-Gastprofessur für anglo-amerikanisches Recht die folgenden Kurse:


American Constitutional and Legal History

The task of legal history has often been seen as tracing the genealogies of contemporary legal institutions and doctrines.  This course takes a different tact.  It explores upon the ways the law has been reconfigured to meet the needs of an evolving democratic state.  We will be focusing on how the Constitution was interpreted from the founding of the American Republic until the middle of the twentieth century.  Most readings will be primary sources.  These include treatises, statutes, landmark cases, and constitutions.  Part of the purpose of this course is to read those selections from the canon of legal doctrine and case law often overlooked in subject area courses.  Part of the purpose is to examine the range of ways of thinking we might think about legal regulation.  These include the role of the state in the regulatory process and the evolving public/private distinction; the scope of regulation; the relationship between the object of regulation–such as women or African Americans–and the type of regulatory mechanism employed; and the emergence of a rational bureaucratic state.  A limited number of secondary sources will serve as the center of discussions about legal historical methodology as well as substantive material itself.  No previous knowledge of United States history or law is assumed.

The course requirements are active and thoughtful participation in class discussions.  In addition to the mandatory readings, students will have the opportunity to read materials of their choosing.  Grading will be based upon participation and the final examination.


Intellectual Property

Intellectual property law is concerned with the legal regulation of mental products.  It affects such diverse subjects as the visual and performing arts, new plant varieties, electronic databases, advertising, insulin producing bacteria, and video games.  This course seeks to mix practice-directed material with public policy concerns.  It will approach intellectual property as a regulatory system, balancing incentives to foster human creativity while at the same time seeking not to unduly restrict its diffusion.  Since intellectual property is such a dynamic, rapidly changing area of law, many of the cases and statutes discussed are of quite recent vintage.  In order for the course material not to become obsolete within just a few years, the organizing focus of the course is conceptual (upon the core doctrines of intellectual property and how they are interconnected) and upon directly confronting the question of legal change itself–how are intellectual property regimes evolving?  What new judicial and legislative developments are in the works?  And how should we respond?

This course focuses on United States intellectual property law.  This is based upon common law, the statutes of fifty states, federal United States statutes, and international law which has been incorporated into domestic law or consulted by courts under choice of law.  We will look at some of the jurisdictional and substantive law issues created by such multiple sources of law.  In addition, I will underscore the particular aspects of United States intellectual property law by reference to UK and EU law.