Thursday, December 15, 2011

Patent and Copyright Class Goes Online

A new course entitled “Patents and Copyright Protection” – ES 497ST (CRN 21283) has been approved and is being offered to all graduate students and undergraduate seniors and juniors in the spring 2012 semester.

The course will be a “hybrid” distance learning-based class that will be conducted primarily online via the Blackboard system. The class will meet one evening per month on a face-to-face basis.

The course is being taught by John Mutchler, a professional engineer and patent attorney who has previously taught classes at the University of Hartford. See Mutchler's bio.

Attorney Mutchler states that he “likes to introduce some humor into his class,” and for example refers to a patent granted in 1971 for a “Baby Patting Machine” (see the illustration above).

The course includes an overview of intellectual property, namely property developed from original creative thought. The course will illustrate examples of intellectual property in the form of patents, copyrights and trademarks related to many academic programs offered at the University of Hartford, including those of the College of Arts and Sciences; Barney School of Business; College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions; College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture; Hartford Art School; and The Hartt School.
The course will describe what is and is not protectable under applicable patent, copyright or trademark practice. Knowledge of the extent of such protection is essential to almost any business or profession. For example:

Patentable subject matter not only includes machines and apparatuses but also covers compositions of matter, non-naturally occurring genetic materials, ornamental designs, business methods and some plants.

Copyrightable material includes literary works, computer programs, photographs, drawings, sculptures, architectural works, musical work, audiovisual work, webcasting of sound recordings and integrated circuits.

Trademarks, on the other hand, indicate the source and advertisement of a product or service and can include words, phrases, logos, colors, or combinations thereof.

Attorney Mutchler can be contacted at or 860.632.7200 ext. 308.

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