Welcome to intellectual property in healthcare. My name is Polk Wagner and I'll be your instructor for this overview of the way that intellectual property law and the healthcare industry interact. I want to start before we even get going at all to by defining what it is that intellectual property law is?, And put simply it's a set of related legal rules that are intended to protect the products of human ingenuity, that is intangible ideas, words, sounds, images. So let's unpack that a little bit. So intellectual property law as you might expect from the title is a set of legal rules. These are things that are built into our societal rules. Most of the time they're statutory, sometimes they're developed by courts, sometimes they're state, sometimes they're federal. We're going to talk about all of those during over the next four weeks. What they are is intended to protect things that are otherwise not easily protected, right? And as we will talk more in this course, these intangible goods, these ideas, words, sounds, images, they're very difficult to protect absent some sort of legal rules. That is it's very different than say your property that your house sits on for example, where you can build a fence or you can take other steps to protect that property. An intangible asset such as your ideas, words that you've created and written down, sounds that you have emitted, images you have created, those are not protectable absent some sort of legal rule. And that's what intellectual property law does. It is a set of rules that's intended to protect those things because they would otherwise not be especially protectable. And we'll talk about why we want to protect them and the mechanism that we use to protect them in week two, but I wanted to get us started on the definition right away. So the other thing to know is that we will use throughout this course interchangeably IP and intellectual property law. So if you see IP, that's what I mean right IP is just a shorthand easier to say most people in intellectual property law to refer to it as IP intellectual property. So as we get started here, let's talk about the objectives of this course, so I have a few things that we're going to cover over the next four weeks. The first is the What, and this is a quick survey of what intellectual property law is and in particular the forms of intellectual property law. There are several forms of intellectual property law. Each of those forms has its own unique characteristics, unique features, particular laws and principles, we're going to look at all of those. We're going to look at some in more detail, some of the major ones, but we're going to look at several more as well. In week two, we're going to move to the Why. What is it that intellectual property law does? Why does it do that? What's the theory behind it? What are the the ideas that sort of underlie the way that the law works? How do those ideas actually operate? And then in week 3 we're going to talk about alternatives to intellectual property law. One of the things that we need to realize is that IP law is just one way that we might want to create the incentives, create the marketplace infrastructure and otherwise generate the things that we want to generate, that's what intellectual property law does. And so we're going to talk in week three about some of the alternatives, many of these we actually use we may not think they're as good but we do actually use them. And then the How. So case studies on how IP works in the real world, we're going to look at several real world examples of intellectual property law being used by companies, by people in the real world, and then look at the different forms of intellectual property law, the theories underlying property law to understand how that works. The outcomes that you'll get out of this course, or at least I hope you get out of this course is it first you're going to recognize and understand the differences between the various forms of intellectual property. You're going to be able to see a kind of IP, you're going to be able to see what people talk about say for example, in newspapers and businesses about types of IP trademark or copyright or patent, you're going to understand what the difference is between those forms and how that plays out in terms of the way that they're used. You're going to be able to understand and analyze how intellectual property law works. You're going to understand the basic policy debates, the trade-offs involved in intellectual property law. Not only this sort of big policy trade-offs, but also how the trade-offs involved for a firm or an individual who's trying to decide how to use IP, what kind of IP to use and so forth. And that gets to the final outcome that you'll get out of this which is learning how to choose which IP form is the right one given a particular set of circumstances. And in fact, it might be that the right form of IP under the circumstances isn't really to use IP at all and we'll talk about that as well. So those are the outcomes that I hope you get out of this course.