Innovation, Law and Technology Course Descriptions

Global Professional Master of Laws in Innovation, Law and Technology

CORE COURSES

The Law of New Technologies and Artificial Intelligence - Prof. Ben Alarie, Prof. Albert Yoon, Prof. Anthony Niblett 

The aim of the course is to explore how exponential technological change and innovation will affect law and society in a variety of contexts — including medicine, law, education, finance, transportation, communication, the arts, and government — throughout the world in the coming decades. 

Intellectual Property and Strategy -  Alex Stack

This course provides a survey of intellectual property, a class of legally-created assets that are of increasing importance to businesses world-wide. Students will be introduced to the core forms of intellectual property and will learn about their importance for business and for governments. The course will explore how intellectual property laws can be either considered an asset or a hindrance for companies, especially those operating in the technology sector. Students will be exposed to the multitude of legal arrangements that govern intellectual property assets and how each of these options has profound implications for many strategic business decisions of which founders, makers, and executives in all industries need be aware.

Privacy and Data Governance - Prof. Lisa Austin 

Privacy Law exists at the interface of several areas of law and, like so many other fields, is impacted by emerging technologies.  This course will introduce participants to the evolving field of privacy law, including the roots of privacy law and its fundamental principles, its evolution into the 20th century, the legal framework for privacy protection, and cases and policy debates surrounding the challenges associated with new technologies.  

Course materials and discussions will explore the field from the perspectives of various stakeholders, including consumers, businesses and regulators.  Topics explored will include, but not be limited to: privacy and identity, privacy standards, cross-border issues, data collection, data governance, consumer privacy, cloud computing, social networking, online behavioural advertising, and more. Privacy has become a major issue for Internet users, technology companies, online businesses, researchers, and policy-makers around the world, as more and more personal information is collected, aggregated, shared, and used across a wide variety of contexts.  It is therefore impossible to explore and understand the legal implications of innovation and technology without addressing privacy. 

Cybersecurity and Data Protection in a Global Information Economy 

This course will provide students with exposure to the key legal and policy issues related to cybersecurity. It will discuss the obligations of both the government and the private sector with respect to protecting computer systems and networks, the national security and cross-border aspects of cybersecurity, and more. Participants will be introduced to the legislative and technological landscape in this dynamic area and provided with the opportunity to discuss cutting-edge issues at the intersection of law, technology, and policy.  Students will engage with the issues through a discussion of legislation, regulation and case law.  

The Legal Challenges of Digital Environments - Andrea L. Burke, Elisa K. Kearney, Zain Rizvi, Geoffrey Rawle, Gillian R. Stacey and Sarah Weingarten 

This course surveys whether and how traditional areas of the law govern interactions that are now taking place in a digital environment. Does the traditional doctrine of contract law apply to online shopping? Are consumer protection laws accounting for the conflicts that arise in e-commerce?  What are the employment laws that govern digitally networked environments, nationally or transnationally? Do traditional health and safety regulations apply to providers of goods and services in the sharing economy? Should they? Through a series of examples, this course will provide students with the opportunity to explore the potential for and limit of extending traditional legal solutions to the interactions that take place in a digital environment. 

ELECTIVE COURSES

Cryptocurrencies, Cryptoventures and the Future of Exchange - Addison Cameron-Huff and Anthony Di Iorio 

The manner in which property is exchanged is, like so many things, ripe for disruption as a result of technology.  Current methods can be expensive, inefficient, not secure, and require some degree of familiarity between the exchanging parties.  This course will explore new peer-to-peer methods of exchanging and identifying ownership that will fundamentally alter current practices (while being faster, cheaper, and more secure).  The course will canvass the obvious disrupters in this space, including blockchain and bitcoin but, more fundamentally, will consider the potential for disruptive technology to fundamentally change the way business is conducted in the future, including in finance, law, health, supply chain management, the food industry and more.  

Design Thinking - Chris Ferguson

Design thinking provides people with the tools to approach the problems they face and environments in which they work with a creative, innovation focussed lens, allowing for the discovery of unforeseen opportunities and solutions.  This course will provide students with an overview of design thinking, the opportunity to work through the design thinking process and equip them with several tools to help them understand design thinking as a problem solving approach.  The inclusion of a design thinking course is a very intentional curricular choice that recognizes the programmatic focus of the GPLLM in Innovation, Law and Technology on innovation and entrepreneurship.  

Financing Technological Innovation 

Investment in technological innovation is extremely risky and used to be reserved for organizations with significant resources, such as large corporations or the government. However, new technologies are allowing for small companies and individual entrepreneurs to venture into the field of technological innovation. Financing structures designed to address the needs and also to tackle the risks of funding independent (and often unknown) innovators has followed suit. For instance, venture capital and angel investment has become an increasingly important segment of the financial system, and the economy at large.  This course will provide students with an understanding of how these novel financing structures (from venture capital and private equity funds to angel investors) address the shortcomings of traditional finance in attending to the needs of these new entrepreneurial ventures.  The course will consider the legal principles applicable to a series of interesting, complex, current entrepreneurial transactions addressing the multiple interests at stake, which include the institutional investors’ point of view as well as the strategic considerations of entrepreneurs and the impact of financing on entrepreneurial organizations.  

This course will introduce participants to novel financing structures, exploring the ways they deviate from traditional financing for corporations. It will expose students to the challenges faced by different types of independent and small entrepreneurs in seeking funding for their ventures; expose participants to the terminology and institutional background of these new and growing industry; and discuss the trade-offs that arise in the context of such deals and relate these trade-offs to the strategic decisions made by entrepreneurs and investors. 

Launching Technology Ventures 

This course is intended to provide participants who intend to join start-ups, launch their own companies, or work in established firms that launch technology products with exposure to the challenges of bringing a new product to market successfully, including those faced by founders, makers, and others.  Special attention will be paid to the life-cycle of a new venture (from ideation to prototyping, business plan development, investor presentation, and beyond) and the challenges commonly faced along the way.  Students will be given the tools to understand, predict, and analyze industry trends with a view to ascertaining market fit.  

This course is intended to provide those who have an interest in technology ventures with an understanding of the process and challenges associated with launching a new venture.  Many people believe they have an idea for the next best app, but very few will succeed in launching a successful venture.  This course seeks to explore why.  

Legal Technology and Informatics - Prof. Dan Katz

The use of information technology in the delivery of legal services and the globalization of the legal industry is fundamentally transforming the nature and practice of law.  At the same time, buyers of legal services are becoming savvier about the time and cost efficiencies that technology can deliver.  As a result, clients expect their legal services providers to engage technology in their practices and are auditing legal providers’ IT systems and capabilities.  This course will explore how technology is currently used in legal practice and how its evolution will continue to shape the legal profession.  Students will be introduced to: the technology that currently exists and its application to legal processes; change makers who are disrupting the legal industry; and asked to grapple with the challenges and opportunities currently facing the legal system and the legal profession.