Professor Carter-Johnson focuses her interests on intellectual property law and policy. She combines her scientific and legal training to investigate issues at the intersection of biological research and the law.
Carter-Johnson was a visiting faculty fellow at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, from 2008 until she joined Michigan State University College of Law in fall 2010. Prior to that, she practiced law in Seattle, Washington, specializing in intellectual property licensing and representation of biotechnology companies.
Professor Carter-Johnson graduated with highest honors from Union University with a B.S. in mathematics and biology. She then received her law degree with honors from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an articles editor and symposium coordinator of the Michigan Law Review. She earned her Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Virginia, where her research concentrated on immune system development.
A member of the Washington State Bar, she is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Carter-Johnson's publications include "The Shifting Landscape of Patent Licensing," BioPharm International (2007); "Lack of the Trosine Phosphatase SHP-1 Causes an Enrichment of CD4+CD25+ Regulatory T Cells," The Journal of Immunology (2005); "Cutting Edge: Dependence of TCR Antagonism on Src Homology 2 Domain-containing Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Activity," The Journal of Immunology (2003); and "The Tyrosine Phosphatase SHP-1 Influences Thymocyte Development by Setting TCR Signaling Thresholds," International Immunology (1999).
J.D. 2006, cum laude, University of Michigan Law School; Ph.D. 2003, University of Virginia; B.S. 1996, summa cum laude, Union University
- Biotechnology Law Seminar
This seminar will examine some of the many ways that biotechnology impacts the law as well as the ways that the law has impacted the growth of biotechnology. Current biotechnology innovations or controversies will be used to explore the impacts of this technology on a selection of legal topics which may include intellectual property, business, federal regulations, property, criminal law, indigenous law, evidence, bioethics and international law. No science background is required for the course.
- Patent Law
(Formerly DCL 564) This course provides a general introduction to patent law, introducing students to the basic legal rules and policies that constitute this important field of intellectual property law. Subjects covered include claim interpretation and patentable subject matter. Students will then spend the majority of the course studying the specific requirements for a valid patent, including the utility, written description, enablement, novelty, and non-obviousness requirements. Patent litigation topics such as infringement, defenses and damages will be covered as time permits. The course will focus on the new America Invents Act (AIA) but will also incorporate older rules as many currently existing patents will be analyzed under pre-AIA standards for the foreseeable future. Although patent cases often involve complicated scientific discoveries or technologies, the essential legal principles or policies rarely depend on understanding the underlying science or technology. Accordingly, students with non-technical backgrounds are encouraged to take this course, particularly given that intellectual property assets, such as patents, are increasingly important to commercial clients the world over.
(Formerly DCL 113) This is a survey course of the fundamentals of property law. Possessory interests of real and personal property including findings, bailments and adverse possession are discussed and analyzed. Topics also include future interests, concurrent ownership, lease holds, transfers of land and land use controls.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Washington