Curriculum & Requirements
The Masters of Science in Patent Law is a graduate level program where students will obtain a master’s degree. Students must complete a curriculum of required and elective coursework totaling 30 credits to complete the master's degree
Enrollment for students in the program can either be full-time or part-time, but both options require the completion of a minimum of 30 credits. Full-time students will earn their degree in 1 academic year and will complete the 30 credit requirements within that year. Part-time students typically earn their degrees in as little as two years, but can also extend the part-time degree to three years to complete the credit requirements.
Graduates of this program will create a portfolio of practice based work. During your time in the program, you will draft a patent application and licensing agreement. You will also get to present a patent strategy and present new opportunities for innovation in the classroom. The knowledge that you gain from this program will set you apart from others, as you have the technical knowledge and background to file detailed patent applications.
During orientation, students take an Introduction to the American Legal System (LAW 5001, 2 credits) course to learn the structure of the American legal system and the case study approach to American Law. They will also begin the MSPL Legal Research and Writing (LAW 5002, 1 credit) course to learn and build legal communication skills.
- LAW 5224 Patents, 3 credits: An overview of patent law, including requirements for patentable subject matter; standards of novelty, utility and non-obviousness; statutory bars; conception, priority, enablement and written description requirements; direct and vicarious infringement; and claims interpretation
- LAW 5231 Patent Prosecution Practice I, 2 credits: Patent application preparation and prosecution, including types of patent applications, inventor interviews, analysis of prior art, preparation of patent specifications, claim drafting, inventorship and ownership determinations, amendment practice and argument practice
- LAW 5250 Patent Portfolio Management, 2 credits: View patents through the various lenses of business value, marketability, technical feasibility and competitive advantage; best practices for patent portfolio management, strategy and analysis.
- LAW 5002 Masters of Science in Patent Law Legal Research and Writing, 1 credit: Communicate about the law, learning the building blocks of legal communication through multiple practice exercises.
- LAW 5243 Patent Research and Writing, 2 credits: Research and communicate about patents through the use of free, commercial, and patent office research tools.
- LAW 5026 Intellectual Property and Technology Proseminar, 1 credit: Topics and issues in the areas of patent and intellectual property law presented by patent and intellectual property law professionals
- Electives: See below.
- LAW 5232 Patent Prosecution II, 3 credits: Advanced patent prosecution concepts including international patent practice issues, business method patents, biotechnology patents, software patents, reexamination, reissue, patent validity and enforcement issues
- LAW 5707 Intellectual Property Transactions, 2 credits: Management and monetization of intellectual assets such as brands, copyrighted materials, technology, and know-how; the class will cover a series of discrete topics, including intellectual property licensing, portfolio management, new media issues, intersection of IP and employment issues, transactions in cyberspace.
- LAW 5290 Patent Law Capstone: Innovation, 3 credits: Students select a technology of interest with the cooperation of their advisor. Using their knowledge of innovation, patent law, patent prosecution, patent research and strategy they identify, articulate and present opportunities for innovation in their chosen technology.
- LAW 5075 Ethics for Patent Agents, 1 credit: Ethical issues, duties, and responsibilities that can arise in the field of patent law particularly in the areas of inventorship, ownership, confidentiality, client conflict, statutory bar issues, attorney-client privilege and the blurred lines between patent prosecution and the practice of law
- LAW 5025 Patent Law Proseminar, 1 credit: Topics and issues in the areas of patent and intellectual property law presented by patent and intellectual property law professionals
- Electives: See Electives below.
Included with tuition, all students will be automatically enrolled in a patent bar review course taught by a leading course provider. The course will be taught both on site and online. The course starts after the spring semester is finished and provides students with student and test taking strategies to prepare for the patent bar exam.
Students may choose from a wide array of legal and technical elective courses, subject to approval of their advisor. Please see the Law School Course Guide for recent Masters of Science in Patent Law course offerings. Technical electives from one of the University's science or engineering colleges at the 5XXX-level are also considered with approval from the program director.