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Master of Science in Patent Law Program


The intersection of science, technology and patent law offers numerous career opportunities. The University of Minnesota Law School's Master of Science in Patent Law Program addresses these opportunities with a one-year professional master's degree program for scientists and engineers interested in pursuing a career in the field of patent law.

A Curriculum Focused on Successful Careers

Four building blocks form the foundation of the Master of Science in Patent Law Program. Students who complete this master's degree will possess the essential professional skills and knowledge to lead innovation in whichever area of patent law they pursue:

  • Patent Prosecution
    In the patent world, the process of drafting and filing patent applications with the United States Patent & Trademark Office is commonly referred to as "patent prosecution." Students will learn how to perform a patent search, conduct an inventor interview, draft a patent application and perform the additional activities involved in procuring patent protection. This component of the program prepares students for a career in patent prosecution either at a law firm or at a corporation.
  • Innovation
    Many great innovators—from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs—were also quite patent savvy. Students will learn how patents fit into the innovation process and how to use them to identify insights and opportunities for innovation. Companies continue to reward and value scientists and engineers who are able to come up with patentable ideas. This component of the program introduces students to a unique patent-based approach to innovation that prepares students for a successful career in research and development.
  • Value Extraction
    Patents are the currency of innovation. Students will learn the various ways in which patents can be used to build and create value, including licensing, litigation, technology transfer, joint ventures, venture capital and mergers and acquisitions. This component of the program prepares students for a career on the business side of patent law in such areas as business development, licensing and venture capital.
  • Portfolio Management
    A successful product is the result of hundreds of ideas, some patentable and some not. Students will learn the process of idea management, including how to facilitate a patent review board; how to evaluate an idea for technical feasibility; how to determine competitive value, market value and business value; how to perform a patent portfolio analysis, and; how to create a patent strategy that aligns with business goals and objectives. This component prepares students for a career in the field of patent portfolio management.

Program Director
Chris Frank

Please send inquiries to patlaw@umn.edu.

Apply now!

New substantial scholarship pool available.

Application fees waived for those who apply by June 30, 2015.

Click here for instructions and an application form.