Curriculum & Requirements

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a 24-credit curriculum of required and elective coursework in order to complete their degree. At least 12 of the credits must be related to patent law.

Flexible Schedule

Students may enroll in the LL.M. in Patent Law Program on a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students complete the degree in one year. The part-time program puts students on track to receive their degree in as little as two years. However, students may elect to take up to three years to complete the degree requirements.

Career-Enhancing Portfolio

Graduates of this program create a portfolio of practice-based work, including: drafting a patent application, drafting a licensing agreement, presenting a patent strategy and presenting opportunities for innovation.

Fall Semester Courses

  • LAW 6224 Patents, 3 credits: Students receive 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 6231 Patent Prosecution Practice I, 2 credits: Students learn about 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 6250 Patent Portfolio Management, 2 credits: Students learn how to view patents through the various lenses of business value, marketability, technical feasibility and competitive advantage. Students will learn best practices for patent portfolio management, strategy and analysis.
  • LAW 6925 Patent Law Proseminar, 1 credit: Students are introduced to topics and issues in the areas of patent and intellectual property law presented by patent and intellectual property law professionals.
  • Electives: See below.

Spring Semester Courses

  • LAW 6232 Patent Prosecution II, 3 credits: Students are introduced to advanced patent prosecution concepts including international patent practice issues, business method patents, biotechnology patents, software patents, reexamination, reissue, patent validity and enforcement issues.
  • LAW 6707 Intellectual Property Transactions, 2 credits: Students will examine 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 6490 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 6926 Intellectual Property and Technology Proseminar, 1 credit: Students are introduced to topics and issues in the areas of patent and intellectual property law presented by patent and intellectual property law professionals.
  • Electives: See below.

Patent Bar Review Course

LL.M. in Patent Law students are automatically enrolled in a live patent bar review course by a leading course provider. The course provides students with study and test-taking strategies in preparation for the patent bar exam. This course is included in tuition and is offered following the conclusion of spring semester.


Students may choose from a wide array of legal and technical elective courses, subject to approval of their advisor. Options include:

LL.M. in Patent Law Degree Requirements

In order to receive the LL.M. in Patent Law degree, a student must satisfactorily complete a total of 24 credits of required and elective courses.

At least 12 credits of the completed coursework must be related to patent law.


Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-5000

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