Curriculum & Requirements

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Patent Law is a professional master’s degree program. Students must complete a curriculum of required and elective coursework in order to complete their degree.

Flexible Schedule

Students may enroll in the Master of Science 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.

August Orientation (2 weeks)

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.

Fall Semester Courses

  • LAW 5224 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 5231 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 5250 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 5003 Writing, Analysis & Persuasion, 3 credits: Students learn to apply analytical and persuasive writing techniques to their technical presentations.
  • LAW 5025 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 5232 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 5707 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 intel 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: Students are introduced to the 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 5026 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

Included with tuition, all M.S.P.L. students will be automatically enrolled in an on-site patent bar review course by a leading course provider. This course, which will be offered following the conclusion of spring semester, will provide students with study and test-taking strategies in preparation for the patent bar exam.

Electives

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

M.S.P.L. Degree Requirements

In order to receive the Master of Science in Patent Law degree, a student must:

  • satisfactorily complete 24 credits of required program courses, including a capstone research and writing intensive course
  • satisfactorily complete 6-9 credits of advisor approved elective courses in law, business or technical courses
  • satisfactorily complete a total of 30 credits with an overall grade point average of 2.8 or better

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

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

P: 612-625-1000

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