Curriculum & 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 5002 MSPL Legal Research and Writing, 1 credit: Students learn to communicate about the law, learning the building blocks of legal communication through multiple practice exercises.
- LAW 5243 Patent Research and Writing, 2 credits: Students learn about the process of research and communicating about patents through the use of free, commercial, and patent office research tools.
- 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.
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 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: 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 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.
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.
Students may choose from a wide array of legal and technical elective courses, subject to approval of their advisor. Options include:
- LAW 5608 Trademarks, 3 credits
- LAW 5613 Copyright, 3 credits
- LAW 6609 International Intellectual Property, 3 credits
- LAW 6610 Unfair Competition, 2 credits
- LAW 6705 Information Governance, 2 credits
- LAW 6133 Data Compliance Practicum, 1 credit
- LAW 6832 Cybercrime and Cybersecurity, 2 credits
- LAW 5103 Data Privacy Law, 3 credits
- LAW 6876 Digital Evidence, 2 credits
- LAW 6714 E-Discovery, 2 credits
- LAW 5076 Essentials of Business, 3 credits
- LAW 6622 International Business Operations, 3 credits
- LAW 6225 Winning Patent Litigation, 2 credits
- LAW 6241 Patent Remedies, 1 credit
- LAW 6853 Law, Biomedicine & Bioethics, 3 credits
- LAW 6037 Emerging Sciences & Technology, 3 credits
- LAW 6949 Biotechnology & Patent Law, 2 credits
- LAW 6402 Food and Drug Law, 3 credits
- LAW 6605 Health Law, 3 credits
- LAW 5062 Energy Law, 3 credits
- LAW 6709 Current Agriculture-Environment Issues, 2 credits
- LAW 5908 Independent Research and Writing, 1-2 credits
- LAW 5909 Independent Field Placement, 1-3 credits
- Technical electives from one of the University’s science or engineering colleges