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US Patent Law (LAWS90105)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2017
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeLAWS90105
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject provides an in-depth overview of the fundamental principles of US patent law and practice. It is taught by a distinguished former US judge and practitioner who has had extensive practical experience in patent litigation in that country. It will be a subject of immediate interest and benefit to patent attorneys and lawyers who deal regularly with US-based clients.

Principal topics include:

  • Patent eligibility, with particular emphasis on biotech and software patents
  • Utility
  • Anticipation and novelty (both before and under the America Invents Act)
  • Non-obviousness, including secondary considerations and specific issues concerning chemical and biotech patents
  • The specification and objective disclosure doctrines, claims and indefiniteness
  • Prosecution, inventorship, inequitable conduct and post-grant procedures
  • Infringement (literal infringement, doctrine of equivalents and indirect infringement)
  • Equitable defences and remedies (injunctions, damages).

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the legal principles of US patent law and practice within the context of work, including recent developments in this field of law and practice
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal rules
  • Be an informed observer of debates within the US regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field, including international and trade issues affecting US law and policy making
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving congressional revision of the legal framework
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to US patent law and practice
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding US patent law and practice to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences, including practitioners and clients working in non-US jurisdictions
  • Be able to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner in non-US jurisdictions to providing advice to clients on issues arising in relation to US patent law that affect clients in those jurisdictions.

Last updated: 11 January 2018