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This subject teaches students the fundamental principles and basic skills of drafting patent specifications. It does so through a combination of in-class instruction sessions on a range of topics, in-class drafting exercises with review sessions, and out-of-class drafting exercises with tutorial review sessions. Students are assessed by two practical assessment tasks, undertaken individually outside the classroom. Passing the subject will satisfy the knowledge requirements specified by the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board (TTIPAB) for Topic Group G: Drafting patent specifications. The lecturers for this subject include a number of practising patent attorneys with substantial experience teaching drafting skills.
Principal topics include:
- History and nature of specifications and claims
- Approaches to claim drafting
- Interpreting claims
- Drafting basic claims
- Drafting product claims with reference to prior art
- Drafting process and method claims
- Preparing a description
- Consequences of drafting.
This course is an accredited course towards qualification as a Trans-Tasman Patent Attorney by the TTIPAB. Students participating in this course are mostly training patent attorneys who work in the intellectual property industry and have day-to-day contact with patent specifications as part of their job roles. Students who do not have such external exposure to patent specifications will find it challenging to pass this course.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the role of the components of a patent specification
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the meaning of claims in the context of a patent specification
- Be an engaged participant in debate regarding approaches to claim drafting
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of the principles and policies that underlie judicial interpretation of claims
- Be able to define claims that encompass an invention, and which provide novelty and a scintilla of invention over the prior art
- Have an advanced understanding of how to draft a patent specification
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to draft a patent specification for a simple mechanical product invention or a simple chemical/life sciences invention
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding the role of the components of a patent specification to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences, including clients
- Be able to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of patent drafting.
Last updated: 31 January 2024