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Fundamentals of Patent Drafting (LAWS70387)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70387
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

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.

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
  • 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 method/process 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.

Eligibility and requirements


Successful completion of the below subject or an equivalent subject:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
LAWS70021 Patent Law



Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Core participation requirements

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.


Additional details

  • Take-home examination (5,000 - 6,000 words) (25%) (5pm 26 April - 9am 29 April)
  • 4-hour supervised examination (75%) (28 June, am)

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

  • February
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours24-34 hours
    Total time commitment150 hours
    Pre teaching start date16 January 2019
    Pre teaching requirementsThe pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.
    Teaching period13 February 2019 to 5 April 2019
    Last self-enrol date21 January 2019
    Census date22 February 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail 3 May 2019
    Assessment period ends29 June 2019

    February contact information

Additional delivery details

This subject has a quota of 30 students.

Enrolment is on a first come, first served basis. Waitlists are maintained for subjects that are fully subscribed.

Students should note priority of places in subjects will be given as follows:

  • To currently enrolled Graduate Diploma and Masters students with a satisfactory record in their degree
  • To other students enrolling on a single subject basis, eg Community Access Program (CAP) students, cross-institutional study and cross-faculty study.

Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Specialist materials will be made available free of charge from Melbourne Law School prior to the pre-teaching period.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    If required, please contact law-admissions@unimelb.edu.au for subject coordinator approval.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 11 September 2019