LAWS90105 US Patent Law

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2017:

May, Parkville - Taught on campus.Show/hide details
Pre-teaching Period Start 17-Apr-2017
Teaching Period 15-May-2017 to 19-May-2017
Assessment Period End 03-Jul-2017
Last date to Self-Enrol 31-Mar-2017
Census Date 15-May-2017
Last date to Withdraw without fail 09-Jun-2017

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Timetable can be viewed here.
For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 29-33 hours
Total Time Commitment:

136-150 hours

The 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.


Melbourne Law Masters Students: None

JD Students: Successful completion of the below subject:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Corequisites: None
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.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
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.



Professor Randall R Rader, Coordinator

Email: law-masters@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 8344 6190
Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

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).
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.

Take-home examination (5,000 - 6,000 words) (100%) (30 June - 3 July 2017)

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Prescribed Texts:

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

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information: law.unimelb.edu.au
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Juris Doctor
Master of Commercial Law
Master of Intellectual Property Law
Master of Laws
Master of Public and International Law

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