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ML: Intro to Patent Law (Wagner) - online

Spring 2024   LAW 576-301  

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R. Polk Wagner

Michael A. Fitts Professor of Law

Additional Information

Skills Training
Drafting Legal Documents
Expository Writing
Other Professional Skills:

60% Exam,
40% Other (Quizzes (10%), Exercises (30%).)

Multiple Choice,
Take Home,

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets online.

Meeting Times/Location

Masters in Law


Online-Only Course - Knowledge of patent law can be a tremendous advantage for engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs, and other professionals who regularly interact with the patent system. This online course taught by Professor Polk Wagner, an expert in patent law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, takes a broad look at U.S. patent law, from the enforcement of patents to the interpretation of patent claims. In this course, students will: • Gain a better understanding of the policy principles and structure underlying the U.S. patent system; • Learn how to read and interpret patent documents, better preparing them to interact with patent lawyers and representatives; • Become familiar with the text and legal interpretation of modern patent statutes; • Analyze legal decisions similar to ones they will encounter in their professional careers; • Learn what it takes to get a valid patent for an invention or technology; • Learn how entrepreneurs can enforce patents — or avoid infringing them; • Determine damages in cases where patents are violated. The first half of the course begins with an overview of the patent system and its underlying theories, then moves on to the legal standards applied to patents. The second half of the course then delves into the enforcement of patent rights, including the interpretation of patent claims, the defenses against a patent, and the calculation of damages.

This course is a 13-week course, with weekly readings, exercises, and quizzes.

IMPORTANT: this course is asynchronous and self-paced. Students work on the course materials at their own pace. We provide a suggested schedule, but as long as you complete all materials by the end of the semester the details are up to you.

There is a TA who will be available throughout the course to help with substantive and technological issues that may arise.

Course Concentrations

Intellectual Property and Technology Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of intellectual property law; Perform legal analysis in the context of intellectual property law; Communicate effectively on topics related to intellectual property; Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnection between technology and intellectual property, and how they affect other areas of law and society.


"The Law of Patents" by Craig Allen Nard
Edition: 6th edition (2022)
Publisher: Aspen Pub
ISBN: 9781543854176