EECS 410: Patent Fundamentals

InstructorProfessor Mohammed N. Islam

The goal of this course is to enable the students to do the following:

(A) Be able to read and understand a patent
(B) Be able to write the lead claim capturing the invention
(C) Be able to draft a patent specification
(D) Understand what happens after a patent issues

This course covers the fundaments of patents as intellectual property and is geared for undergraduate and graduate students whether in Engineering or any other field. Note that since students will be working in groups, it is not necessary that every student have a “ready-to-patent” idea. In addition, the course will cover the new America Invents Act – the first major overhaul of the U.S. patent system in 60 years.

At the end of the course the students should be able to write a draft patent application for their invention, including the claims, which are the most important part of a patent. The best claims are those that fully cover the key aspects of the invention without impinging on prior art.

Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) 
Class notes (all made available through cTools)


  • What is a patent? Which inventions are patentable? Access, Secrecy, and Foreign Filing (MPEP 100)
  • Inventorship, Priority, Cross-noting (MPEP 200); Ownership and Assignments (MPEP 300)
  • IP Overview (trademarks, copyright, trade secrets, patents)
  • American Invention Act, Evolution patent law over the past 30 years
  • Prior Art; the New
  • Representative of Inventor or Owner, Ethics (MPEP 400); Receipt and Handling of Mail and Papers (MPEP 500)
  • Prior Art Searching
  • Parts, Form, and Content of Application
  • Final Rejections and Interviews (MPEP 700); Abandonment & Revival and Swearing Back (MPEP 700)
  • Restriction and Double Patenting (MPEP 800); Appeal & Issue, PTA (MPEP 1200, 1300)
  • Correction of Patents, Design & Plant Patents (MPEP 1400-1600)
  • PCT (MPEP 1800), Citation of Prior Art (MPEP 2200), Maintenance Fees (2500)
  • Patentability (MPEP 2100), Patent Terms (2100)
  • Claim Drafting Concepts, Jargon, Rules & Methodology
  • Anatomy of a Patent Law Suit
  • Licensing, Ethics
  • Amendment & Response Methodology