Fundamentals of Patent Drafting

Subject LAWS70387 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 14-Jan-2015
Teaching Period 11-Feb-2015 to 24-Apr-2015
Assessment Period End 03-Jul-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 19-Jan-2015
Census Date 20-Feb-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

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.


Successful completion of Patent Law or an equivalent subject

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 the Disability Liaison Unit:


Prof Andrew F. Christie


For more information:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

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 for 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 Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys for Topic Group G: Drafting patent specifications. The lecturers for this subject include two senior 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.
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 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.
  • Take-home examination (25%) (24-27 April)
  • 4-hour supervised examination (75%) (3 July)
Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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