In our modern technologically-based economy, the creation and enforcement of patent rights can make or break a business. With record numbers of patents being issued every year, the stakes for inventors (and, indeed, their lawyers) continue to rise, even as the patent law and its administration faces growing criticism. This course begins with an examination of the fundamental justifications for and creation of U.S. patent rights as well as the relationship between patent law and other “intellectual property” concepts. We will then delve into the details of the U.S. requirements for patentability, and explore the scope of patent rights, again considering how the policies expressed reflect the justifications for patent rights. Then we will look at an actual patent document and analyze the different pieces of an issued patent with a special focus on the importance of patent claims. Finally, we will explore strategies for dealing with patent infringement.