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Copyright & Patents 101 : Home


Kelly Leu
Copyright Librarian
Janette Garcia
Head of Special Collections

Chat Schedule

Blackboard chats occur on Tuesdays at 12:00 noon.  

Chat 1: February 3

Fundamentals of intellectual property and patents

Changes in patent law with America Invents Act


Chat 2:  February 10

Patentable subject matter: what can and cannot be patented

Three criteria for patenting: new, useful, and nonobvious


Chat 3:  February 24

Patent descriptions, claims, and drawings

Patent inventorship and ownership


Chat 4:  March 10

Patent rights, infringement and enforcement

Experimental Use Exemption


March 24 in-person meeting in the Library

Registration Information

Registration for the Copyright & Patents workshop series is now open!  

Registration is open for Patent Basics which officially starts January 27, 2015.   Upon registration, a confirmation will be sent to you by email.  You will be contacted a few weeks prior to the start of the workshop.  

About Patent Basics

Overview of the Patent Basics

Patent Basics will provide participants with a general understanding of the U.S. patent system with a primary focus on utility patents. Participants who successfully complete this workshop will be able to accurately describe criteria for what may be patented, explain patent holder rights, recognize and understand specialized patent documentation, and articulate the limitations associated with using the patents of others in their own research. This knowledge is especially relevant to those with careers in science, technology, engineering, and medical fields.

This workshop is conducted completely online with one optional meeting that will take place after Spring Break in the Library. All assignments will be completed through Blackboard with readings, discussion questions, and chats. The workshop has been divided into four major sections (1-4), each of which has been subdivided into smaller subsections (1A, 1B, 1C, etc.).

Sections: Section 1 is about patent fundamentals and basics of patent law. Section 2 has more information about what may and may not be patented. Section 3 is about patent documentation, patent inventors and owners. Section 4 covers the rights that a patent protects, patent infringement and enforcement, and the educational use exemption.

Chats: We will have 4 online chats on Tuesdays from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. taking place over 8 weeks. The beginning of each chat will be used to introduce a major topic or section (Sections 1-4), and will end with an opportunity for participants to ask questions about patents, the readings, and discussion questions. You will receive points for attending and participating in the chats.  For the first chat session, participants may attend in person or remotely.  Those interested in attending in person should meet us in Library Classroom 2.  If there is enough interest we will continue to meet in this room for the remaining sessions.  Chats will be recorded and will be available for review throughout the spring semester. See schedule for more details.

Readings: Online articles and websites are listed under each section and are essential for successful completion of the workshop. Each subsection typically includes readings of approximately 10 pages each. Some may also include additional optional readings. The readings will provide the participants with information to be used when answering discussion questions.

Discussion Questions: Answering discussion questions thoroughly and carefully will allow the instructors to determine how well each participant understands the topics. We also encourage participants to respond to each other's discussion postings.

Individual patents: Each participant will choose one issued U.S. utility patent to review throughout the workshop. Participants will learn how to read a patent document, and will review that patent as they learn more about patent law.

Quizzes: Quizzes test the student’s understanding of each section's topics

Time commitment and time to complete

Spring 2015 will be the first time that Patent Basics may be completed according to the participant's time schedule. Previously the workshop was completed in 5 five weeks with many students indicating that it took four to five hours per week, including one-hour online chats. This semester each participant may determine the speed at which they complete the course, some participants may elect to finish the workshop in February, and others may take up until May 29, 2015.

Certificates of Completion

A certificate of completion is awarded upon the successful completion of the Patent Basics workshop. To successfully complete the workshop and earn a certificate, you must earn a minimum of 70 percent. Points are earned by answering questions, attending chat sessions, and completing weekly quizzes.