Intellectual Property Law for Engineers Certificate Course


All engineers should be particularly concerned with patent law. This constitutionally-based discipline has to do with the process by which an invention, and its creator, are protected by the law from infringement and unfair competition. The class will deal with patent applications, research and prosecution; the law of infringement, and computer applications of software (protected by copyright) and hardware (by patents). We will also state what other concepts are patented, as well as machines, processes, mixtures, manufacturing, compositions of materials and methods of doing business and research. Not only do we deal with utility patents, but with design and plant patents as well.

Although we are mostly concerned with patent law, we also deal with copyright, trademark, trade dress, trade secrets and business methods. The engineer must be at least conversant with the other forms of intellectual property. In a relatively short time, we will give you a survey of the rights of creative and ingenious people and provide you with the information to protect yourself and your ideas in Intellectual Property matters.

Lesson 1: Introduction to Intellectual Property Law
Lesson 2: The Business of IP
Lesson 3: Utility, Design, and Plant Patents
Lesson 4: Conducting a Patent Search
Lesson 5: The Patent Application
Lesson 6: Protecting Yourself in IP Matters

OBJECTIVES: At the end of this program, the participants will be able to:

• Implement the initial necessary steps to protect their invention/idea.
• Understand and differentiate the various types of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) including Patents (utility, plant, and design), Copyrights, Trade Marks, Trade Dress and Trade Secrets.
• Explain the business value and importance of relationship between innovation, Intellectual Property and business development.
• Determine what is and is not patentable and when a patent is not the best IP protection.
• Locate and apply IP information.
• Explain the patent process and the rights which come with a patent and right to use novel and prior art.
• Determine content to include in a patent application and why.
• Contact correct IP professionals at appropriate times in IP process.
• Effectively communicate their ideas to an IP professional.
• Display a basic understanding of disclosure and confidentiality agreements including employment contracts, non-disclosure agreements and liability issues.

Participants will be expected to spend an average of 8 hours per week reading and completing writing assignments. Please note that, barring extenuating circumstances, extensions will not be granted for this online course. 70% is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course. Students may consider working ahead in the curriculum if they have the time.

Tuition: 575.00

NOTE: In order to complete the requirements for the certificate you are required to complete one session in it’s entirety. 

2014 Online Sessions


Session 1

January 13, 2014
February 28, 2014
March 10, 2014
April 25, 2014
May 05, 2014
June 20, 2014
June 30, 2014
August 15, 2014
August 25, 2014
October 10, 2014
October 20, 2014 December 5, 2014

2015 Online Sessions:

  Start End

Session 1

January 12, 2015 February 27, 2015

For Payment Options visit Center for Legal Studies
or call 1(800) 522-7737


Click to view Syllabus or to Order Books Online

Course Books

Required textbooks for the Online formats:

  • Intellectual Property Law for Engineers and Scientists, Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley - IEEE Press (2004), Rockman, Howard
  • Order Online Now

Highly Recommended Legal Resources:

  • WESTLAW legal research access, only $89. Please call 1-800-522-7737 for more information. Order online
  • Oran’s Dictionary of the Law, 4th Edition.
  • Order Online



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5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, TX 78041-1900 Work956.326.2100