Intellectual Property Law for Engineers Online (PLGL 0111)

E-mail: lscont@gmu.edu

Phone: 703-993-2109

Fax: 703-993-2121

George Mason University in collaboration with The Center for Legal Studies offers Intellectual Property Law for Engineers Certificate Online.

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). Students will also state what other concepts are patented, as well as machines, processes, mixtures, manufacturing, compositions of materials, methods of doing business, and research. Not only do they deal with utility patents, but with design and plant patents as well.

Although engineers are mostly concerned with patent law, they will 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, students will be given a survey of the rights of creative and ingenious people and information to protect individuals and ideas in intellectual property matters.

At the end of this program, the participants will be able to:
  • Implement the initial necessary steps to protect their invention and 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
  • 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
To receive a Certificate of Completion from George Mason University, students are expected to complete the following:
  • Six quizzes
  • Two exams
  • Participation on six bulletin board assignments
Students are expected to spend an average of eight hours per week reading and completing writing assignments. 70 percent is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course. Coursework in Intellectual Property is equivalent to 45 clock hours of study.

Textbooks are not included in the course registration fee.

Required textbook for this course: Intellectual Property Law for Engineers and Scientists, Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley - IEEE Press (2004) by Howard Rockman

Click here for continuing education financial aid information.


  • © George Mason University Learning Solutions
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Facebook