PatentX is a networked course on patent law created by Professors William Fisher and Ruth Okediji. It is hosted jointly by Harvard Law School, the Berkman Klein Center on Internet and Society, and the HarvardX Distance-Learning Initiative.

Several universities and other educational institutions plan to offer PatentX courses. Each course will be taught by an expert in the field. (A few of the first generation of PatentX teachers appear in the following screenshot of one of our early seminars.)

The timing and pedagogies of these courses will vary, but they will share the following features:

  • Reliance on a set of recorded lectures, designed to summarize the principal aspects of patent law and policy;
  • An associated set of seminars, in which small groups of students, under the guidance of expert teachers, use case studies to explore and assess the patent system;
  • An asynchronous online forum, accessible only to students and alumni of PatentX and a parallel course on copyright, dedicated to discussion of recent developments in intellectual-property law throughout the world.

The syllabi that have been created to date — and suggestions concerning the construction of new ones — are available here.

Inquiries concerning participation in the PatentX system should be directed to