This consise, up-to-date survey of U.S. patent law uses examples, many from actual cases, to explain the various aspects of the patent system, including issues of patent validity, infringement, the application process, and litigation. Although many large multi-volume patent treatises are already available, this book will serve as a useful overview or starting point for further research. Patent claim interpretation, equivalence, prior art, and the extension of patent protection to non-traditional subject matter such as computer software are covered in detail. Appendixes contain sample U.S. patents. This guide is suitable as an introduction to the field for non-attorneys, including engineers or business persons with patent-related concerns. Attorneys can also use it as an introduction, a quick reference, or a case-finder. All discussions of the law are supported by citations to authority, including recent decisions by the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. While this study provides a serious and comprehensive analysis of the law, it is presented in the simplest and clearest terms possible.