Patent ailments are in some respects like physical ailments: a. Some patent problems are like cancer. If they're diagnosed properly in early stages, quite often the cure is not all that difficult. b. Other patent problems are like heart attacks--arriving suddenly and without warning. But a healthy patent program can reduce the risks. c. Year after year the same physical ailments, heart attack, cancer, etc. are the big killers. Likewise, we see the same sort of patent ailments as being the same major problems year after year. This paper takes you through a series of questions to diagnose your latent patent ailments. It also places you in one of three "risk" categories and then gives a short "patent fitness test". If you end up in a high risk category with a low patent fitness rating, hopefully this will give you the motivation to adopt a healthy patent program. Before getting into the "patent checkup", this paper briefly covers some highlights on: a. the new copyright law which became effective January 1, 1978, b. the new developments in obtaining foreign patent protection, namely the European Patent and the Patent Cooperation Treaty.