This paper presents a novel filter design technique for the compact microstrip dual-mode filters. An equivalent circuit for the single dual-mode filter section is derived to show that a single unit behaves as a pair of coupled synchronously tuned single-mode resonators. The equivalent circuit was linked to the inverter-coupled bandpass prototype network to allow higher order filters to be realized. A complete design example (from design to realization) of a fourth-order Chebyshev bandpass filter is presented. It is shown that the dual-mode resonator may be employed to design cross-coupled filters with finite frequency zeros. Two filters are designed using optimized coupling matrix method, fabricated and tested. Experimental and simulation results are presented to validate the argument. Finally, it is shown that more compactness may be achieved with narrowband filters by employing folded resonators.