In this paper, a new approach for the development of planar metamaterial structures is developed. For this purpose, split-ring resonators (SRRs) and complementary split-ring resonators (CSRRs) coupled to planar transmission lines are investigated. The electromagnetic behavior of these elements, as well as their coupling to the host transmission line, are studied, and analytical equivalent-circuit models are proposed for the isolated and coupled SRRs/CSRRs. From these models, the stopband/passband characteristics of the analyzed SRR/CSRR loaded transmission lines are derived. It is shown that, in the long wavelength limit, these stopbands/passbands can be interpreted as due to the presence of negative/positive values for the effective /spl epsiv/ and /spl mu/ of the line. The proposed analysis is of interest in the design of compact microwave devices based on the metamaterial concept.