In order to register to practice before the USPTO, an individual must establish to the satisfaction of the Director that he or she is of good moral character and repute, possesses the legal, scientific, and technical qualifications necessary to enable him or her to render applicants for patents valuable service, and is otherwise competent to advise and assist applicants for patents in the presentation and prosecution of their applications before the office. Each applicant must also take and pass the Patent Bar Exam.
The exam requirement for patent bar may be waived in the case of any individual who has actively served for at least four years in the patent examining corps of the Office.
Requirements for Admission to the Patent Bar Examination:
* A JD is not required to sit for the Patent Bar Exam.
* There are two types of patent practitioners recognized by the Patent and Trademark Office: patent attorneys and patent agents.
* A patent attorney is any attorney who fulfills the exam and education requirements of the USPTO.
* A patent agent is anyone who is not an attorney and fulfills the exam and education requirements of the USPTO.
* If you sit for the exam prior to passing a state patent bar exam you will be a patent agent; upon passing a state bar exam, you can transfer your registration and become a patent attorney.
Content of the Patent Bar Exam
The Patent Bar Exam contains 100 questions multiple choice, each question have five possible answer choices. The Patent Bar exam takes one day and is administered in two three-hour sessions of 50 questions each, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The Patent Bar exam assesses the applicants’ knowledge of patent law, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rules, practice, and procedure, and claim drafting. The Patent Bar exam also tests applicants’ ability to properly draft claims, analyze factual situations, and apply the patent laws and USPTO rules, practice, and procedure, and the standards of ethical and professional conduct applicable to registered patent attorneys and agents.
Applicants for Patent Bar should be familiar with the patent statutes (Title 35 United States Code), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rules of practice (parts 1 and 10 of Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations), procedure and policy set forth in the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP), and the consolidated listing of notices in the Official Gazette. To pass, applicants of patent bar must take both sessions and receive a combined score of 70% or better.
The Patent Bar Exam is offered every business day in over 460 locations throughout the United States. There is no filing deadline for submitting the application as applications are processed throughout the year.