Patent Bar Exam Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Patent Bar Exam?
The Patent Bar Exam is a two-part, six-hour examination testing your knowledge of the rules and procedures of practice at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Those that pass the patent bar exam become authorized to practice in front of the USPTO - meaning that they are able to apply for patents on behalf of clients.
Do I Qualify To Take The Patent Bar Exam?
Applicants must have the necessary technical training or background to take the Patent Bar Exam. The USPTO offers several different ways in which a candidate can demonstrate fitness to take the Patent Bar Exam, but it is the candidate's burden to show that their educational background meets the necessary requirements established by the USPTO.
How do I qualify under Category A?
Category A is often the easist way to qualify for the Patent Bar Exam. Applicants that can prove qualification via Category A often receive approval to take the Patent Bar Exam in as little as two or three weeks after submitting their application. Category A requires the following:
Bachelor's Degree in a Recognized Technical Subject. An applicant will be considered to have established to the satisfaction of the OED Director that he or she possesses the necessary scientific and technical training if he or she provides an official transcript showing that a Bachelor's degree was awarded in one of the following subjects by an accredited United States college or university, or that the equivalent to a Bachelor's degree was awarded by a foreign university in one of the following subjects:
Note, however, that an exception exists if you earned your degree in Computer Science:
*Acceptable Computer Science degrees must be accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Commission (CSAC) of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB), or by the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), on or before the date the degree was awarded. Computer science degrees that are accredited may be found on the Internet (http://www.abet.org).
How do I show that I qualify under Category A?
An applicant with a Bachelor's degree in one of the above-identified subjects must submit an official original transcript from the college or university. A diploma, copy of the diploma, or copy of the transcript will not be accepted. The official original transcript will be accepted from applicants. The college or university transcript must be official/original and include the university stamp or seal.
Category B Qualification for the Patent Bar Exam
If you do not qualify for the Patent Bar Exam under Category A, you may qualify under Category B.
Bachelor's Degree in Another Subject. An applicant with a Bachelor's degree in a subject other than one of those listed in Category A, must establish to the satisfaction of the OED Director that he or she possesses scientific and technical training equivalent to that received at an accredited U.S. college or university for a Bachelor's degree in one of the subjects listed in Category A. To establish such equivalence to the satisfaction of the OED Director, an applicant can satisfy one of the following four options, other training, or other education listed below. The applicant must submit the necessary documentation and objective evidence showing satisfaction of one of the options or other means of qualifying.
Option 1 - 24 semester hours in physics. Only physics courses for physics majors will be accepted.
Option 2 -
32 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following:
8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics, and 24 semester hours in biology, botany, microbiology, or molecular biology.
The 8 semester hours in chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics must be obtained in two sequential courses, each course including a lab. Only courses for science or engineering majors will be accepted.
Option 3 - 30 semester hours in chemistry. Only chemistry courses for chemistry majors will be accepted.
Option 4 - 40 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following:
8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics, and 32 semester hours of chemistry, physics, biology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology, or engineering. (For Computer Science, see other acceptable course work.)
The 8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics must be obtained in two sequential courses, each course including a lab. Only courses for science or engineering majors will be accepted.
All acceptable coursework for Options 2 and 4 must be for science or engineering majors.
Can I Qualify for the Patent Bar Exam Under Category C?
Those failing to qualify under Category A or B can attempt to qualify for the Patent Bar Exam under Category C:
Practical Engineering or Scientific Experience. An applicant relying on practical engineering or scientific experience or who does not qualify under Category A or B above may establish the required technical training by demonstrating that he or she has taken and passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test. The FE test is a test of engineering fundamentals The FE test is developed and administered by a State Board of Engineering Examiners in each State or comparable jurisdiction. Neither the USPTO nor any other U.S. Government agency administers the test. Applicants desiring to take the FE test should direct inquiries to the Secretaries of the appropriate State Boards. Official results of the FE test must be submitted to establish qualification under this category. Applicants attempting to qualify under Category C must submit an official original transcript showing the award of a Bachelors degree.
Where can I find more information about applying for the Patent Bar Exam?
Complete details and instructions can be found in the USPTO General Requirements Bulletin.
What is the Difference Between a Registered Patent Attorney and a Patent Agent?
A registered patent attorney is typically someone that has earned a law degree from an accredited law school in the United States, passed a state bar examination, and has passed the patent bar exam. A patent agent, however, has not earned a law degree but has successfully passed the patent bar exam.
Can I Take the Patent Bar Exam Before Law School?
Absolutely. If you pass, you will be known as a patent agent. Upon graduating from law school and passing a state bar examination, you can apply to the USPTO to have your status changed from Agent to Attorney. Currently, the fee to make this change is $100 and you will keep your original registration number.
Will Passing the Patent Bar Exam Before Law School Help Me to Get a Job?
It cannot hurt. For law school students, having passed the patent bar exam before applying for summer associate positions can give you a "leg up" on the competition.
Why Does This Patent Bar Exam Course Cost Less Than Other Courses?
Simply put, we think that your preparation for the patent bar exam should not cost you an arm and a leg. With law schools increasing tuition year-after-year, many students are in debt upon leaving law school. The last expense you should need to worry about is the cost of studying for an exam that is necessary for you to begin your career helping others to obtain patents.
Can I Use Only the Bullseye Patent Bar Exam Course To Prepare?
Certainly. We have provided all the tools you need to study the exact materials on which you will be tested. We have eliminated the extra "fluff" that other courses provide as you will not be tested on those materials, so there is no reason to spend your time studying it. Many of our customers have used only these materials to pass the patent bar exam on the first try. Others have used this course to compliment their existing patent bar exam materials. Either way, you will find a succinct outline of the material on the test, helpful past questions organized by topic, and recent test questions that are repeated on the existing exam. We are confident that these tools are all you need to pass the patent bar exam -- at a fraction of the price of other review material providers.
How Long Should I Study for the Patent Bar Exam?
Depending on your experience level, you should plan on between two and four months to study for the exam. Our course provides an easy-to-follow study guide calendar based on a 12- or 16-week study schedule. If you feel comfortable with the material, you can easily accelerate this time period.
When Should I Apply to Take the Patent Bar Exam?
Typically, from the time you send your application, it takes between two and four weeks to get approval from the USPTO. Once approved, you have 90 days from the date of your approval letter to take the exam at a Prometric Testing Center. You should schedule your exam promptly, as the most desirable days fill up quickly. Apply to take the exam either just before or shortly after you begin to study with the Bullseye Patent Bar Exam Course.
Can You Describe the Patent Bar Exam?
The patent bar exam is 100 multiple-choice questions. You must score at least 70% to pass. Note, however, that 10 of the 100 questions are experimental and are not scored. Thus, of the remaining 90 questions that are scored, you must answer at least 63 correct in order to pass. The exam is divided into two three-hour sections of 50 questions each. You will do the first section in the morning, have one hour to eat lunch, and then finish the second section in the afternoon.
Who is Prometric?
Prometric is a testing company that administers many different types of tests for professionals. Upon receiving approval from the USPTO to take the test, you must contact Prometric with your unique ID number and schedule your patent bar exam.
What are the Prometric Testing Centers like?
Each testing center is unique, having different qualities of computers and environments. If you are worried about the testing environment at a particular center, you can attempt to call Prometric or stop by a testing center to view the testing environment.
What can I take with me to the Prometric Testing Center?
You are not allowed to take anything with you into the testing center. Typically, you will be given a locker where you can place your valuables during the test.
Will I have any scratch paper?
Yes. The Prometric Center will give you a booklet of scratch paper and pencils to use during the exam. Our course information gives you specific tips on how to best utilize your scratch paper during the exam. You will not be allowed to take this scratch paper with you after the exam is complete.
What version of the MPEP is being tested?
As of April, 2011, MPEP 8th Ed. Rev. 8 will be used for testing with the Patent Bar Exam. All Bullseye Patent Bar Exam Prep Course materials are up-to-date for this version of the MPEP.
When will I find out if I passed the patent bar exam?
Typically, you will receive the results of your exam immediately after the close of the afternoon session.
Are the results of the patent bar exam made public?
The only public results are a list of individuals that have passed the exam. If you fail the exam, those results are not made public.
Notification of all persons passing the Patent Bar Exam appear here. Results are updated on a weekly basis.
If I fail, can I review my test?
Within 60 days of the date of your letter notifying you that you did not pass the Patent Bar Exam, you may schedule an appointment to review your test and the answers by calling OED at 571-272-4097. You cannot take the test or answers with you, nor may you copy the test or answers.
Is there an example of the Patent Bar Exam software?
Yes, you can access the computer-based example of the patent bar exam by clicking here.
If I fail, can I take the exam again?
An unsuccessful applicant, after receiving written notice of failing the examination, may reapply to again take the examination. Such an applicant may reapply for admission to the examination upon receiving notice of failure from OED, but must wait 30 days after the date of the last examination before retaking the examination. There is no limit on how many times you can take the exam.
After I order, when will I receive my materials?
Typically, you will have a link in your PayPal email inbox within minutes after purchasing. Our automated system allows you two accesses or 48 hours (whichever occurs first) to retrieve your materials. You should be able to begin your patent bar exam studies very quickly after purchasing the Bullseye Patent Bar Exam course.