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professor of law & co-director ip concentration
Suffolk University Law School

  • official info from the uspto
  • exam requirements
  • ip career info
  • review courses
  • archived patent bar exams

  • Patent Bar Exam Requirements
    The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) publishes strict requirements to sit for the patent bar exam. Below is a list of information related to the examination.

    • Podcast - information about the patent bar exam (6 minute MP3 audio file)
    • You do NOT have to be an attorney to take the examination.
    • However, you MUST have a science background to qualify to take the examination.
    • A non-attorney who passes the examination can become a "Registered Patent Agent."
    • An attorney who passes the examination can become a "Registered Patent Attorney."
    • What the examination tests: The examination primarily tests knowledge of the patent law and the procedures used by the USPTO. The examination questions are all based on the current version of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). The MPEP is used by patent examiners in the USPTO. The examination is a closed-book examination. However, a copy of the MPEP will be made available to applicants during the examination. Link to list of source material for the exam.
    • Type of examination: The examination consists of 100 multiple choice questions. Each question has five choices to choose from. You have a three hour block of time for the first 50 questions and a second three hour block of time for the second set of 50 questions. [Link to sample exams]
    • It is highly recommended that you take a review course prior to taking the examination (List of commercial review courses).
    • Application Adobe PDF File to sign up for taking the patent bar examination.
    • The USPTO General Requirements Bulletin (see below) explains the specific types of science backgrounds that will qualify an applicant to take the examination.
    • Where & when is the exam given: The exam can be taken at the convenience of the applicant. It is administered by a commercial testing company (PROMETRIC) which has offices located throughout the U.S. PROMETRIC requires applicants to take the exam on a computer. If you do not want the take the exam on a computer the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office offers a paper version of the exam once a year at its office in Alexandria, Virginia.
    • Adobe PDF File
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