Important Updates to the USPTO Patent Bar Exam

The USPTO has released notification that the Registration Examination will be updated on or about October 2, 2012 to include the America Invents Act provisions that go into effect on September 16, 2012:

Examination for Registration to Practice in Patent Cases to be Updated to Include New Provisions from the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

The United States Patent and Trademark Office will update the content of the registration examination on or about October 2, 2012.  The updated examination will include provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) that take effect September 16, 2012.  For further information concerning AIA, please refer to the AIA Implementation web page at http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/index.jsp.  Candidates for the registration examination should monitor the OED website at http://www.uspto.gov/ip/boards/oed/ for further information concerning the upcoming update.

At this time, the USPTO has not yet released information on changes to the source material for the examination.  The source material is the material from which questions are derived, and these materials serve as the basis for the examination.  The following is a list of the AIA provisions that go into effect on September 16, 2012:

PRG is monitoring the updates to the examination and will provide further information as soon as the source materials for the updated examination are released.  The USPTO has not provided a date for the release of the new source material information.  PRG will provide guidance and updated materials, as necessary, for 12-months from video purchase or live course attendance

We do not advise that you postpone or delay your exam preparation.  You should continue your preparation and PRG will alert you to the necessary adjustments to your study plan.  As always, we still recommend that you plan on taking the examination within 3 to 5 months from beginning your preparation.  This will help to minimize the impact of any future exam changes. 

You can follow Patent Resources Group through a variety of social media sites, including TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Wordpress. Stay updated on the latest intellectual property news, courses, and educational resources.

PRG’s Summer and Fall Lineup Has the Patent Training You Need!

No matter where you are in your patent career, PRG’s Summer and Fall 2012 calendar of events can meet your professional needs for the highest quality patent education. Read on to see the full summer and fall line-up for PRG Summer and Fall courses, workshops, and Patent Bar Review dates!

For Experienced Patent Practitioners

Our Summer and Fall Advanced Courses Conferences are the perfect fit for seasoned attorneys and agents who need training that goes beyond the basics.

 For Entry-Level Patent Practitioners

Attorneys or agents with up to two years of patent drafting and prosecution experience will benefit from PRG’s Winning Patents Workshop.  You’ll learn a prudent approach for preparing and prosecuting applications that will maximize the value of patents you obtain for your clients.  Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the pros who know how to win at the Federal Circuit!

We’re offering two Workshop sessions:

For Bar Review Candidates

If you want to pass the USPTO registration exam, our industry-leading Bar Review Course will ensure you get the preparation you need for a successful experience.  Purchase our online video course, take one of our classroom courses, or both.

We still have 3 more classroom courses this year:

For Patent Support Professionals

Patent paralegals, secretaries, and administrators need the appropriate training to provide the high quality support that their law firms and companies require.  PRG’s Patent Administration — A Foundation for Success is a thorough 2.5 day certificate course designed to provide both a firm understanding of the fundamentals of patent law and practical tips and advice for working with the USPTO.

This course is being offered twice this year:

We look forward to seeing you at our Summer and Fall 2012 patent training events.  Register today to reserve your spot!

You can follow Patent Resources Group through a variety of social media sites, including TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Wordpress.  Stay updated on the latest intellectual property news, courses, and educational resources.

5 Sources for Patent Law News

Patent law professionals need to stay up-to-date on the quickly changing landscape of the intellectual property law field, but where can you get a concise daily summary of the biggest events about patent and IP law? Patent law blogs will certainly report on some of the patent-related news and important current issues, but these blogs usually focus on a single aspect of patent law, such as analysis of US patent cases or biotech/pharma patent cases.  Patent law professionals will need a more well-rounded source of daily IP law news, either in the form of a news feed for intellectual property law articles or a daily summary of major IP news events.  Here is a list of five reliable sources for quickly locating a broad range of current IP and patent-related news articles:

  1. Bloomberg/Businessweek - Both websites post an identical daily summary of major intellectual property news.  Since the Intellectual Property sections for the Bloomberg and Businessweek websites are a few days behind on listing the most recent articles, it is often easier to simply search Google for “Bloomberg intellectual property” to find the latest daily summary.
  2. PriorSmart Patent and IP News - The PriorSmart patent search site offers a daily patent and IP news feed that includes USPTO weekly statistics, new patent litigation, recent patent-related tweets, and recent patent/IP blog posts.  Users can also view an archive of news listings for past days, dating back to August 2009.
  3. PatentPal Toolbar - This toolbar was created by a patent attorney and offers a wide range of useful research tools for patent law professionals, including a drop-down menu of RSS feeds for popular patent law blogs and the latest USPTO news and announcements.  The toolbar also offers a constantly updated feed of patent-related job announcements, organized by both geographical region and professional field.
  4. IPInsiders Toolbar - This toolbar, created for patent searchers, contains multiple drop-down menus linking to intellectual property office news feeds (mostly EPO and WIPO), the latest tweets from IP-related Twitter accounts, updates from popular IP and patent law blogs, and updates from tech news sources.
  5. Patent Resources Group on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn - The PRG Facebook and Twitter accounts both post unique IP and patent law-related news stories on a daily basis, covering both US and international intellectual property news.  The PRG LinkedIn group posts discussion topics twice a week on current intellectual property law issues.  Also follow these accounts to stay up-to-date on the latest PRG patent law courses and patent bar review courses available across the US. 

You can follow Patent Resources Group through a variety of social media sites, including TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Wordpress.  Stay updated on the latest intellectual property news, courses, and educational resources.

Advice from PRG Director Brad Buehler: “Help - My Exam Date is 2 Weeks Away and I’m Not Ready!!”

Life definitely has a habit of getting away from us and no matter your plans and goals, sometimes things do go astray.  So what do you do if you are coming down to exam day and just haven’t been able to invest the time to properly prepare?  While I would never suggest waiting until the last minute, I know it does happen.  Here are some tips for your final weeks of cramming:

1. Take a full 100 question simulated exam ASAP!  This will allow you to get a feel for the exam and your timing.  Are you able to complete each 50-question section in the allotted 3 hours?  How comfortable are you with the material?  How did you score?  ExamWare™ will allow you to analyze your simulated exam results by topic, so you can see the topic distribution of the questions and your performance in each topic area.  

2. Based on your results from the simulated exam, focus your studying on the sections where you performed the worst.  In the ExamWare™ study mode, answer questions from those sections until you are feeling more and more comfortable.  Remember to look up the answer to every question in the MPEP or the other Exam Source Documents before answering the question so that you increase your familiarity with the MPEP.  

3. While the exam will cover all topics of patent practice, some topics may be covered in greater depth than others.  If you need to focus on certain areas - Chapters 700 and 2100 of the MPEP are good chapters to become familiar with so you can save time when you need to look up answers to questions on the exam.  However, you need to be aware that each person’s exam experience is different, and you can’t rely on the exam experience of a friend or a colleague.  All topics are fair game and the best preparation is to be familiar with every topic.  

4. Breathe deeply, relax and do your best.  Adding additional stress on top of simply learning the material won’t help.  Focus on committing as much time as you can, remain calm on exam day, read each question completely and answer to the best of your ability.  

This is an exam for which I recommend at least 120 hours of preparation, so it is not an easy test to cram for in the last couple of weeks.  The best advice is to schedule out your test preparation over a 3 month period and stick to that plan.  Good luck!

You can follow Patent Resources Group through a variety of social media sites, including TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Wordpress.  Stay updated on the latest intellectual property news, courses, and educational resources.

Special Offer: Take the PRG Patent Bar Review, and PRG Will Pay your $100 USPTO Patent Attorney/Agent Registration Fee!

After you take our Bar Review Course in 2012 and pass the USPTO bar exam, you will owe the USPTO a $100 patent attorney/agent registration fee. PRG wants to help you celebrate this great accomplishment by paying your registration fee for you! To be eligible for this offer, you must meet the following conditions:

If you have questions about this special offer, you can send them to registrar@patentresources.com or call 703-682-4860.  You can also learn about other special offers from PRG by visiting the PRG website!


You can follow Patent Resources Group through a variety of social media sites, including TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Wordpress.  Stay updated on the latest intellectual property news, courses, and educational resources.

Living abroad while studying for and scheduling the USPTO Examination

Question: I am a US citizen living overseas, and I am currently working for an overseas law firm training as a US patent agent. Taking the patent bar will require me to physically fly to the US to take the exam after taking a prep course. In such a case, what are your suggestions as to studying for the USPTO bar exam while working full time abroad?

Response from PRG Director Brad Buehler: Living abroad while preparing for the USPTO Registration Examination will add another wrinkle to a challenging test.  However, with proper planning, you will be able to minimize the impact of having to factor travel arrangements for the examination into your schedule.  Here are some tips on how to effectively manage your schedule:

1. Confirm your eligibility to sit for the examination.  While US Citizens are permitted to sit for the examination regardless of country of residence, non-US citizens must meet certain eligibility requirements.  These requirements can be found in Section E (Page 8) of the General Requirements Bulletin. 

2. Keep an eye on your application.  International mailing will increase the amount of time it takes to receive information and a suggestion would be to utilize a US-address of a friend or relative to receive the communication.  At any rate, you should check with the USPTO about the status of your application after four weeks.  This ensures that any communication from the USPTO doesn’t get lost in the mail.  Since the 90-day clock starts ticking when your application approval is mailed, you don’t want get surprised by a late-arriving acceptance letter leaving you with a short time to schedule your test. 

3. Once you are accepted to sit for the exam, make your travel arrangements, examination site selection and exam registration.  Plan to arrive a few days before your exam date so that you can recover from jet-lag and have a buffer for any travel delays that may impact your arrival. 

4. In terms of studying, the fact that you may be in another country does not affect how you should prepare.  Our home-study course is web-based and is available anywhere you have an internet connection.  If you learn best with live instruction, an effective method is to use the home-study materials and take the live course 1-2 weeks before your actual test date.

Living abroad shouldn’t affect your ability to study, but it will require extra travel planning.  Having a structured plan for both study and travel arrangements will set you up for success on the exam.  

Do you have any questions about the Patent Bar Exam?  Ask “Passing the Bar with PRG”, and receive an expert response! 

You can follow Patent Resources Group through a variety of social media sites, including TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Wordpress.  Stay updated on the latest intellectual property news, courses, and educational resources.

The Trials of Officially Becoming a Patent Agent

Not long after taking the Exam, when I was given the preliminary result of a passing grade, I received confirmation in the mail from the USPTO affirming that I had indeed passed the Patent Bar.  I also received a notice that I was going to be listed in the USPTO gazette (here) as a potential patent agent candidate who had officially passed the Registration Examination.  Anyone who had any interest in my status as a patent agent was invited to provide feedback to the USPTO concerning my character, particularly if someone had a reason to think I would not act ethically with the vast powers granted to a patent agent. 

I didn’t get a single ethics question on the Exam itself, so this was the only ethical hurdle I faced.  Fortunately, my past isn’t filled with a rogue’s gallery of super-criminals who are itching to inconvenience me whenever possible, so, as far as I know, my character wasn’t an impediment in the eyes of the patent office.  Nobody came forward to besmirch my good name, so the USPTO invited me to pay another, final, fee of $100 before I could be registered. 

A few weeks after paying the registration fee, I received additional notice that, at last, I was officially a registered patent agent and would soon be getting an official certificate confirming my status.  I didn’t accept my status as official until I received the certificate.  You can imagine my disappointment then, when I opened the certificate to find that the patent agent of registration number 69239 was: Christoper Casson. You may not have noticed the typo there, but they forgot the “h” in Christopher.  So my official certificate has a typo (which you can see in the above link is not there), and I need to get in touch with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline to see if I can get a corrected certificate (along with a certificate of correction, maybe?). 

In true patent agent form, I have been procrastinating on contacting OED, for really no good reason other than being generally busy.  Fortunately, OED has an online system where I can access my contact information and hopefully contact someone to get a corrected certificate.  I say “hopefully” because, in true USPTO fashion, I received the notification of the existence of OEDonline with my temporary password on it, but  have yet to receive the separate communication including my user ID, so I can’t yet access the system.  

You can follow Patent Resources Group through a variety of social media sites, including TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Wordpress.  Stay updated on the latest intellectual property news, courses, and educational resources.

10 Blogs for Patent Law Professionals to Follow

"Passing the Patent Bar with PRG" aims to help aspiring patent professionals locate useful courses, resources, and advice that will guide them during the study and registration process for the Patent Bar Exam.  “Passing the Patent Bar with PRG” isn’t the only blog out there written by and for patent law professionals, though. An entire network of patent law blogs exist, and this network can provide useful news, analysis, and networking opportunities for new professionals in the intellectual property law field.  Here is a quick list of 10 excellent blogs for patent professionals:

1. Patent Resources Group Newsroom - The PRG Newsroom blog brings you the latest news on courses and workshops offered across the US and through online Video on Demand courses by Patent Resources Group (PRG), the nation’s leading patent education firm. 

2. The Intellogist Blog - Learn about patent and non-patent literature search resources and techniques. 

3. The 271 Patent Blog - Patent law news and case analysis from a US patent attorney.

4. Patent Docs - Biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent law analysis and news.

5. Written Description - Reviews of recent academic and professional papers about patent and intellectual property law.

6. PatentBuff - Detailed case analysis from an intellectual property lawyer from Australia/New Zealand.

7. IPKat - News and analysis on copyright, patent, and trademark cases and issues, often from a European perspective. 

8. The Patent Prospector - Detailed case analysis and patent law news.

9. Patent Baristas - Discussion of patent and intellectual property issues, with a focus on the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and chemical fields.

10. PatentlyO - One of the top patent law blogs in the US, with detailed analysis of patent cases and important intellectual property law news.

Follow these and other blogs dedicated to the patent field in order to stay updated on the latest news and resources available for patent law professionals!

You can follow Patent Resources Group through a variety of social media sites, including TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Wordpress.  Stay updated on the latest intellectual property news, courses, and educational resources.

A Round-up of Advice from Brad on the Patent Bar Exam

Over the last few month, PRG Director Brad Buehler has given a number of useful tips about studying for the Patent Bar Exam, including advice on how to incorporate the recent changes to the Exam based on the America Invents Act into your study plan.  Here is a complete list of posts where Brad shares his Patent Bar Exam expertise:

Continue following “Passing the Patent Bar with PRG” for more important advice from Brad Buehler on registering, studying for, and passing the Patent Bar Exam!

You can follow Patent Resources Group through a variety of social media sites, including TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Wordpress.  Stay updated on the latest intellectual property news, courses, and educational resources.

Places to Network with Other Patent Law Professionals

While studying for the Patent Bar Exam, it’s essential to network with other professionals in the field of patent law. You can share study tips and resources with others who are also studying for the Exam, and you can also gain guidance from patent law experts who have years of experience working in the field.  So without further ado, here are some of the best places online where you can meet other patent law professionals:

Forums -  Until recently, Intellectual Property Law Server forum was a central location for IP law professionals to discuss important intellectual property issues and share career tips. Unfortunately, as described in this blog post, the IntelPropLaw Forum “has been down for several months due to spam attacks.”  The blog post recommends a new forum, though, that also provides a networking space for IP law professionals: IPtalk.pro. This new forum includes message boards with topics like “Becoming a patent agent / patent attorney.”  While we wait for the return of the IntelPropLaw Forum, IPtalk.pro may become the new gathering spot for the discussion of patent law issues.

LinkedIn - Many LinkedIn groups cater specifically to patent attorneys, intellectual property lawyers, and patent law professionals.  LinkedIn members can join multiple groups, and each group has its own discussion space, members list, promotional section, and job listings section.  Some groups are “closed groups”, where you must first request to join the group and be approved by a group administrator.  Here is a quick list of some LinkedIn groups created for patent law professionals:

Although online networking is an excellent way to connect with other aspiring patent agents and attorneys, it isn’t a substitute for the interaction and knowledge you gain through a live Patent Bar Review course.  Connect with other patent law professionals both online and through live patent bar review courses, and you’ll create a strong professional network that will give a jump start to your career in the patent law field. 

You can follow Patent Resources Group through a variety of social media sites, including TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Wordpress.  Stay updated on the latest intellectual property news, courses, and educational resources.