USPTO Updates Registration Exam for Patent Practitioners
|Written by Gene Quinn
President & Founder of IPWatchdog, Inc.
Patent Attorney, Reg. No. 44,294
Zies, Widerman & Malek
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Posted: April 11, 2011 @ 1:37 pm
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will update its registration examination and provide new reference materials effective April 12, 2011. The changes will help ensure that newly registered patent attorneys and agents are fully qualified in the most current patent laws, rules and procedures. This change marks the first change to the exam in approximately 5 years, and will bring the patent bar exam current with law, rules and regulations through the Winter of 2011. Those who are interested in taking the patent bar exam should consider this update a major revision, indeed such a major revision to the test that old patent bar exams circulating the Internet will be an insufficient means to study for the new exam.
“Patent applicants and examiners will benefit from the updated registration examination because newly registered patent attorneys and agents will have demonstrated familiarity with the most current patent laws, rules and procedures,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos.
All applicants wishing to practice in patent cases before the USPTO must pass the registration exam consisting of 100 multiple choice questions. The revised exam questions will be based on the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) Edition 8, Revision 8, along with other published USPTO policy and procedure reference materials. Administration of the previous version of the registration examination ceased April 4, 2011. Effective April 12, 2011, the computer-delivered registration examination will be updated to utilize the following reference materials:
- Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP), Edition 8, Revision 8
- Examination Guidelines Update: Developments in the Obviousness Inquiry After KSR v. Teleflex
- New Interim Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Examination Instructions, August 2009
- Interim Guidance for Determining Subject Matter Eligibility for Process Claims in View of Bilski v. Kappos
- Interim Guidance for Determining Subject Matter Eligibility for Process Claims in View of Bilski v. Kappos, July 2010
- Supplementary Examination Guidelines for Determining Compliance with 35 U.S.C. § 112 and for Treatment of Related Issues in Patent Applications
For those wishing to take the exam, the General Requirements Bulletin includes all information necessary for applying to the examination.
A tip of the hat to Director Kappos and his team! Director Kappos has now been at the Patent Office for approximately 20 months. During that time he has undertaken a great many tasks, which are aimed at resulting in a better, smoother, quicker patent process. The fact that he and his team have focused efforts on the patent bar examination demonstrates that no corner of the Patent Office will go without review under his tenure, which bodes well for the patent system as a whole.
For more information about the patent bar examination see:
For information on this and related topics please see these archives:
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About the Author
Gene Quinn is a US Patent Attorney, law professor and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He is also a principal lecturer in the top patent bar review course in the nation, which helps aspiring patent attorneys and patent agents prepare themselves to pass the patent bar exam. Gene started the widely popular intellectual property website IPWatchdog.com in 1999, and since that time the site has had many millions of unique visitors. Gene has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the LA Times, USA Today, CNN Money, NPR and various other newspapers and magazines worldwide. He represents individuals, small businesses and start-up corporations. As an electrical engineer with a computer engineering focus his specialty is electronic and computer devices, Internet applications, software and business methods.