Patent Bar Examination Administration
|Written by Gene Quinn
President & Founder of IPWatchdog, Inc.
Patent Attorney, Reg. No. 44,294
Zies, Widerman & Malek
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Posted: November 5, 2008 @ 2:03 pm
On July 26, 2004, the Patent Bar Exam moved to a computer-based, virtually on-demand exam, available at a testing site near you. The exam is administered on behalf of the USPTO by Prometric, a wholly-owned and independently operated subsidiary of Educational Testing Service. The Patent Office does also offer yearly written administration of the examination in Washington, DC, normally during the month of July. Written, paper exams are administered only once per year, the test will be conducted at the Patent Office and the cost for such examination is higher than the cost to sit for the computerized examination. Those interested in taking the exam in paper format should consult the Office of Enrollment and Discipline for more information.
In the past, the examination was administered twice a year using examination booklets and multiple choice grading forms. The Patent Office decided to move to a frequently administered computer-based examination. This change makes the testing process more efficient and benefits applicants by permitting faster notification of test results. The computer-based examination also facilitates a more frequent administration and permits the test to be given simultaneously in many locations, thus reducing delays and travel expenses for applicants.
With respect to notification, at the completion of the exam you will see a screen that gives you the “preliminary results” of the exam. You will be told either that preliminary results suggest you have passed, or that you have not passed. Please remember, however, that these are only preliminary results. You will not have the right to represent others until you formally receive such notification from the Patent Office. It is also important to realize that the preliminary results may be mistaken. We have heard that on several occasions the initial notification indicated a failing grade, but later official notification from the Patent Office was that the applicant had passed. So far no one has indicated that they were told they passed and then ultimately received a contrary notification from the Patent Office. So if you are told you passed you are safe, and if you are told that preliminary results suggest you did not pass then you probably want to hope for the best and if you are religious a prayer or two couldn’t hurt.
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The Patent Office continues to maintain control over the development and content of the examination. A private sector entity operating under the name – Prometric – will be primarily responsible for administration of the examination. Applicants for registration to practice will apply to the Office of Enrollment and Discipline for approval to sit for the examination. Upon approval, the applicant will be assigned a ninety (90) day time period during which he or she may sit for the examination. The applicant contacts Prometric and arranges for a convenient examination date and location within that approved test-taking period. There are Prometric testing centers all over the US, so it is extremely likely there will be a conveniently located testing center, although at certain times of the year it may be necessary to travel outside your immediate geographical area to take the test if you must take the examination on a specific date.
There will be two government fee payments associated with each application for registration: an application fee and a registration examination fee. These fees will be payable at the time the application is submitted to the Patent Office. The nonrefundable application fee is expected to be $40.00. The computer-based examination fee is expected to be $200.00. A service fee of approximately $150.00 would be charged by Prometric to the applicant. The total cost will, therefore, be in line with the cost of previous administrations of the examination.
For more information please follow the links below, and if you have a questions that is not answered please contact me and we will try and get an answer for you.
About the Author
|Eugene R. Quinn, Jr.
President & Founder of IPWatchdog, Inc.
US Patent Attorney (Reg. No. 44,294)
B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Rutgers University
J.D., Franklin Pierce Law Center
L.L.M. in Intellectual Property, Franklin Pierce Law Center
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Gene 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’s particular specialty as a patent attorney is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. As an electrical engineer by training his practice primarily focuses on software, computers and Internet innovations, as well as electrical and mechanical devices. Gene has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the LA Times, CNN Money and various other newspapers and magazines worldwide.