Next Wave of AIA on Patent Exam Starting Oct. 2, 2012

By now you have certainly heard about the most revolutionary change to the U.S. patent laws since at least 1952, and most likely since the inception of the first patent laws in the U.S. in 1790.  The America Invents Act (AIA) is poised to change patent practice from the ground up.  The bill was signed into law by President Obama on September 16, 2011, and some minor provisions went effective immediately, or nearly immediately.

The next wave of changes comes online on September 16, 2012, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office is feverishly working on multiple final rules packages that will be required for the implementation of that next wave of changes.  So far, the only one that has been released is the final rules package relative to third-party submissions of prior art during prosecution. See USPTO Publishes Final Rule on Preissuance Submissions.

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Preparing for the Patent Bar Exam Changes

The following post is written by Mark Dighton, PLI’s Director of Law School Relations and Administrative Director of the Patent Bar Review.

If all goes as planned, the Patent Office will start on Tuesday, January 31st, to test on the PTO’s Registration Exam (sometimes called “the patent bar exam”) some of the first changes to US patent law resulting from the America Invents Act, as well as some changes to the appeals rules that had been in the works even before Patent Reform.  The new appeals rules did not even become effective until January 23, 2012.  Testing them only eight days later demonstrates clearly that the Patent Office is good to their word that they expect the Exam to more accurately reflect current practice going forward. (For many years, the Exam was YEARS behind current practice. Seemingly almost an afterthought.)

The changes from the America Invents Act already subject to testing are the new rules that permit prioritized examination of patent applications (Track I) and revise the standard for granting inter partes reexamination requests.  (more…)

Top 5 Patent Law Blog Posts of the Week

Today we continue our weekly installment highlighting the best of the patent blogosphere from the past week. Highlights include the anticipated revisions to the Patent Bar, a conflict of interest for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Breyer, and an update from the USPTO’s collaborations in improving the patent system via open access.

1. IP Watchdog: PTO Updates Patent Bar Exam to Test AIA & Appeal Rules – The Patent Bar will change to reflect the new rules incarnated by the America Invents Act. This post outlines what new topics will be tested and how the USPTO has established a trend in making sure the exam is as up to date as possible. The new Patent Bar exam will debut January 31, 2012. For information regarding PLI’s Patent Bar Review (Jan. 11-15, 2012), click here.

2. Peer To Patent: Improving Patent Systems through Open Access- The USPTO hosted its Second Annual Prior Art Collaboration Conference in October 2011, and this post provides the proceedings that developed during the conference. Participants such as WIPO, the European Patent Office, the U.K. Intellectual Property Office, IP Australia, the Japan Patent Office, and the Korea Intellectual Property Office discussed ways in which the patent offices and the public could work together to improve access to prior art. (more…)

5 Tips for Passing the Patent Bar Exam

Gene Quinn, of IPWatchdog and Practice Center Contributor, sent in this article wherein he provides five tips that should help you develop a personal strategy for tackling the Patent Bar Exam.

In order to become a patent attorney or patent agent and represent inventors or corporations before the United States Patent and Trademark Office you first need the proper scientific training and then you need to take and pass the Patent Bar Exam, sometimes referred to as the Patent Agents Exam or Patent Registration Exam.  The test, which is administered via computer, is an open book exam, but the Manual of Patent Examining Procedures (MPEP) is like no other book you have ever seen. It is sometimes random and haphazard, it is redundant, and it is exceptionally boring. Nevertheless, the MPEP can be your life line. The biggest mistake that anyone could make is that an open book exam is not terribly difficult. Open book exams are more difficult than closed book exams because the tester can ask more pointed and specific questions than could reasonably be asked in a closed book exam. Familiarity with the MPEP is essential to success.

Since March of 2000, I have been a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course.  This means I have devoted a good portion of my professional life to working with students interested in passing the Patent Bar Exam. As a result, I have come up with a number of tips that should help you develop a personal strategy for tackling the Patent Exam.  Do remember though that any strategies you are going to employ should not be first unveiled on exam day.  Weave these and any other strategies you want to develop into your exam preparation for maximum success on exam day.

Click here to read the full IPWatchdog publication.

 

USPTO Updates Registration Exam for Patent Practitioners

The following post was written by Gene Quinn , of IPWatchdog and Practice Center Contributor.

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.

Click here for the full IPWatchdog article.