Check out PLI’s Summer Schedule of Patent Law Events!

There is no better sign that summer has arrived than the recent heat wave blanketing the U.S. While making summer plans of barbecues and vacations, don’t forget that there are a handful of great patent law CLE programs being hosted by PLI all summer long. From introductory patent law basics to the complexities of the AIA’s implementation, there is a seminar available for patent law practitioners from across the spectrum.

Understanding Patent Law 2012: June 29, 2012 –  The morning discussion of fundamental patent principles, including what is patentable and how to prosecute and protect patents, establishes an important foundation for the topics that follow throughout the afternoon.  Patent opinions, patent licensing, and patent issues that arise in the context of transactions such as mergers and acquisitions will be covered.  In addition, a broad overview of patent litigation, including coverage of recent case law, will be addressed.  In-house counsel, general attorneys and business managers will learn to spot key patent issues that may face their clients and/or organizations and will learn what steps need to be taken next.

(SF) Fundamentals of Patent Prosecution 2012: A Boot Camp for Claim Drafting & Amendment Writing: July 11 – 13, 2012 – This program is directed to patent attorneys, litigation attorneys and patent agents with or without a Patent Office registration number, or little patent experience. It will focus on teaching the basics of claim drafting, patent application preparation and prosecution, as well as a review of recent developments in the law. A litigator’s perspective is also presented to show how drafting and prosecution can influence the development, and often the outcome, of subsequent patent litigation. The clinics offer a unique supplement to the kind of hands-on mentoring that senior attorneys are hard-pressed to provide to less-experienced attorneys and agents.

Patent Bar Review 2012: Boston, July 11-15, 2012; Chicago, August 7-11, 2012 – In clear, concise, right-to-the-point language, this information-packed course leads you through the intricacies – and around the traps – of the Patent Bar Exam. You’ll get the hard facts, test-taking tips, sample questions and answers, and intense practice exams that mirror what you’re going to face when you sit down to take the real thing. Our PatWare software almost exactly predicted the current format of the Exam by many years. PatWare has now been expanded, updated and Web-connected to play an even more critical and informative role in your preparation.

Advanced Patent Prosecution Workshop 2012: Claim Drafting & Amendment Writing: New York, July 19-20, 2012; San Francisco, August 20-21, 2012 – In this advanced two-day program, you will have a unique opportunity to receive hands-on drafting experience under the guidance of experienced patent prosecutors. By working in small technologically-distinct groups, you will receive individualized feedback on claim drafting and amendment writing skills, as well as learn practical techniques for avoiding prosecution pitfalls. Guidance will be provided on the America Invents Act and its implementation by the Patent and Trademark Office, including the new post-grant review and inter partes review systems. Course material will include sample problems and model solutions.

(NY) Prior Art, Obviousness, and the America Invents Act in 2012: July 23, 2012 – This program will allow you to obtain an essential working understanding of this complicated statute, including recent re-interpretations, case law, and explore the statutory revisions.  Meanwhile, obviousness, the most common reason any application is rejected or patent held invalid, is changing as a result of KSR (already 5 years old). Explore 103 from inside and outside the PTO as both the CAFC and PTO try to shoehorn their past decisions into a KSR pigeonhole!

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.


Top 10 Reasons to Take the PLI Patent Bar Review Course


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

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has updated the patent bar exam, sometimes referred to as the patent registration examination.  Effective April 12, 2011, the patent bar examination now tests MPEP 8th Edition Revision 8, as well as critically important guidelines, such as the KSR, Bilski and 112 guidelines, not yet a part of any edition of the MPEP.  See USPTO Updates Registration Examination.  I have been teaching the PLI Patent Bar Review Course for over 10 years now, and along with John White (the original course creator) participated in revising our materials, lectures and questions to bring the course up to date with the latest edition of the exam now being offered.  I continue to believe the PLI Patent Bar Review Course is the best course out there, and I have put together the following Top 10 reasons to take our Review Course.

1. PLI’s Patent Bar Review Course has been completely updated – overhauled really. We had already been working on updates to our materials based on the inevitable change in the exam moving from MPEP Rev. 4 to MPEP Rev. 8.  We knew it was only a matter of time before a new revision of the MPEP was tested, so we have had MPEP Rev. 8 materials at the ready.  The text and questions have been completely revised and our lectures re-done

2. We have spent considerable time and effort putting together new materials that specifically and directly cover the newly testable materials (i.e., KSR, Bilski and 112 guidelines) that are not a part of MPEP Rev. 8. We expect that these newly testable materials will be heavily tested on the new patent bar examination.

Click here for the full IPWatchdog article.