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WHAT IS THE EXAM?
Here is our synopsis of the exam, and what we think USPTO is trying to do through this test..In case you wanted to read the USPTO synopis of the exam...we also placed their description down below.
If you haven't already seen it, you will soon find out that the MPEP, The Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, (What the Patent Bar Exam questions are mainly created from) is HUGE! Guess what? The USPTO knows it's huge as well (Did we mention it's huge? As in ~3000 pages?)
Let that sink in for a moment. Think about all the courses you've taken in your life. Did you ever...memorize, or learn, an entire 3000 page book for one exam?
There is NO WAY....no way, you will ever, ever, know everything in that manual (We are pretty sure that there are one or two people out there who will take that challenge seriously. Bless their hearts).
Ok, so you might be saying "Well, what is this test all about? I mean, aren't I supposed to know this stuff? Shouldn't I be able to recall all these dates and rules and minutae ?" Well, in a simple answer, yes and no. Yes, as a patent agent or attorney, you should over your career become more and more familar with the MPEP, with the rules and guidelines, to where it does become part of you. Should you do your best to understand the concepts and rules laid before you? Absolutely. But, also, in a sense...for this exam, no. Why do we say that?
Think about your potential future job after this exam, as an agent or attorney. Firstly, a major part of you job is doing research. Looking up material, finding facts, finding details and uncovering new facts. That's investigation, that's searching for material.
So, if you spend ALL your time just trying to learn facts and memorize dates and charts, you will miss out completely on this SECOND part of the exam the USPTO is testing: your ability to infer information, ask intelligent questions. ... that is SEARCH.
The Patent Bar Exam, basically, is testing:
1) Do you have a general knowledge of patents, examining patents, how to file patents, overcome rejections, etc...
2) Do you know/have a reasonable idea of where things are located in the MPEP and supplemental documents, and
3) How good, and efficient, are you at looking up information.
That's what we think this exam is all about...and so far, it seems like we're right. Let us help you pass -->
THE USPTO EXPLANATION OF THE EXAM (IF YOU REALLY, REALLY, WANT TO READ IT.....)
The examination is designed to test an applicant's knowledge of applicable patent laws, rules and procedures, and the ability to analyze factual situations and properly apply the patent laws, rules and procedures to render valuable service, advice and assistance to patent applicants in the preparation and prosecution of their patent applications. 35 U.S.C. § 2(b)(2)(D). The examination may also include questions dealing with standards of ethical and professional conduct applicable to registered patent attorneys and agents. Before taking this examination, an applicant should be familiar with the patent laws, USPTO rules of practice (Parts 1, 3, 10, 11 and 41 of Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations), procedures as related in the Manual of Patent Examination Procedure (MPEP), and other published USPTO policy and procedure. Questions on the examination are drawn from the MPEP and other published USPTO policy and procedure reference materials. The applicable laws, rules and procedures as set forth in the published USPTO policy and procedure reference material will control in the event of a conflict with the MPEP. An announcement will be made by OED to notify the public of the date on which updated reference materials will begin appearing on the examination. The announcement will be made in the Official Gazette and on the Internet at the following Web address: http://www.uspto.gov/ip/boards/oed/index.jsp. The announcement on the Internet will also identify the MPEP version and any other published USPTO policy and procedure reference materials from which questions are drawn. These reference materials will be available during the examination.