Patent Bar - Can you just take the FE Exam?

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x47point6
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Patent Bar - Can you just take the FE Exam?

Postby x47point6 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:21 pm

In order to sit for the USPTO registration exam, you can either a) have a bachelor's in hard science, b) have semester hours in hard science, or c) pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. But in order to sit for the FE, for every state I've looked at, you basically have to be in your last year of the kind of degree that would satisfy option A.

Am I missing something, or is simply passing the FE really not an option since you'd be much more likely to have met one of the other requisites just to be able to sit for the damn thing?

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rayiner
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Re: Patent Bar - Can you just take the FE Exam?

Postby rayiner » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:29 pm

You're not going to be able to pass the FE without a degree's worth of knowledge anyway. It's fucking hard.

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x47point6
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Re: Patent Bar - Can you just take the FE Exam?

Postby x47point6 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:37 pm

Were that true, every state out there seemingly wouldn't need to require three years toward a BS in order to sit for it, since the exam itself would be enough of a barrier to johnny-come-lately outsiders. But let's shelve any points about the difficulty of the FE for the time being, even though they're probably right.

I just want to know whether it's possible to sit for the patent bar without 75-100% of a hard science bachelors, or whether the apparent option of getting in with the FE alone is just a cop-out because of its own rigorous prerequisites.

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rayiner
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Re: Patent Bar - Can you just take the FE Exam?

Postby rayiner » Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:01 pm

x47point6 wrote:Were that true, every state out there seemingly wouldn't need to require three years toward a BS in order to sit for it, since the exam itself would be enough of a barrier to johnny-come-lately outsiders. But let's shelve any points about the difficulty of the FE for the time being, even though they're probably right.

I just want to know whether it's possible to sit for the patent bar without 75-100% of a hard science bachelors, or whether the apparent option of getting in with the FE alone is just a cop-out because of its own rigorous prerequisites.


The requirements for the FE exam vary by state. Some require you to have a degree from an ABET-accredited engineering school, others let anyone take it.

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x47point6
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Re: Patent Bar - Can you just take the FE Exam?

Postby x47point6 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:48 pm

That's what I'd suspected—that that was at least the case for some states. But I searched for a while and I couldn't find any that didn't have at least some kind of engineering degree requirement. Do you know of any states off the top of your head that don't need the accredited engineering school BS?

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rayiner
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Re: Patent Bar - Can you just take the FE Exam?

Postby rayiner » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:57 pm

x47point6 wrote:That's what I'd suspected—that that was at least the case for some states. But I searched for a while and I couldn't find any that didn't have at least some kind of engineering degree requirement. Do you know of any states off the top of your head that don't need the accredited engineering school BS?


Virginia will waive the engineering degree requirement if you have a BS + 2 years of acceptable WE, or no degree and 6 years of WE.

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CE2JD
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Re: Patent Bar - Can you just take the FE Exam?

Postby CE2JD » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:43 pm

You realize you're not going to get a job in patent law (even if you pass the patent bar) if you're only qualified via the FE exam, right?

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wiseowl
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Re: Patent Bar - Can you just take the FE Exam?

Postby wiseowl » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:53 pm

New Hampshire does not require a degree or any schooling to sit for the FE, for what it's worth. Michigan used to not to either, don't know if they still do.

As CE2JD alluded, this might help you if you're a solo looking to add another possible area to your practice. It will not do a bit of good with a law firm.

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x47point6
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Re: Patent Bar - Can you just take the FE Exam?

Postby x47point6 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:33 am

CE2JD wrote:You realize you're not going to get a job in patent law (even if you pass the patent bar) if you're only qualified via the FE exam, right?


That was my next question, though it probably would have made more sense to ask it first. Just another moment where I get my hopes up that the paths that led variously to lives of math/science and arts/humanities hadn't left one another way back in freshman year of UG.

If there were any point to taking that exam, though, I really would have liked to take a shot at it.

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rayiner
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Re: Patent Bar - Can you just take the FE Exam?

Postby rayiner » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:53 am

x47point6 wrote:
CE2JD wrote:You realize you're not going to get a job in patent law (even if you pass the patent bar) if you're only qualified via the FE exam, right?


That was my next question, though it probably would have made more sense to ask it first. Just another moment where I get my hopes up that the paths that led variously to lives of math/science and arts/humanities hadn't left one another way back in freshman year of UG.


I mean they kind of do. Engineering is a pre-professional major. You spend 4 years learning not just material, but how to think like an engineer. You learn about design flows, do engineering projects in teams, etc. The FE exam covers just fairly basic core knowledge (ie: necessary, but not sufficient).

The distinction is relevant to law firms. Patent prosecutors work very closely with clients (ie: engineers) and need not just an understanding of the invention, but of the surrounding context. It's hard to acquire that context without some years of grounding in the field, whether through formal study or work experience.




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