Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

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skippy1
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Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

Postby skippy1 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:21 pm

Hi,
I just started to prepare for the patent bar. I'm using PatBar study materials, including the recommended websites. I also have a Bullseye outline.
However, I feel overwhelmed - where do I start? For those who recommend Bullseye, did you memorize the outline?
Anyone out there that has taken this and would like to share their experience with me? You can PM me or post - whichever. Thank you so much!

Black-Blue
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Re: Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

Postby Black-Blue » Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:45 pm

The patent bar is actually pretty easy if you approach it correctly.

1. The first thing you need to know is that you don't need to know anything, other than a few general concepts. I also used PatBar. With PatBar, I suggest only reading the summaries of each chapter. In general, don't both reading anything else in that study kit (what a waste, I know!).

2. Memorize the 2003 April and October practice exams that are available online. Also memorize the stuff on this site (http://patentbarquestions.com/Questions ... t_Bar_Exam)

3. The key is knowing how to find the answers to the questions, like doing keyword searches on the prometric testing computer.

Win.

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king3780
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Re: Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

Postby king3780 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:54 pm

Black-Blue wrote:The patent bar is actually pretty easy if you approach it correctly.

1. The first thing you need to know is that you don't need to know anything, other than a few general concepts. I also used PatBar. With PatBar, I suggest only reading the summaries of each chapter. In general, don't both reading anything else in that study kit (what a waste, I know!).

2. Memorize the 2003 April and October practice exams that are available online. Also memorize the stuff on this site (http://patentbarquestions.com/Questions ... t_Bar_Exam)

3. The key is knowing how to find the answers to the questions, like doing keyword searches on the prometric testing computer.

Win.


I know very little about the patent bar, other than two guys sitting next two me in class last week were talking about it. Guy B was thinking about taking it, Guy A had taken it last summer. Guy A said he went through the above mentioned test bank over and over and ended up seeing quite a few questions on the exam that he had already seen in the question bank.

thwalls
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Re: Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

Postby thwalls » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:16 pm

If you're just starting and would like a broad overview, I would go through the Bullseye outline at least twice. Then I would go to a website like freepatentbar.com and mypatentbar.com and work through their outlines as well, specifically for MPEP sections 700, 2100, 1200, and 1400. Know your 102 and 103 rejections cold so that you can dispatch those questions quickly.

In general it's an easy test. Just learn to search the MPEP using the pdf but only using keyword searches. I would download a copy and start using that from the beginning. Like the last guy, know the 2003 exams cold.

I found the exam to be a cakewalk and I felt that I was overprepared. But I think it's much better to be overprepared for it than having to take it again. Unfortunately though, studying for the exam really doesn't teach you anything about actual practice. I've been working as a patent agent for almost 5 months and when I showed up I felt like I didn't know anything at all. But at least studying for the exam lays the foundation.

Good luck to you! Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.

skippy1
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Re: Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

Postby skippy1 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:22 am

What does going through the outline mean - memorize it ?

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dood
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Re: Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

Postby dood » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:43 am

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Last edited by dood on Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thwalls
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Re: Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

Postby thwalls » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:30 am

skippy1 wrote:What does going through the outline mean - memorize it ?


Definitely do not memorize it. It's just a good way to start wrapping your head around the material. In reality, you just want to know what information is contained in each section of the MPEP, how it fits together, and then how you should go about searching for it. You have the MPEP with you for the exam, so you just need to know how to search it. However, on the exam you can only search by section and not the whole thing at once. So it's important to know where the information is at.

Heck, if you're nervous about it, just set one of the 2003 exams aside and then take it under timed conditions. If you're scoring above 70% then you should do alright.

Kudos to the guy who passed with minimal studying. That's never been me, I've always had to over prepare in order to quell my nerves on the day of the exam. Although, now that I'm practicing, I have to admit that I don't really use all of the information I ended up studying for the exam. Interferences are the first thing that comes to mind.

Longhorn2806
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Re: Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

Postby Longhorn2806 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:25 pm

I did the same thing -I am a 1L and bought the PatBar class a few weeks ago (Dec. '10).

I haven't taken the test, but here is my gameplan:
1) I listen to the Audio Reivew from PatBar for the lecture
2) I then read over the outline from the mypatentbar website above to get a general understanding of the material. (Found under 'categories' in the right sidebar - example: http://mypatentbar.com/category/mpep-0100/
3) Currently, I go back and then read through the PatBar chapter.
-Yes, it is taking a while, but I feel like it runs you pretty well through a majority of the chapter. (Although why they put A, B, C... instead of ex. 2106.01, 2106.02, etc... I have no idea.

Personally, there is no way I could either get a good grip on the chapter material or learn to search the MPEP without knowing some of the details within the chapter. I'm sure this is just my crappy engineering mind (which all of us have if we are taking this exam) that want to know every detail...but like thwalls said..better to be overprepared, than have to take it again.

I do have one question for anyone out there: I feel like even though PatBar cuts down the chapters into small chunks, sometimes i STILL have trouble searching the MPEP for answers (even though I should technically know the few sections within the chapter to look). I feel like the MPEP has a very weird setup, sometimes you have Section-> I...II...III... A...B...C ; Sometimes you have subsections. I'm trying to learn where material is in the MPEP without memorizing it, but any suggestions or comments on the MPEP setup or searching would be helpful.

Lastly, Skippy, I found the App to the OED to take a little while since you have to get transcripts, etc., so look into that early.

Thanks!

thwalls
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Re: Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

Postby thwalls » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:25 pm

Longhorn2806 wrote:I do have one question for anyone out there: I feel like even though PatBar cuts down the chapters into small chunks, sometimes i STILL have trouble searching the MPEP for answers (even though I should technically know the few sections within the chapter to look). I feel like the MPEP has a very weird setup, sometimes you have Section-> I...II...III... A...B...C ; Sometimes you have subsections. I'm trying to learn where material is in the MPEP without memorizing it, but any suggestions or comments on the MPEP setup or searching would be helpful.


The MPEP does have a wierd setup. Could you give me an example of a search that you might have difficulty with? In general I would know these sections cold - front to back (in order of importance): 2100> 700> 1800 = 1200.

Again, I'm not saying to memorize these sections, but absolutely understand all of the information that they contain. This is especially true of sections 1800 and 1200. I would say that over half of the questions you encounter come out of 2100 or 700, however I did see quite a few PCT questions on my exam and I struggled with all of the options associated with international filing.

Longhorn2806
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Re: Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

Postby Longhorn2806 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:47 pm

Hi thwalls, Thanks for the reply!

Here is one question: http://mypatentbar.com/2010/04/12/q-product-by-process-claims/

Please forgive me for being new to the MPEP, and especially 2100 right now - but other than taking an educated guess at the answer, how would you come up with 2113 as the place to look for the answer, under "102/103 rejection...for obviousness" (http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/2100_2113.htm#sect2113). Note, I also haven't done very much with 102/103 yet either, which I know is very important and could probably also lead me to the answer.
- If you didn't know the answer to this question, what would be your approach? Try to think of either the MPEP section, U.S.C. section, or CFR section that might be relevant and go from there? Which would you look at first?

I can understand how, overall, it is more valuable to know the big picture of each chapter and the main sections within the chapter...but I feel like they put a lot of little, nitty gritty detail far down in the depths of the sub-sections...which appears on the tests. Maybe (hopefully) I'm just reading far to into the sections and worrying too much.

Thanks in advance for any comments!

thwalls
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Re: Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

Postby thwalls » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:30 pm

Longhorn2806 wrote:Hi thwalls, Thanks for the reply!

Here is one question: http://mypatentbar.com/2010/04/12/q-product-by-process-claims/

Please forgive me for being new to the MPEP, and especially 2100 right now - but other than taking an educated guess at the answer, how would you come up with 2113 as the place to look for the answer, under "102/103 rejection...for obviousness" (http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/2100_2113.htm#sect2113). Note, I also haven't done very much with 102/103 yet either, which I know is very important and could probably also lead me to the answer.
- If you didn't know the answer to this question, what would be your approach? Try to think of either the MPEP section, U.S.C. section, or CFR section that might be relevant and go from there? Which would you look at first?

I can understand how, overall, it is more valuable to know the big picture of each chapter and the main sections within the chapter...but I feel like they put a lot of little, nitty gritty detail far down in the depths of the sub-sections...which appears on the tests. Maybe (hopefully) I'm just reading far to into the sections and worrying too much.

Thanks in advance for any comments!


You may already be doing it, but remember to only use a pdf version of the MPEP in practice. From the question, I see that it deals with a rejection based on anticipation or alternitively obviousness. Therefore, I know the information is going to be in either 700 or 2100. Next, I go to the table of contents for each of those sections and look for information regarding product-by-process claims. As a caveat, you don't need to memorize everything, but you should be able to identify the common different claiming formats, i.e., Apparatus, Method, Jepson (no one uses this one anymore but it's still on some of the old exams), Markush, means-plus-function, dependent, multiple dependent, and product-by-process.

I don't see anything about product-by-process claims in the TOC in Section 700, so I check 2100. In the TOC I see the section on Product by process (MPEP 2113). I search "2113" to get to the right page. On that page I find "PRODUCT-BY-PROCESS CLAIMS ARE NOT LIMITED TO THE MANIPULATIONS OF THE RECITED STEPS, ONLY THE STRUCTURE IMPLIED BY THE STEPS." Going back to the question, I see that B and D both deal with the process, and I know that the products of the manipulations must be different, not the process or manipulation to make them. Answers C and E don't get me anywhere because to answer the rejection I have to distinguish the products from each other. Answer A then is the best answer because I'm arguing that the processes themselves yield different products of Mixture Y.

Q1 produces mixture Y but with an unexpected melting point 150, Q2 produces mixture Y with a melting point of 300. Therefore, they're not the same. This is the only answer identifying the distinction that Q1 and Q2 yield different products.

Just by identifying the type of claim that is in the question, even if you don't know what a 102/103 rejection is, you can zero in on the answer.

If you couldn't identify what type of claim it was, I would still start in sections 700 and 2100 since they, more often than not, contain either the answer or reference to the section that has the answer. You'll find that 700 will very often refer to 2100. In general though, unless you know exactly what you're looking for, I would stick with searching the MPEP rather than the USC or CFR. But again, there are sections of both that you just need to know. For example, you should know the information in USC sections 101, 102, 103, 112 paragraphs 1, 2, and 6. You should have a general idea of what is in CFR sections 1.5-.215. Heck, read the CFR language at least once while you're at it. By reading/skimming these sections at least once, the questions or answers in the test should trigger the memory, providing a hint of where you should get started.

If you're hopelessly lost on a question and you have some time to kill on the exam (which you might, they give you a lot of time), locate the section of the MPEP that you believe the answer to be found and plug each answer on the exam into the search box. A lot of times, they'll take the right answer verbatim out of the MPEP. This of course is strategy of desparation.

People may call it overkill but if you want to pass the Patent Bar and, y'know, BE registered as a patent agent/attorney you should know the rules that govern your practice.
Last edited by thwalls on Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Longhorn2806
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Re: Preparing for Patent Bar Exam

Postby Longhorn2806 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:22 pm

Thanks so much for the step-by-step! The detail really helped to walk me though your thoughts.

I'll push through and get a firm hold of the main MPEP sections, then go back & review questions -> start working tests to see where i stand.

Thanks again!




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