Patent Bar Exam Qualifications

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
CU312
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:53 am

Patent Bar Exam Qualifications

Postby CU312 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:57 am

I'm a rising sophomore at Cornell University intending on majoring in computer science and over the summer have started to get interested in patent law. However, after doing some research, it seems that to take the patent bar exam requires a computer science degree from an ABET accredited program. It seems that other top computer science programs such as MIT are also not ABET accredited, making it seem like a funny rule considering it seems like its suppose to make sure the computer science degrees being submitted are legit, yet it's keeping out students from some of the top programs in the US......
After doing some research, however, I have seen that there is an option to still be qualified to sit given if one has 40 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following: 8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics, and 32 semester hours of chemistry, physics, biology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology, or engineering. (Says computer science courses may count depending on nature of the course)
I already have 8 semesters hours of chemistry, will an undergraduate degree from Cornell most likely meet this expectation?

If anyone has a similar experience or can offer and advice that would be awesome.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 28700
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Patent Bar Exam Qualifications

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:49 am

It looks like Cornell is ABET accredited? http://main.abet.org/aps/Accreditedprogramsearch.aspx (MIT too.)

CU312
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:53 am

Re: Patent Bar Exam Qualifications

Postby CU312 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:56 am

Other engineering degrees at the school are but computer science is not.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 28700
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Patent Bar Exam Qualifications

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:30 pm

Ah, okay. Sorry.

User avatar
deuceindc
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:11 pm

Re: Patent Bar Exam Qualifications

Postby deuceindc » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:46 pm

I was in a similar situation (my program wasn't on the PTO's list of recognized degrees) and qualified by having enough total qualifying credit hours. Call PTO OED if you have any specific questions.

CU312
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:53 am

Re: Patent Bar Exam Qualifications

Postby CU312 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:03 pm

How hard was it in your experience to get permission to sit for the exam? Considering I am a sophomore and I do end up going to law school, I would like to avoid a situation that for some reason I am not allowed to sit for the exam. I'm assuming that a normal computer science program along with my 8 credits in chemistry would suffice for the category B requirements? And if not would a couple night classes at community college make up for any deficiencies?

conker
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:44 pm

Re: Patent Bar Exam Qualifications

Postby conker » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:10 am

CU312 wrote:I'm a rising sophomore at Cornell University intending on majoring in computer science and over the summer have started to get interested in patent law. However, after doing some research, it seems that to take the patent bar exam requires a computer science degree from an ABET accredited program. It seems that other top computer science programs such as MIT are also not ABET accredited, making it seem like a funny rule considering it seems like its suppose to make sure the computer science degrees being submitted are legit, yet it's keeping out students from some of the top programs in the US......
After doing some research, however, I have seen that there is an option to still be qualified to sit given if one has 40 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following: 8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics, and 32 semester hours of chemistry, physics, biology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology, or engineering. (Says computer science courses may count depending on nature of the course)
I already have 8 semesters hours of chemistry, will an undergraduate degree from Cornell most likely meet this expectation?

If anyone has a similar experience or can offer and advice that would be awesome.


The USPTO does not require that someone have an ABET-accredited CS degree to sit for the patent bar. They do not even require that someone have an ABET-accredited degree, of any kind, to sit for the patent bar.

Have you considered that MIT's CS program is not among the top in the U.S.?

My advice is to look at your curriculum (why anyone here would hold your hand through this is anyone's guess, but I won't because it does not seem that you are trying very hard, and this post reminds me of a troll). Whether or not your degree meets the hourly requirements depends entirely on your curriculum. It could possibly even come down to the electives you choose. Why don't you consider speaking to your advisor and the USPTO regarding "depending on the nature of the course" if you are having difficulty understanding?



Based on your degree program, you have to fall under one of the following to be able to sit for the patent bar:

1. 24 semester hours in physics. Only physics courses for physics majors will be accepted.

2. 32 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following: 8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics, and 24 semester hours in biology, botany, microbiology, or molecular biology. The 8 semester hours in chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics must be obtained in two sequential courses, each course including a lab. Only courses for science or engineering majors will be accepted.

3. 30 semester hours in chemistry. Only chemistry courses for chemistry majors will be accepted.

4. 40 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following: 8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics, and 32 semester hours of chemistry, physics, biology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology, or engineering. (For Computer Science, see other acceptable course work.)* The 8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics must be obtained in two sequential courses, each course including a lab. Only courses for science or engineering majors will be accepted. For Computer Science, see other "Other Acceptable Course Work." All acceptable coursework for Options 2 and 4 must be for science or engineering majors.

*
"Other Acceptable Course Work: Under Option 4, up to four semester hours will be accepted for courses in design engineering or drafting. Also, under Option 4, computer science courses that stress theoretical foundations, analysis, and design, and include substantial laboratory work, including software development will be accepted. Such courses include the representation and transformation of information structures, the theoretical models for such representations and transformations, basic coverage of algorithms, data structures, software design with a laboratory, programming languages with a laboratory, and computer organization and architecture. Other acceptable courses in computer science include artificial intelligence and robotics, networking, linear circuits, logic circuits, operating systems, and software methodology and engineering. However, the courses may not be substituted for the eight semester hours of chemistry or physics required under Option 4.

"Typical Non-Acceptable Course Work: The following typify courses that are not accepted as demonstrating the necessary scientific and technical training: anthropology; astronomy; audited courses; behavioral science courses such as psychology and sociology; continuing legal education courses; courses in public health; courses relating technology to politics or policy; courses offered by corporations to corporate employees; courses in management, business administration and operations research; courses on how to use computer software; courses directed to data management and management information systems; courses to develop manual, processing or fabrication skills (e.g. machine operation, wiring, soldering, etc.); courses taken on a pass/fail basis; correspondence courses; ecology; economics of technology; courses in the history of science, engineering and technology; field identification of plants and/or animals; home or personal independent study courses; high school level courses; mathematics courses; one day conferences; patent law courses; paleontology; political science courses; repair and maintenance courses; radio operator license courses; science courses for non- science majors; vocational training courses; and work study programs. Also not accepted are college research or seminar courses where the course content and requirements are not set forth in the course descriptions; and courses that do not provide scientific and technical training. Further, not accepted are courses that repeat, or which are substantially the same as, or are lesser-included courses for which credit has already been given."


Consider yourself at a disadvantage, as the patent bar will test your resourcefulness.

markdighton
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:06 pm

Re: Patent Bar Exam Qualifications

Postby markdighton » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:25 am

You shouldn't have any trouble qualifying to take the Exam if you get a Computer Science degree from Cornell.

The ABET list of accredited programs can be somewhat counter-intuitive. Some second-rate programs went to ABET to get accredited to bootstrap themselves into respectability. Most of the top programs (e.g., MIT and Cornell) were offended at the idea that they should have to go to ABET to prove themselves...'everyone knows we're the best!' Most of even the best programs long ago acceded to ABET accreditation, just to make it easier for them and their students. I'm surprised Cornell hasn't come around. But maybe that's Cornell (and MIT) for you. (Still, I'd try to raise the issue with the department. If they accredit the program by the time you graduate, this WILL be MUCH easier!)

The stumbling block for many Computer Science majors whose programs aren't ABET-accredited is the two consecutive courses in Chemistry or Physics, each course including a lab, totaling 8 semester hours. But it sounds like you have that. (Or you absolutely SHOULD get that before you graduate.) Also, avoid anything too theoretical or too mathematical (statistics), if you think you're going to be in danger of not having enough true programming and engineering-type classes.

If you have the required coursework, you should easily qualify to sit for the Exam under Category B. You'll have to spend an extra afternoon printing out a bunch of stuff that you'll send to the Patent Office. But they'll get back to you in 3-4 weeks (as opposed to the 2 weeks it takes for Category A applicants...those with the degrees that automatically qualify...including ABET-accredited Comp Sci programs). So, it's really NOT that big of a difference. And employers don't care AT ALL! This A versus B thing is something that matters ONLY to the Patent Office, and only for this one little thing.

If you can, you should take the Exam BEFORE you start law school. The Patent Office doesn't care about anything you do in law school, and law school will teach you little (nothing, usually) of what's on the Exam. Having passed the Registration Exam before starting law school should put you on a career trajectory that almost no one else can compete with.

Sincerely,
Mark Dighton
Admin. Director, PLI Patent Office Exam Course

markdighton
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:06 pm

Re: Patent Bar Exam Qualifications

Postby markdighton » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:30 am

P.S.: CU312: Don't be discouragerd by what Conker wrote. I think s/he's being WAY too hard on you. Geez! You're a sophomore, and you've thought this through pretty carefully and clearly. (Yes, you didn't spell out all of the specifics, but you clearly have a good grasp of the issues.) I deal with law students and lawyers all the time who aren't where you are already at TWO YEARS before you can take the Exam! (May not speak well of their opportunities in the field, but you're still WAY ahead of the curve that I see. And I deal with more than a thousand people a year on this!)
Mark

conker
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:44 pm

Re: Patent Bar Exam Qualifications

Postby conker » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:58 pm

markdighton wrote:P.S.: CU312: Don't be discouragerd by what Conker wrote. I think s/he's being WAY too hard on you. Geez! You're a sophomore, and you've thought this through pretty carefully and clearly. (Yes, you didn't spell out all of the specifics, but you clearly have a good grasp of the issues.) I deal with law students and lawyers all the time who aren't where you are already at TWO YEARS before you can take the Exam! (May not speak well of their opportunities in the field, but you're still WAY ahead of the curve that I see. And I deal with more than a thousand people a year on this!)
Mark


OP, mention "IPWatchdog" and save 10% of the money Mark is after.

User avatar
elendinel
Posts: 970
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:29 pm

Re: Patent Bar Exam Qualifications

Postby elendinel » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:22 am

conker wrote:Consider yourself at a disadvantage, as the patent bar will test your resourcefulness.


Lolwut?

Yeah OP you're fine; I had to do something similar. Just get PDFs of pages of your course catalog or syllabi that show what was taught in your comp sci/chemistry classes and send it along with your application. They're not likely to ding you, but if they do, you can make up whatever credits they think you need at a local CC. Feel free to PM me if you want any advice.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: addie1412 and 3 guests