Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

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d_a_n
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Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby d_a_n » Wed May 16, 2012 5:11 pm

Hi, this is my first time posting on this site, so if this is in the wrong forum, please move or delete.

I'm hoping to start preparing for the patent bar relatively soon, and I'm not sure what prep course makes the most sense. From what I was able to find on the web, my choices seem to be...

1. PLI: I'd prefer not to drop $2750 on the new course, so I'd probably pick up the materials off of ebay or amazon for $400-500. My questions with this strategy are, first, how effective are the materials? Also, are the materials dated 2012 appropriate to the exam I would (in theory) be taking in a few months?

2. Omniprep: This looks to be a series of entirely web-based courses for $495. They claim a +98% pass rate for those who take the course, along with a money back guarantee. Has anyone taken this course? Opinions?

3. Bullseye: Bullseye looks like they offer a series of pretty cheap hardcopy materials, including a $30 review book. I guess I'm skeptical considering how cheap this option is compared to the other two (I understand the difference between just a book and a series of video lectures), and I'm wondering if anyone has used just these materials and experienced good results.

Sorry if that was a bit convoluted, and thanks in advance for the help! If anyone has knowledge of any other prep materials that I didn't mention above that are worth pursuing, I would be interested to hear about them as well.

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pinkcamellia
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby pinkcamellia » Wed May 16, 2012 5:52 pm

Hey there, I don't know anything about the PLI or Omniprep, but the Bullseye materials will do you just fine. It has an outline of every MPEP chapter, a couple other study aids, and a bunch of practice tests w/ answer explanations.

For past questions and some other general exam stuff, there are great free sites:
http://mypatentbar.com/
http://patentbarquestions.com/Main_Page
& the forums at intelproplaw

You can also use this program: http://www.catprep.com/exams/patent-bar/index.html
It's an exam simulator that you can use to take practice tests. They charge you $5 or something per exam to grade it, but they are the same practice exams as you have in the Bullseye materials, so you can just keep track of your answers on paper and grade it yourself.

markdighton
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby markdighton » Thu May 17, 2012 11:31 am

Just a word to the wise: Any PLI course you find on EBay that includes disks is outdated, even if it says "2012." Starting with 2011, we stopped making the lectures and software available on disks; they're only streaming online. We've seen LOTS of courses on EBay that are our 2010 books, despite the fact that they claim to be from 2012 (sometimes with "2012" photoshopped onto the cover...those are the ones you KNOW are counterfeits). Another tell-tall sign...if the covers are red (and blue). Since 2011 our covers are orange (and green).

There have been two fairly substantial revisions (additions) to the material tested on the Exam since those 2010 books (and there will be a series of major changes to the tested material starting in the fall).
Sincerely,
Mark Dighton, Esq.
Admin. Director, Patent Bar Review
PLI

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d_a_n
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby d_a_n » Thu May 17, 2012 5:35 pm

pinkcamellia wrote:Hey there, I don't know anything about the PLI or Omniprep, but the Bullseye materials will do you just fine. It has an outline of every MPEP chapter, a couple other study aids, and a bunch of practice tests w/ answer explanations.

For past questions and some other general exam stuff, there are great free sites:
http://mypatentbar.com/
http://patentbarquestions.com/Main_Page
& the forums at intelproplaw

You can also use this program: http://www.catprep.com/exams/patent-bar/index.html
It's an exam simulator that you can use to take practice tests. They charge you $5 or something per exam to grade it, but they are the same practice exams as you have in the Bullseye materials, so you can just keep track of your answers on paper and grade it yourself.


Thanks for the response! I take it you were able to pass the patent bar exam using this approach?

stevieaton
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby stevieaton » Fri May 18, 2012 9:53 pm

FWIW, I passed using just the Bullseye Patent Bar Prep materials. Studied them a bit during end of 1L year and took the exam in between 1L and 2L. Got to put that I passed the exam on my resumes, and I think it helped with the fall interviews. For $30, it was much more than I expected to get. My opinion: get the materials and be done with it. Take the $2k you saved and treat yourself to a nice vacation after passing.

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d_a_n
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby d_a_n » Tue May 22, 2012 5:13 pm

stevieaton wrote:FWIW, I passed using just the Bullseye Patent Bar Prep materials. Studied them a bit during end of 1L year and took the exam in between 1L and 2L. Got to put that I passed the exam on my resumes, and I think it helped with the fall interviews. For $30, it was much more than I expected to get. My opinion: get the materials and be done with it. Take the $2k you saved and treat yourself to a nice vacation after passing.


Cool, thanks for responding!

jim-green
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby jim-green » Wed May 30, 2012 7:11 pm

Listen to Mark. Moreover, why would you ever miss the 1 week class with JW? It was like the most fun I've had in a long time. It was in Boston and I got to skip work for a week, get free coffee and muffins, meet interesting people, and have fun learning. Well worth the reduced $$ I paid as a student. Also, being back in Boston was fun again. What I liked about the PLI class was that they basically do everything so you can sit back and pass. Took all the effort and tension out of it.

markdighton wrote:Just a word to the wise: Any PLI course you find on EBay that includes disks is outdated, even if it says "2012." Starting with 2011, we stopped making the lectures and software available on disks; they're only streaming online. We've seen LOTS of courses on EBay that are our 2010 books, despite the fact that they claim to be from 2012 (sometimes with "2012" photoshopped onto the cover...those are the ones you KNOW are counterfeits). Another tell-tall sign...if the covers are red (and blue). Since 2011 our covers are orange (and green).

There have been two fairly substantial revisions (additions) to the material tested on the Exam since those 2010 books (and there will be a series of major changes to the tested material starting in the fall).
Sincerely,
Mark Dighton, Esq.
Admin. Director, Patent Bar Review
PLI

patatty
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby patatty » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:51 pm

Omni Prep - all material is in pdf - no exam software and requires brute force memorization and reading. Essentially you could get all of the material on line for free if you searched long enough but for $500 they put everything in one place and if you can memorize the 400plus pages of material that they require you to memorize then you'll be fine.

I'm using it and will take the exam at the end of September 2012; if I don't pass I will post here by October 2012 to let you know how the money back guarantee works. I wrote a much more extensive and detailed description but the website timed out and logged me off and I just didn't have the energy to rewrite the whole thing over again. Hope this helps someone.

joshagent
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby joshagent » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:49 pm

Material Out-of-Date:
BullsEye materials are out of date. There tests are from 2003.

No Support
I tried to call them to
complain but cannot find their phone number any where. Also, they never responded to
email. If you want to waste $30 and get no support, then by all means order BullsEye patent
course.

Opinion on other courses
As for me, I'm considering PLI, Omniprep, or TARE. Anybody have good/bad experience with
them. I'm leaning Omniprep because they have a 100% pass guarantee.

woodzy
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby woodzy » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:01 pm

I found omniprep to be frustratingly outdated....and even more frustratingly consisting of nothing that is not available for free via the USPTO website and sites like my patent bar.com.

I went with omniprep because it seemed like great value. It isn't. The newest exam they present was over a decade old, and nothing in the course deals with some important topics that have changed significantly since 1999 or 2002 as the case may be. Some have changed so much that the "answer" provided by Omniprep is actually incorrect in light of changes the the law over the last 10-12 years.

Omniprep is essentially a scam to have students pay for what they can obtain without spending a dime. A good hornbook and the free exams online are vastly more useful, and even with a $60 book, you will come out $440 ahead... and be far better prepared.

Fair warning, Omniprep is essentially useless considering everything they give you is already available without charge. Don't buy their fraudulent statistics.... or their so-called review course.

The passage guarantee? They never even ask if you pass. And frankly, since their material is outdated you could use it to study for years and never be prepared for the Pat Bar

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patogordo
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby patogordo » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:10 pm

i studied with nothing but the MPEP, prior exams, and prior question databases (like patbarquestions.com and another I can't remember). i found the exam super easy, i recognized probably 30% of the questions as verbatim repeats, and finished with like an hour left in each half. it's just not efficient at all to try to learn the material. just learn the test and learn where stuff is in the MPEP so you can search quickly.

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Frozinite
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby Frozinite » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:31 pm

patogordo wrote:i studied with nothing but the MPEP, prior exams, and prior question databases (like patbarquestions.com and another I can't remember). i found the exam super easy, i recognized probably 30% of the questions as verbatim repeats, and finished with like an hour left in each half. it's just not efficient at all to try to learn the material. just learn the test and learn where stuff is in the MPEP so you can search quickly.


Nice, I think I'll do it this way too. $1K is just way too much to drop on organize-it-for-you and read-it-to-you material.

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patogordo
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby patogordo » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:37 pm

Frozinite wrote:
patogordo wrote:i studied with nothing but the MPEP, prior exams, and prior question databases (like patbarquestions.com and another I can't remember). i found the exam super easy, i recognized probably 30% of the questions as verbatim repeats, and finished with like an hour left in each half. it's just not efficient at all to try to learn the material. just learn the test and learn where stuff is in the MPEP so you can search quickly.


Nice, I think I'll do it this way too. $1K is just way too much to drop on organize-it-for-you and read-it-to-you material.

yea, especially for an open-book test. the most valuable thing by far that i did was make flashcards of prior questions/answers. something like 1/4-1/2 of every test is a verbatim repeat from the question pool. if you memorize enough prior questions, you can answer a lot of the questions on the test in like 1 second, which frees up a ton of time for you to search on harder questions.

as far as learning the material, i liked the prior exams w/ the explanations for each answer (i think you get those from the PTO directly? anyway they're free online). the explanations do a good job of explaining not only why the right answer was right but why each wrong answer was wrong. it's good for teaching you the nuances in the rules, which is all you need to know for the test anyway.

09042014
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:55 pm

Has anyone taken the PLI week long course? How much outside studying is needed?

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androstan
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby androstan » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:30 am

Pato's advice is the best. I did buy a secondhand PLI for like $500 but I passed in 2011 when it was still reasonably up to date. At first I forced myself to slog through the video lectures on the discs but they move so slowly that I put them on double speed. Eventually I stopped altogether and skipped straight to the practice questions. Just doing problems is the best way to learn. The exam software they had was the best part and really the only part worth paying for because it simulated the actual exam so you could practice looking up stuff in the MPEP the same way you would on test day. It would also give you feedback on which parts of the MPEP you were deficient in based on the questions you got wrong, which was value-added. Remembering old questions/answers saves tons of time on test day and you can almost pass just remembering old questions plus having some of the basic/common/fundamental knowledge. You won't be able to get into comfortably passing (like 80's or 90's) without knowing how to efficiently search the mpep though.

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paulinams
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby paulinams » Fri May 09, 2014 3:36 pm

So I'm starting to study for the patent bar and I'm hoping to take it before my 1L classes start in August. I was originally going to get the PLI course but after doing some research it seems that if you're dedicated and motivated enough you can find all of the information online on your own and study on your own. From those who have already taken the exam or are currently studying could you provide some tips for going about this? I know the MPEP is something over 1000 pages long and that you get to search it so any tips on navigating it/ what parts I should focus on would be useful. Also, a lot of the chapter summaries and study guides I'm finding online seem to be a bit outdated. What should I be on the lookout for as far as changes in the last year are concerned? I know I'll need to study the AIA but how much of the MPEP has changed? Thanks for any advice!

BigBlackTruck
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby BigBlackTruck » Fri May 09, 2014 5:23 pm

Took the test a few days ago and passed. I used the OmniPrep course, but I will admit most of the material is available online for free and I probably could have saved $500 and still passed.

Although the AIA has made some big changes, pre-AIA stuff is still tested too. My recommendations:

1) Get some sort of MPEP summary
2) Take available practice tests, focusing on 2002-2003. This will help teach you how to search and will familiarize you with the MPEP
3) Look at the questions and their corresponding comments on mypatentbar.com
4) Go to USPTO website and review the AIA FAQ. I think this covers the changes due to the AIA pretty well. http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation ... #heading-2

Abbie Doobie
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby Abbie Doobie » Wed May 14, 2014 3:06 pm

patogordo wrote:i studied with nothing but the MPEP, prior exams, and prior question databases (like patbarquestions.com and another I can't remember). i found the exam super easy, i recognized probably 30% of the questions as verbatim repeats, and finished with like an hour left in each half. it's just not efficient at all to try to learn the material. just learn the test and learn where stuff is in the MPEP so you can search quickly.



This describes my experience exactly. There used to be a website (http://www.freepatentbar.com) that actually simulated the exam software using previous exams.

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accessislife
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby accessislife » Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:49 pm

BigBlackTruck wrote:Took the test a few days ago and passed. I used the OmniPrep course, but I will admit most of the material is available online for free and I probably could have saved $500 and still passed.

Although the AIA has made some big changes, pre-AIA stuff is still tested too. My recommendations:

1) Get some sort of MPEP summary
2) Take available practice tests, focusing on 2002-2003. This will help teach you how to search and will familiarize you with the MPEP
3) Look at the questions and their corresponding comments on mypatentbar.com
4) Go to USPTO website and review the AIA FAQ. I think this covers the changes due to the AIA pretty well. http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation ... #heading-2



do you have any recs on which MPEP summary to get?

dovlet
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby dovlet » Mon May 18, 2015 6:41 pm

Where can I find outline for MPEP ?

AirJordan613
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby AirJordan613 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:45 pm

Are there any more recent recommendations for a course, especially considering upcoming changes to the exam? Thanks.

ookoshi
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby ookoshi » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:04 pm

PLI is the flagship course. Still the best results, but still the most expensive.

If you have no exposure whatsoever to patent prosecution, and especially if you are not yet in law school, PLI is probably the right call. Beyond recognizing the practice questions that are asked verbatim, you're going to be brute forcing memorizing the most often asked MPEP sections without context, and PLI seems to do it better than anyone else.

If you are working in the field as a technical adviser or a non-patent barred attorney, it's easier to prepare with other materials besides PLI, if for no other reason than you are slightly less likely to fall asleep while studying because at least you understand in what context the rules exist. Just my opinion, YMMV.

AirJordan613
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby AirJordan613 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:49 pm

ookoshi wrote:PLI is the flagship course. Still the best results, but still the most expensive.

If you have no exposure whatsoever to patent prosecution, and especially if you are not yet in law school, PLI is probably the right call. Beyond recognizing the practice questions that are asked verbatim, you're going to be brute forcing memorizing the most often asked MPEP sections without context, and PLI seems to do it better than anyone else.

If you are working in the field as a technical adviser or a non-patent barred attorney, it's easier to prepare with other materials besides PLI, if for no other reason than you are slightly less likely to fall asleep while studying because at least you understand in what context the rules exist. Just my opinion, YMMV.


Thanks for the input. I fall into the category with no exposure and not yet in law school. I'm graduating with my undergrad degree in May and have a light second semester. I'm interested in using that time to prepare for the patent bar and then take it after I have my degree, but before starting law school.

ookoshi
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby ookoshi » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:17 pm

AirJordan613 wrote:Thanks for the input. I fall into the category with no exposure and not yet in law school. I'm graduating with my undergrad degree in May and have a light second semester. I'm interested in using that time to prepare for the patent bar and then take it after I have my degree, but before starting law school.


If you can get it done, that's obviously ideal. Assuming your undergrad is in a hot field for patent prosecution though, you're not going to have a problem if you don't have it (e.g. CS/EE/CompE).

AirJordan613
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Re: Recommended Patent Bar Prep Course(s)?

Postby AirJordan613 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:25 pm

ookoshi wrote:
AirJordan613 wrote:Thanks for the input. I fall into the category with no exposure and not yet in law school. I'm graduating with my undergrad degree in May and have a light second semester. I'm interested in using that time to prepare for the patent bar and then take it after I have my degree, but before starting law school.


If you can get it done, that's obviously ideal. Assuming your undergrad is in a hot field for patent prosecution though, you're not going to have a problem if you don't have it (e.g. CS/EE/CompE).


I'm not in one of the "hot fields" unfortunately. I didn't make the decision on law school until after I was into my engineering degree. I'm studying IE. I've spoken with a few attorney's regarding the ramifications of the degree and my nerves have been calmed, though I understand it's not as optimal as being in one of the aforementioned fields. I would have from apx. January-July or so to study using a course like PLI and then I would attempt the exam. I only have about 10 credit hours to take next semester. I'm trying to use the time now to decide on a course.




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