Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

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amyLAchemist
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Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby amyLAchemist » Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:30 pm

I am planning to take the patent bar within the next year. I have looked over the application information and plan to submit my application quite soon. I am a PhD student at UCLA in Chemistry now and graduating next June, plan to begin law school in Fall 2009 (just took the LSAT).

However, I am puzzled by how to prepare for the patent bar exam. There seems to be a HUGE variation in price among patent bar prep courses/material providers. Barbri was almost 2,000 for home study, while others were 600!

I would prefer to prepare on my own at home (full time employed and a grad student). Which companies offer the most reliable prep materials? Is there one that is typically used more than others?

Also, howlong before application should studying begin? I see that after submitting the application for registration, it takes about 3 months, and then once you are approved, you are 90 days to register at a prometric testing site.

I am little clueless on this, so any help is appreciated! :) Thanks!!

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gravity
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby gravity » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:10 pm

amyLAchemist wrote:I see that after submitting the application for registration, it takes about 3 months


damn.. is this true? then i'm screwed.. :(

i heard 2 weeks.. i wanted to take the test in 3 weeks, so i turned in my app a few days ago..

i'm using patbar.com prep material... it's not too bad i guess.. it was $795 i think

it has a book summarizing the MPEP, a book of questions, some charts, test simulation CD..

amyLAchemist
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby amyLAchemist » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:24 pm

Ok, maybe 2 weeks is true, I don't know. I just read in the thing on the uspto website that an application should be filed 3 months before scheduled date of examination.

Does anyone know how long it takes for them to process your application and get the approval from them?

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rhit2004
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby rhit2004 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:03 pm

It took about 2-3 weeks from when I sent my application in to the USPTO until I received the notification that I could sign up at a testing center. I sent my application in at the very end of January and received the letter around Feb. 15th. Of course that time is dependent upon how you answered all the yes/no questions, that your transcript is clear and correct, and how busy the Office of Enrollment and Discipline is at the USPTO.

Then once the authorization letter arrives you must schedule the test at a testing center. You are at the mercy of their availability and the prime days and locations can fill up early. I scheduled my test date mid-february and finally sat for the exam early April.

I also used patbar.com and passed on my first attempt so it must have prepared me well.

As a side note: Once you pass you get official notification from the USPTO about 2 weeks later with some forms to fill out and a request for money. They then post your name and address online for a 30 day comment period where members of the public have an opportunity to speak up and say you should not be allowed to register to practice. Finally you receive official notice and a certificate about 1-2 weeks after that period ends at which time you can call yourself a patent agent or patent attorney.

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gravity
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby gravity » Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:21 pm

hey rhit, how did you study the patbar.com material?

right now, i'm just going through the manual 4 and manual 2, working through the chapters...

afterwards, i plan to look through the other book (post curriculum?) and take a few practice exams..

is that good enough? do i have to learn to look up the MPEP?

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:36 pm

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Last edited by Leeroy Jenkins on Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rhit2004
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby rhit2004 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:01 am

gravity wrote:hey rhit, how did you study the patbar.com material?

right now, i'm just going through the manual 4 and manual 2, working through the chapters...

afterwards, i plan to look through the other book (post curriculum?) and take a few practice exams..

is that good enough? do i have to learn to look up the MPEP?

I spent quite a bit of time studying (about 2 hours a night during the week and 4-5 hours each day on the weekends for about 2.5 months). Having said that I don’t think I really needed to study nearly that much.

My technique was to read through each lesson and then sit down and immediately listen to the lecture while reading along. I read each lesson to get a general understanding of the material and then I listened to force me to understand each sentence and detail because I tend to subconsciously glaze over sections when reading in my head. The lecture was slow and boring but it made sure I noticed and processed each piece of information. Then I completed the questions associated with each lesson. For any question I missed (or guessed on) I went back through the MPEP so find the correct answer or verify why I guessed right.

After completing all 63? Lessons I moved on to reading through the post curriculum book to refresh all the topics from early in my studying and provide another instance of reinforcement to help me remember.

Finally, I started going through the computerized exams and only started only allowing myself to look stuff up in the computerized MPEP. These were a confidence boost because I would have passed every time.

As far as searches in the MPEP … yes you need to be comfortable using it. I was completing practice exams in 2 hours per section during practice but with the added stress of the actual exam I used the full 3 hours per section. The only reason I was able to finish was I had used the MPEP (both hardcopy and computerized) enough that I had a feel for where topics were covered. While the index is useful it is also helpful to have a basic knowledge of where the details of different topics are covered.

The best way I found to practice MPEP searches is to just take practice questions and find the topics related to the correct and incorrect answers. On the exam you just have to be good at finding the one sentence buried among several pages that gives the piece of information you are interested in. Using old exam questions for search practice also allows you to start to see how the information is buried and how the question and answers provide extra search words to try and narrow where to look.

On the test day be prepared for a long and hard day. I felt the day was more exhausting than the LSAT because you had to be on your game for almost 6 hours straight. Also you will likely be the only person taking the patent bar that day (I was) so you will see people come and go taking other random exams that last 45 minutes to a couple hours. I was the only person that had anything involving a morning and afternoon section. Also I advise you to maybe call ahead to your test center and determine what temperature their testing room generally is. My room was easily 80 degrees because it was a closed room with 25 computers pumping out heat. As the day went on it got hotter and hotter (that could have also just been the stress).

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gravity
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby gravity » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:44 pm

Thank you so much for the detailed response!

miller
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby miller » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:53 pm

I spent quite a bit of time studying (about 2 hours a night during the week and 4-5 hours each day on the weekends for about 2.5 months). Having said that I don’t think I really needed to study nearly that much.



Hi rhit2004,
Thanks for the info. How many questions would you say that you had a chance to look up in the mpep for each section?

Also, what do you think of the idea of starting with the questions and getting familiar with the mpep as through answering the questions.

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gravity
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby gravity » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:15 pm


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gravity
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby gravity » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:24 pm

miller wrote:
I spent quite a bit of time studying (about 2 hours a night during the week and 4-5 hours each day on the weekends for about 2.5 months). Having said that I don’t think I really needed to study nearly that much.



Hi rhit2004,
Thanks for the info. How many questions would you say that you had a chance to look up in the mpep for each section?

Also, what do you think of the idea of starting with the questions and getting familiar with the mpep as through answering the questions.

For each section, I had about 1hr 30min to look stuff up in the MPEP. I think I ended up changing answers to 5-7 questions in each section, probably looked up 15 or so in each section.

I feel like I did most of the learning through doing practice problems. But reading through the course material (I did patbar.com) was helpful because it gave me an overview of what it really was about. The second time I was going through the material (they have this last-minute review book), I was really getting the stuff I was confused about the first time. If you don't have much time, I'd just get a quick overview of the material online, and just do the practice problems (mostly 2000-2003).

Being able to look things up is really important, since looking it up and confirming your answer guarantees you get the question right. It helps to know that you have a bunch of questions you got 100% correct.

patentlaw
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby patentlaw » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:03 am

I used the PLI home study portion and passed on the first try as well. I'd say that doing old questions was what did it for me, though the materials helped a bit.

Learn the last 3 exams inside and out, be able to answer the questions without looking at the answers. Almost a third of my exam questions were repeats from previous years. I could answer them without spending any time on them so the rest were easy to look up through the MPEP. I ended up finishing both sections with about 45 mins to go each doing it that way.

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ancientone
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby ancientone » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:33 pm

Wow, I didn't know so many people on TLS were taking/had taken the patent bar. Thanks for all the good insight.

In response to the OP:

-I'm using PLI, I like it fine. Got it used in great condition for $1500 on ebay. Haven't taken the test yet, though.

Most of the opinions I've read praise Bullseye prep materials for price and value. I got their full package here

-Most of the sources I've checked recommend registering for the exam only after you're well into your preparation. My turnaround time was something like 10 days. Your 90-day clock starts ticking when you're approved.

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gogators
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby gogators » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:29 pm

ancientone wrote:-I'm using PLI, I like it fine. Got it used in great condition for $1500 on ebay. Haven't taken the test yet, though.

Most of the opinions I've read praise Bullseye prep materials for price and value. I got their full package here


I'm confused, the prices for the things on Bullseye are substantially cheaper than the prices listed on other websites. Is that because these products don't offer any instruction? I guess I'm a little confused on what to get, when to get it, and what to do lol.

ld2008
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby ld2008 » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:08 pm

Yeah, I guess you could say there is less hand-holding. The bullseye materials are the same stuff -- just less expensive. Is the handholding worth $1,400 more to you? If so, do it. But, if you can chew gum and walk at the same time -- you can read the directions that come with the bullseye patent course and pass the test. The bullseye materials were a plenty detailed for me to pass.

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gogators
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby gogators » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:10 pm

Whats the timing like to do all of this? I'm starting law school in the fall and really have no idea when to start studying, sign up for the test, take it, etc.

ld2008
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby ld2008 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:58 am

I'd say start studying about 3-4 months before you want to take the test, if you have no prior patent experience. I got the bullseye stuff about 4 months early, started studying on my own a few hours a day, took the practice tests that came with the course, studied old questions - then passed.

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gogators
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby gogators » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:18 pm

I'd be curious to get some more opinions on the Bullseye course for the patent bar. Does anyone else know a lot about it?

iplawhopeful
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby iplawhopeful » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:38 pm

I have it. Much of what you will get from many of these services is available for free on the web. Namely, all of the tests (99-03) and the MPEP.

Bullseye gives you some studying suggestions, focus areas and also rearranges all past questions based on MPEP section. The best "value" in the bullseye package is the outline that summarizes the "important" part of each MPEP section (based upon past exams).

It's only $30, so it's not like you're putting too much $ out there.

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gogators
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby gogators » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:54 pm

iplawhopeful wrote:I have it. Much of what you will get from many of these services is available for free on the web. Namely, all of the tests (99-03) and the MPEP.

Bullseye gives you some studying suggestions, focus areas and also rearranges all past questions based on MPEP section. The best "value" in the bullseye package is the outline that summarizes the "important" part of each MPEP section (based upon past exams).

It's only $30, so it's not like you're putting too much $ out there.


Do you feel like using just this would be a sufficient way to study for the test or only as a supplement to the higher prices sets?

iplawhopeful
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby iplawhopeful » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:13 pm

For me it was. But being an engineer I'm cheap. If I had someone else paying for it I would have done the higher priced option, but alas, it was on my dime. But if it would help motivate you to study/put in the time it may be worth it, because this is not a "smarts" type of test. You need to know the info or where to find it, it's not really like the LSAT where you can "figure it out", so you need to put in the time.

From what I could tell, every course tells you the same thing.
    Review chapters 600, 700 & 2100. Chapters 1200,1400,1800,2200 are gaining in importance (especially the PCT).
    Review all past tests and know all of the answers, why right, and why are the others wrong.
    Know how to look up information in Acrobat 5.0 (learn by doing the tests with the e-version of the MPEP)
    By knowing the old test questions you will get between 1/3 and 1/2 of the total questions you need to pass. Use the rest of the time to look up answers that you're not sure of.

FWIW I think that 100-200 hours is a bit optimistic. I've seen 200-400 with higher pass rates associated with the more time committed...

    My approach was to read the MPEP from start to finish and then 100 and 200 again. If you dont have a background in this area, its tough to start because everything is interlinked.
    I then just went through the old exams and got comfortable with them

I would guess that the more $$$ courses would give you a better intro to patents, and why you would do one thing vs another, but I don't know if that is worth a few K...

Also, you have enough time to try this route, fail, do the expensive class and then pass. I.e. time is on your side.

zhlaw12345
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby zhlaw12345 » Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:31 pm

Has anyone tried the following book on Amazon?
http://www.amazon.com/Patent-Bar-Exam-U ... 890&sr=8-1

It costs only $30, and it receives 4 5* reviews.

However, I don't know whether those reviews come from "friends and families" of the author.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Patent Bar Preparation Materials?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:58 pm

zhlaw12345 wrote:Has anyone tried the following book on Amazon?
http://www.amazon.com/Patent-Bar-Exam-U ... 890&sr=8-1

It costs only $30, and it receives 4 5* reviews.

However, I don't know whether those reviews come from "friends and families" of the author.

The test is pretty easy to study for post-LSAT. Know your chapters (key is to instantly recognize the question topic and identify which chapter of the MPEP the answer should be found in). That's really all you need to do.




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