Career Licensing

The Career

U.S. Patent Agents and U.S. Patent Attorneys represent clients in all patent-related matters before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Washington D.C.

The licensing examination for U.S. Patent Agents and U.S. Patent Attorneys is identical. The only difference is that attorneys who are admitted to any state bar are permitted to use the title "U.S. Patent Attorney" and may represent clients in federal courts.

Licensing Authority

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Residency Requirements

There is no residency requirement.

Citizenship Requirements

There is no citizenship requirement.

Educational Requirements

A bachelor's degree in engineering or science enables one to sit the licensing examination.

In the absence of a university degree, a candidate for licensure may demonstrate that he has a technical education equivalent to that of a university degree by submitting official transcripts showing satisfactory completion of a prescribed list of courses in engineering, science and technology, and further demonstrating his knowledge by passing the Fundaments of Engineering Examination, administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

There is no requirement that the bachelor's degree or equivalent university education was earned within the United States of America.

Licensing Examination

The U.S. Patent Bar covers the content of 35 U.S.C., 37 C.F.R. and the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP).

The U.S. Patent Bar Examination is an objectively graded, multiple-choice examination. Seventy percent correct is the required passing score.

Examination Statistics

Each year, approximately 4,500 candidates for licensure sit the U.S. Patent Bar. The first-time pass rate for the U.S. Patent Bar is typically around 40%. Candidates who fail the examination are allowed to sit the examination repeatedly. In all, 55% of the candidates ultimately pass the examination.