Why the Exam Is So Difficult
The difficulty of the patent bar exam is well known. And, candidly, the process of preparing for this exam carries a somewhat grim reputation. It has been known to make grown men and women weep. There are, however, understandable reasons for the emphasis and focus of the patent bar exam.
There are effectively three general areas of expertise one needs to be an effective patent practitioner. First, it is essential to have a deep and robust understanding of the relevant scientific or technical areas in which you will practice. This is precisely why registration to sit for the patent bar is limited to candidates with the requisite scientific and technical training. Second, it is critical to develop a strategic ability to draft meaningful patents that will robustly protect the intellectual property of your clients or yourself. Third and by no means least, it is absolutely essential to develop the skills for navigating the complex rules and laws by which the USPTO operates. No matter how much finesse and expertise you bring to crafting beautiful patent applications, they will live or die depending upon your knowledge and ability to operate effectively within the USPTO procedures. It is this procedural aspect that is primarily tested on the patent bar exam.
In fact, the Institute for Patent Studies just completed a survey of new Patent Attorneys, and it was very revealing. It showed that about 80% of the questions on the exam are testing the America Invents Act (AIA). The survey also found that new patent practitioners wish they’d had more practice with sample exam questions—especially AIA questions—suggesting they had been given the wrong materials to study.
Customers who had bought more expensive courses said they were overwhelmed with the volume of the materials and received no guidance; customers who bought cheap courses complained that they received materials they had already found online for free.
PatBar® Students stated that they received the correct materials and the proper guidance.