“Patent Agent Privilege” Confirmed

A three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit has affirmed “patent agent privilege” in granting a petition filed by a Canadian University in a lawsuit over its patents.

Queens University at Kingston sued Samsung in 2014, claiming the company infringed the university’s patents for user interfaces used by so-called smart devices. Documents were requested during discovery that Queens University refused to provide, on the basis that the documents contained privileged communications between patent agents and university employees specific to the patents’ prosecution.

In March 2016, the Federal Circuit agreed with the university, ruling that congressional recognition of an agent’s authority to act is essentially the same as that of a patent attorney, and thus supports independent patent agent privilege. The ruling limits this privilege to communications that are “reasonably necessary and incident to the prosecution of patents before the Patent Office”.

Industry’s Only Double Guarantee Announced

PatBar® wants you to get started as soon as possible on the path to your lucrative new career.  So, we are introducing the Patent Bar Review industry’s only Double Guarantee.

First: if you want to return your course for any reason within 30 days, we will give you a full refund.  Just email us a request.*

Second: if, on your first try within one year after originally purchasing our course, you don’t pass the exam, we will extend your subscription by 9 months.  Just email us the letter from the USPTO.  Applies to purchases made after November 30, 2015.

You want to pass the Patent Bar.  We want you to be prepared with confidence.

 

*This policy has been in effect since 2002.

FAQ: “What does ‘guaranteed’ mean?”

“Pass the exam or your money back.” Sounds great, you think; they’re saying I’m guaranteed to pass the Patent Bar Exam.

Except, that’s not what they’re saying at all.

To get your refund from these companies, you would have to show documentation that you took the Exam and failed. You would be required to do so even if you recognize immediately that a program you’ve purchased is no good, or is not right for you. Not only have you spent $390 in fees to take the Exam, but you’ve lost several months of your time to re-apply, study harder (possibly after buying a different course), and take it again—for another $390.

It’s not just the time and money; it’s also the effort you could have put into something more productive—like getting started with your career—if you had passed on the first try.

Only PatBar® offers a double-guarantee: 1) we will refund your money if you want to return our program for any reason within 30 days (our policy since 2002); 2) if, on your first try within one year after originally purchasing our course, you don’t pass the exam, we will renew/extend your subscription by nine months.

You’re here for one reason: to pass the Patent Bar Exam. We’re here to get you there.

Post-Grant Review: A Closer Look

One of the most significant changes to patent law in recent years is the post-grant review (PGR) program—an important weapon for companies facing infringement suits by patent owners. So, how does the process work—and is it working as intended?

A roundtable panel of patent experts recently convened to discuss PGR, and most support the changes. The review process is streamlined and much faster, they said, leading to as many petition filings in 2015 as there were inter partes reexamination requests over the previous 13 years.

One panelist, however, believes the playing field is not yet level, and suggests further changes. For example, since only a petitioner can submit a declaration by an expert in the appropriate field, it would be more equitable if the USPTO—which has made the same proposal—could accept similar testimonial evidence in support of a patent owner’s response, since an initial determination by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is difficult to overcome.

Source: Global Media Business Group

Advice from a Patent Law Expert

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act brought significant changes to the patenting process, both pre- and post-grant of patents. The Patent Bar Exam will be updated starting in mid-March as it continues to reflect those changes.

In January, Patent Attorney Emeritus David Meeks completed the updates to the PatBar® Patent Bar PREP review course. David is an expert on the Exam and has advised students for more than 20 years. He says it is important to keep track of the specific dates on which certain practices changed.

“Although we think the OED will be testing mostly the current practice, that may not always be the case—such as the changes to prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103.

“Concentrate on current practice, but you need be able to easily spot when it is the former practice that is being tested in a question on the exam, and react accordingly.”

MD Prof Wants Looser Restrictions for PBE—Likely?

A Baltimore, MD, law professor with extensive experience in patent law has written that he’d like to see any US lawyer qualify to sit for the Patent Bar Exam, essentially removing the existing restriction to only those in specific STEM fields. Is that likely to happen? A co-director of the Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship doesn’t think so.

Writing for Patently-O, University of Missouri School of Law Professor Dennis Crouch says the courts and Congress, together with the USPTO, intentionally shifted focus over the years toward detailed technological improvement, rather than a more abstract notion of an invention.

“My experience is that a technology-savvy patent attorney will be better able to cost-effectively understand the important technological details,” Crouch writes. “The technological-education requirement of the patent bar places one hurdle in that framework, but the market continues to operate in this area as well. For instance, many companies only hire patent attorneys with relevant experience in the appropriate technological area and don’t simply rely upon the ‘patent attorney’ status as a total qualifier.”

Careers Website Recommends Patent Law to Life Scientists

Bio Careers® for post-graduate Life Scientists says there is a “substantial need” among pharmaceutical and biotech companies for professionals who are registered to practice before the USPTO.

J. G. Hilton specialist Robert Hagan says some scientists prefer to prepare for and take the Patent Bar Exam before they attend law school. “For those who pass and become patent agents,” Hagan writes, “it provides a good opportunity to experience the practice of patent law before making the decision to attend law school.” If patent agents then choose to pursue the law degree, “it may provide a great opportunity to work part-time during law school, or even work full-time while attending law school on a part-time basis.”

Hagan says a good home-study course like PatBar® Patent Bar PREP is particularly beneficial for students with existing work and school schedules, allowing them to digest the material and prepare at their own pace to sit for the Exam.