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   Trick Question on Patent Bar!?
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   Author  Topic: Trick Question on Patent Bar!?  (Read 797 times)


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Trick Question on Patent Bar!?
« on: Jan 15th, 2005, 4:32pm »
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I am studying for the Patent Bar, in part by going over old tests.  One question is, "On Monday April 5, 1999, an office action was mailed by the Patent Office, giving a three month reduced statutory period for reply.  What is the latest day to reply without seeking an extension of time?"
The choices are July 2, July 3, July 5, July 6, and August 3 (don't know where they came up with that last one!).  Well, July 4 is obviously excluded because it's a Federal holiday, so the apparent correct choice is July 5.  The answer key, however, indicates that the correct answer is July 6, since July 5 of that year was a Monday, and so was the operational holiday day for July 4th.  Problem is -- it doesn't say anywhere in the question that July 4th, 1999 is a Sunday.  
Do they provide a calendar of some kind along with the test, or am I supposed to be an idiot savante and know this Rainman style?  (No sarcastic replies, please.)  Or am I supposed to actually use my knowledge of the number of days in each month to figure out that July 4 falls on a Sunday!?  (Let's see, if April 5 is a Monday, and April has 30 days, then May 5 is a Wednesday.  May has 31 days, so June 5 must be a Saturday.  June has 30 days, so that moves July 5 to a Monday, making July 4 a Sunday.  But first, I have to start with "30 days hath September, April, June and November....")  
I mean, is this for real, or did they just omit something from the test question by accident?
Also, please don't point out that a 1999 test is too old.  It's just for warming up, the next test I do will be from 2003 and 2004.  Anyway, thanks in advance for all replies -- do I have to worry about trick questions like this on the test?
Steve O.
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Re: Trick Question on Patent Bar!?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 15th, 2005, 9:18pm »
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One thing to remember is that when the 1999 test was given you were allowed to bring in any material you needed to take the test (except for old exams) and everyone knew that these calendar questions revolving around weekends and holidays were commonly asked.  
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Pat agent 007
Re: Trick Question on Patent Bar!?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 21st, 2005, 3:13pm »
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Steve O. -
The 1999 test is too old.
Okay, just kidding.
The question you describe is what's referred to by those skilled in the art as a POSH (Patent Office Sick Humor) question.
Don't worry, there won't be 31 of these on your exam.   Maybe 2 or 3, but you don't need 100 to pass.
Just ignore questions like these.  It's sad that the PTO test makers feel the need to test knowledge of calendars of past years.  It's pointless.  
A better question would simply inform you that July 5 is a federal holiday.  The point should be to test whether you know due dates are delayed for holidays, not whether you know July 5 five years ago fell on a Monday.
So, bottom line - will there be POSH questions on your exam?  Probably.  Should you worry about these types of questions?  No.  Learn the important stuff, blow off the POSH stuff.
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Re: Trick Question on Patent Bar!?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 21st, 2005, 5:12pm »
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I am not overly familiar with the new computerized patent bar exam but can one not access the date and time properties box on the system tray, in the lower right corner? If yes, you can view any month in a given year.
I remember seeing that exact same question during my studying for the patent bar. To get around that type of question, I ripped off the back of a few old check registers that had calendars printed on them and included them with my reference material. Of course, that can't be done nowadays..
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