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   Newly Minted Patent Agent w/ ?'s
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Brett
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Newly Minted Patent Agent w/ ?'s
« on: May 10th, 2004, 5:16am »
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Hi everyone.  I was informed a few days ago that I passed the patent bar on appeal.  I have a few questions related to the job market for patent agents.  Is the market hot or cold?  Which readily-available books should I purchase to learn how to draft a patent?  Do large law firms typically subsidize law school?  Any advice is welcome.  BTW, I'm a mechanical engineer with 5 years experience.
 
Thanks,
Brett
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eric stasik
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Re: Newly Minted Patent Agent w/ ?'s
« Reply #1 on: May 10th, 2004, 7:36am »
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Dear Brett,
 
My impression of the market is that it is lukewarm. For mechanical engineers I don't know if the water is ever warmer than tepid.  
 
The USPTO is perhaps the best place to look for employment if you want to go to law school and want to learn how to write applications.  
 
As a general comment, it is a little disturbing that someone can pass the USPTO's registration (not bar) exam and be asking for help as to how to draft an application! I have said it before in this forum, 50% of the USPTO's problems are a result on the applicants' representatives who are not adequately trained.  
 
In contrast, a European Patent Attorney must have several years of apprenticeship under a registered EP attorney before he is even allowed to sit for the European Qualifying Exam.  
 
Until the AIPLA demands tougher standards for its own members their complaints about the USPTO are hypocritical, self-serving, and not worth listening to.  
 
/end rant
 
As for books to help you NoLo's "Patent it Yourself" is not bad.  
 
Good Luck!
 
Regards,
 
Eric Stasik
(Registered US Patent Agent 37, 944)
 
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eric stasik
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Isaac
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Re: Newly Minted Patent Agent w/ ?'s
« Reply #2 on: May 10th, 2004, 8:56am »
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I understand Mr. Stasik's concern about the lack of training in drafting an application.  Upon certification we are so ill prepared that few newly minted practitioners would try to draft an application without a suitable apprenticeship period.
 
I'm not sure why you object to the term "bar" exam.   I suppose the term is not literally correct, but it is at least colloquial to refer to patent agents and attorneys as belonging to a patent bar/
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Isaac
eric stasik
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Re: Newly Minted Patent Agent w/ ?'s
« Reply #3 on: May 10th, 2004, 10:39am »
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on May 10th, 2004, 8:56am, Isaac Clark wrote:
I understand Mr. Stasik's concern about the lack of training in drafting an application.  Upon certification we are so ill prepared that few newly minted practitioners would try to draft an application without a suitable apprenticeship period.
/

 
Precisely my point Mr. Clark. One should not be "certified" until one is adequately prepared. Apprenticeship BEFORE certification would make more sense. I believe it is a disservice to the public for the USPTO to authorize people to represent inventors before the USPTO before they are properly prepared to do so.
on May 10th, 2004, 8:56am, Isaac Clark wrote:
I'm not sure why you object to the term "bar" exam.  I suppose the term is not literally correct, but it is at least colloquial to refer to patent agents and attorneys as belonging to a patent bar/

 
Perhaps I am being pedantic, but the term "bar" refers exclusively to those who are authorized to represent clients in front of courts of law. There is no "patent bar" the USPTO is not a court of law and thus the term "bar" is both misleading and inaccurate - despite it's common use.  
 
RogersDA - thanks for the info! I was unaware that the USPTO is no longer sponsoring law school for examiners. Pity. Some of the best patent attorneys I know have been minted in this manner.  
 
Regards,
 
Eric Stasik
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eric stasik
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JimIvey
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Re: Newly Minted Patent Agent w/ ?'s
« Reply #4 on: May 10th, 2004, 11:22am »
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on May 10th, 2004, 7:36am, eric stasik wrote:
As a general comment, it is a little disturbing that someone can pass the USPTO's registration (not bar) exam and be asking for help as to how to draft an application! I have said it before in this forum, 50% of the USPTO's problems are a result on the applicants' representatives who are not adequately trained.  
 
In contrast, a European Patent Attorney must have several years of apprenticeship under a registered EP attorney before he is even allowed to sit for the European Qualifying Exam.

 
 
I have to agree with Mr. Stasik's observation.  I worked as a patent attorney for 3 years before being confortable signing my own papers without partner supervision.
 
I ocassionally see work done by other attorneys and agents.  Much of it is fine, but some of it is downright scary!  
 
Combine that with the trend away from the doctrine of equivalents and the inadequacy of PTO funding, and the future looks pretty bleak for US patent applicants.
 
Regards.
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