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   Should I take the patent bar before 1L?
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   Author  Topic: Should I take the patent bar before 1L?  (Read 2993 times)
V J
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Should I take the patent bar before 1L?
« on: Jan 20th, 2006, 2:56pm »
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I have a chem eng background and will be attending law school in Fall 06.  I plan to pursue patent law.  I am deciding whether to take the patent bar this summer before school starts.
 
Another law student has told me that you can practice patent litigation without the patent bar.  However, you must pass the bar in order to do patent prosecution.  Can anyone confirm or reject this information?
 
Since I currently don't know which type of patent law I will want to pursue, I am struggling with the decision:  Should I take the patent bar this summer, after law school, or never?  An important piece of information would be whether passing the patent bar would be useful along the career path of a patent litigator.  Suppose I follow the path to patent litigation, I do not want to look back on the time/money/happiness spent this summer passing a bar that had no value to me ever.
 
Any advice on the benefits of the patent bar, how to decide now between the 2 forms of patent law, or anything else would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
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Isaac
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Re: Should I take the patent bar before 1L?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 20th, 2006, 4:04pm »
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A registration number is only required for handling patent related matters before the patent office.  It is not required for litigating patent matters in federal court.
 
Patent prosecution might be a stepping stone to getting involved in patent litigation at some firms.  But if you don't want to do prosecution even to get your foot in the door, I don't see why having a reg number would help you.  
 
Also, I think you are completely over dramatizing the impact preparing for the patent bar might have on your summer.   Studying a few hours a day for several months ought to be plenty of preparation.   I cannot imagine looking back on that small amount of time three years from now and considering it wasted.  Heck, you might even learn something.  Your mileage may vary.
 
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Isaac
Wiscagent
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Re: Should I take the patent bar before 1L?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 20th, 2006, 4:36pm »
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Passing the patent bar and becoming a registered patent agent can only help you get a summer job between law school sessions and a full-time job after you graduate.
 
I don't know if this is important to your potential clients, but only if you pass the patent bar can you be a "patent attorney."  Of course without USPTO registration you  could call yourself an "intellectual property lawyer," or something like that.
 
My suggestion is to spend a couple of hours each day this summer studying, then take the exam before school starts in the fall.
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Richard Tanzer
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Eliz
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Re: Should I take the patent bar before 1L?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 23rd, 2006, 7:34am »
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Take it this summer.  I took it in July and started law school this fall.  I am now in the job search process for 1L summer, and while I don't have any offers yet, almost every interviewer has commented on how impressive it is that I have already passed the exam.  If nothing else, it shows that you really are interested in patent law.  I don't know where you are going to law school, but unless you are at a top school (and by "top school," I mean those ranked in the top 3) you will likely need all the help you can get when looking for a job 1L summer.  Passing the patent bar could only help.  And you will have plenty of time to do things other than study this summer.  Good luck!
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bjr
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Re: Should I take the patent bar before 1L?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 23rd, 2006, 9:49am »
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I took the patent bar prior to entering law school.  I felt like I gained an enormous advantage over those who did not.  A reg # is req'd at my mid-size firm to work as either a prosecutor or litigator.   Just do it - you won't regret it.
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