The MS in U.S. patent practice prepares students who have a science or engineering background* to practice as patent agents before the United States Patent and Trademark Office in patent cases. A patent agent is a non-attorney whose license, issued by the Patent and Trademark Office, allows the person to prepare and prosecute patent applications. The global legal community is experiencing an increasing demand for intellectual property law services, thereby resulting in an increasing demand for patent agents knowledgeable in the field of intellectual property law.
This program provides the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to enter the field of patent agency well-prepared to prepare and prosecute patent cases. This program does not administer the Patent Agency Bar Examination, as the administration of the examination is the exclusive province of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
However, in addition to the theoretical and practical knowledge this program provides, a student can use the program to help prepare for taking the Patent Agent Bar Examination. Notably, the written portion of the Patent Agent Bar Examination has recently been eliminated. That means that many patent agents who pass the examination could be entering the work force with virtually no preparation in patent application drafting. A course of study such as this one, that teaches students the art of patent drafting, will likely result in student competency, marketability, and higher compensation.
The coursework in this program is designed to provide students who have a science or engineering degree the opportunity to practice as patent agents before the United States Patent and Trademark Office in patent cases. In addition, the coursework is designed to help prepare students to take the Patent Agent Bar Examination.
Please note that the MS in U.S. patent practice is not approved by the American Bar Association and is not intended to prepare students to work as paralegals.
*Pursuant to the General Requirements Bulletin for Admission to the Examination for Registration to Practice in Patent Cases before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, patent agents must possess the "legal, scientific, and technical qualifications necessary to enable him or her to render applicants for patents valuable service." Section 10.7. See Section 10.7 for educational credentials that can demonstrate the required scientific and technical training. Students in this program are entirely responsible for ensuring that they qualify to sit for the Patent Agent Bar Examination. For more information, please visit http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dcom/olia/oed/examregist.htm.
Upon completion of the program, students should: