How to Prepare for the (US) Patent Bar for Free
Wondering how to prepare for the Patent Bar for free?
With some planning and hard work you can pass the patent bar without spending a dime on professional courses. As a practitioner in the field (and from experience) I can tell you how I prepared and passed the patent bar in the first attempt.
Before I begin, a customary disclaimer. The following is a suggestive studying method based on my experience and may (or may not) work for everybody. While I do not condone commercial patent bar prep courses, if you do choose to use them, my suggestive studying method may be used as a supplemental method of studying or to augment/test ones knowledge/skill.
Let’s get to it!
I. Presume the Patent Bar Exam is Closed-Book
Now you say, “But wait a second, it is open book!”
Technically, that’s correct. However, in practice it is not. In fact, if you are going to rely on the inbuilt “search” feature to pass the patent bar, most likely you will fail!
First, the search feature is primitive to the extent that it becomes useless. Second, it is a time-trap. It will take you longer to search for an answer if you were to browse the MPEP. Use it only as a last resort once you’ve visited all the questions. Basically, prior to guessing.
To prepare for the patent bar, you will need to memorize most of the manual or at least have a very good approximation as to the section of the MPEP where the information may reside.
II. How To Prepare For the Patent Bar Without Spending a Dime
Step 1: Use the mypatentbar.com website
The only resource every patent bar student should visit and bookmark is mypatentbar.com. This will be your “go-to” study guide. Note: I am not affiliated with the mypatentbar.com website in any way!
The goal is to become a sponge and absorb as much information as you can from this site. Start with the “Exam Questions and Concepts” Section. Once done, scroll to the bottom and start going over the comments (bottom up). Repeat the process with “Repeat Questions.”
Now you’ll need help in memorizing the answers. For this, let’s go to step 2.
Step 2: Searchable Version of the MPEP
When you encounter questions from the comments on mypatentbar.com, I suggest utilizing my free searchable MPEP available at https://www.clfip.com/ip/blog/mpep/. Although I created this replication to assist patent practitioners (like myself), the search tool can be a handy tool for patent bar exam students. Read the usage suggestions and examples, and then type in the keywords from the questions encountered on the comments section of mypatentbar.com.
Read the answer from the comment and verify the answer from the relevant section of the MPEP you found using the searchable tool. But do not stop there, read the entire subsection of the result using our MPEP search.
As with any exam you will realize that certain sections of the MPEP are “examination” favorites. You will also notice that variations of the same question appear quite often. Thus, reading the entire subsection helps. Also, you will notice that the searchable version of the MPEP only presents the relevant subsection(s) — unlike other versions found of the USPTO’s website where the whole section is dumped to the user. The searchable version thus makes studying more manageable along with an easier determination of the “examination” favorite subsections of the MPEP.
III. Concluding Remarks
If you follow my method, you should be able to memorize most of the subject matter. Is memorizing possible? Yes. Those who have taken (or will eventually take) a bar exam would realize that memorization of 29+ subjects in a close booked exam (the California bar) is possible. I have done it, and so have countless others. By implementing similar techniques you should be able to memorize most of the subject matter presented in the MPEP. I’m sure those with financial interests in patent bar courses will disagree or make it seem as if this method is difficult, so take their (and my) advice with a grain of salt.
Originally published at https://www.clfip.com on October 26, 2019.