How to Become a Patent Agent


To become a patent agent that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) officially recognizes you will need a background and education in one of the technological fields the PTO considers acceptable for patent examiners. Plan on getting a bachelor's degree, at the very least. Expect to complete additional training and certifications along the way.

  • Access the official website for the PTO. Go to "Resources" and search for the document "USPTO General Requirements For Taking The Patent Bar."

  • Review the list of degrees and related fields for all categories. Check for any alternative training suggested in that field. Choose a field to focus on and the degrees that field requires to become a patent agent.

  • Get a bachelor's degree in the field you've chosen. Take any alternative training classes the PTO suggests.

  • Apply to become a patent agent under the correct category the PTO lists in its general requirements. Provide all necessary documentation to prove your skills in that field.

  • Make an appointment to take the Patent Bar Exam. Call Thomson Prometric at 1-800-479-6369 for the appointment. Study for the exam by getting copies of previous exams on the PTO's official website.

  • Gather proof for the PTO that you are either a citizen of the United States or a legal alien. Alternatively, prove that you are a foreign applicant in good standing who served in the patent office of your native country.

  • Expect to show proof to the PTO that you are a patent agent applicant "in good moral standing." Demonstrate that you are not a convicted felon and that you never pled guilty to a felony.

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