Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Patent Agent Exams starting today

The Canadian Patent Agent exams start today and last till the end of the week. For those of you who are not familiar with them, here is the lowdown:

(a) you need to pass them to become a patent agent in Canada, and

(b) they are notoriously difficult: the pass rate on the initial sitting is less than 5%.

Most people pass through sheer bloody-mindedness: the exams are set in four sections, and if you get 60% on a section you don't have to write it again, so you can pass by sitting the exams several times (i.e. year after year) until you accumulate passes to all four sections.

The exams cover validity, infringement, patent drafting, and patent office practice. They tend to be practical in nature: for example, the patent drafting exam simply provides a description of an invention from an inventor, and gives the student four hours to draft a patent application. The practical nature of the exams seems to be what people trip up on. However, the validity, infringement and patent office exams also test knowledge on a pretty wide range of topics.
Good luck to everyone writing the exams! (especially those from Gilbert's)!


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