Intellectual Property Clinic

Patent Bar

What is the Patent Bar?

The patent bar is required in order to represent clients before the USPTO. The patent bar test focuses on principles largely found in the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP).

Category A

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has indicated that a potential applicant (for the patent bar) can qualify by complying with at least one listed CATEGORY of classification.

  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Botany
  • Ceramic Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science*
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electrochemical Engineering
  • Electronics Technology
  • Engineering Physics
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Food Technology
  • General Chemistry
  • General Engineering
  • Geological Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Marine Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metallurgical Engineering
  • Microbiology
  • Mining Engineering
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Physics
  • Textile Technology

*Acceptable Computer Science degrees must be accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Commission (CSAC) of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB), or by the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), on or before the date the degree was awarded. Computer science degrees that are accredited may be found on the Internet (See HERE).

Additional Options

If a student does not have a listed bachelor degree, the USPTO indicates that CATEGORY B may be consulted to determine if the applicant would otherwise qualify. CATEGORY B includes the following criteria:


24 semester hours in physics. Only physics courses for physics majors will be accepted.


32 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following:

  • 8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics,
  • 24 semester hours in biology, botany, microbiology, or molecular biology.


30 semester hours in chemistry. Only chemistry courses for chemistry majors will be accepted.


40 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following: 8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics, and 32 semester hours of chemistry, physics, biology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology, or engineering. (For Computer Science, see other acceptable course work.

Note: For Option Two, the 8 semester hours in chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics must be obtained in two sequential courses, each course including a lab. Only courses for science or engineering majors will be accepted.

Further information on such categories (as well as all requirements) may be obtained at HERE. Students need to ensure that, in addition to satisfying the technical requirements, they also comply with the visa (or citizenship) requirements as well.