Master of Science in U.S. Patent Practice
Note: The MS in U.S. Patent Practice degree is currently being revised; thus, applications to the program are not being accepted at this time. Please check this web page at a later date.
The global legal community's increasing demand for intellectual property law services means there is a growing need for patent examiners and patent agents.
Webster University’s online M.S. in U.S. Patent Practice prepares students who have a science or engineering background* to become patent examiners working for the United States Patent and Trademark Office or similar agencies in other countries. A patent examiner's job is to review patent applications and determine whether or not the applications meet the criteria for patentability, for example, whether an invention is novel and non-obvious.
The M.S. in U.S. Patent Practice also 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.
Not only does the MS in U.S. Patent Practice program provide theoretical and practical knowledge; it can also help a student prepare for the Patent Agent Bar Examination. Notably, the written portion of the Patent Agent Bar Examination has recently been eliminated. As a result, 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, which teaches students the art of patent drafting, will likely result in student competency, marketability, and higher compensation.
Please note that the M.S. in U.S. Patent Practice degree program does not administer the Patent Agency Bar Examination. The administration of the examination is the exclusive province of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The M.S. 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
Graduate Program Director
Robin Jefferson Higgins
Chair & Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor Robin Jefferson Higgins is chair of the Department of Legal Studies. She earned her BA in Economics and an MA in Spanish from the University of Missouri-Columbia, as well as a Juris Doctorate from St. Louis University. She was previously employed at Lashly & Baer, P.C., where she practiced School Law, Administrative Law, and Employment Law.
- Environmental Management
- International Nongovernmental Organizations
- Global Option:
International Nongovernmental Organizations
- Global Option:
- Legal Studies
- Nurse Anesthesia
- Patent Practice
- Thesis Requirement