U.S. Patent Practice (MS)


College of Arts & Sciences

Program Description

The MS in U.S. Patent Practice 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. The global legal community is experiencing an increasing demand for intellectual property law services, thereby resulting in an increasing demand for patent agents knowledgeable in the field of intellectual property law.

This program provides the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to enter the field of patent agency well-prepared to prepare and prosecute patent cases. This program does not administer the Patent Agency Bar Examination, as the administration of the examination is the exclusive province of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

However, in addition to the theoretical and practical knowledge this program provides, a student can use the program to help prepare for taking the Patent Agent Bar Examination. Notably, the written portion of the Patent Agent Bar Examination has recently been eliminated. That means that 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, that teaches students the art of patent drafting, will likely result in student competency, marketability, and higher compensation.

The coursework in this program is designed to provide students who have a science or engineering degree the opportunity to practice as patent agents before the United States Patent and Trademark Office in patent cases. In addition, the coursework is designed to help prepare students to take the Patent Agent Bar Examination.

Please note that the MS 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.

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Learning Goals for the Patent Agency Programs

Upon completion of the program, students should:

  • Understand the fundamentals of legal reasoning and analysis.
  • Understand the legal environment in which individuals, businesses, and the judiciary operate.
  • Be able to apply the theory of legal research and writing to practical problems encountered in patent litigation.
  • Obtain the practical knowledge needed to enter the field of patent agency well prepared to prepare and prosecute patent cases.
  • Understand the rules and regulations governing the filing and prosecution of applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including both the legal and ethical obligations of those practicing before the Office.
  • Master the computer skills necessary to search for patents along with finding court precedent regarding various patents.
  • Learn the fundamentals of intellectual property law and how it applies to patent litigation.

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Program Curriculum

The 36 credit hours required for the MS degree must include the following courses for a major in patent practice.

  • LEGL 5000 Introduction to Legal Studies (Requisite Course) (3 hours)
  • PATA 5100 Introduction to Patent Law (3 hours)
  • PATA 5110 Patent Research and Writing (3 hours)
  • PATA 5120 Foundations in Intellectual Property Law (3 hours)
  • PATA 5200 Patent Drafting (3 hours)
  • PATA 5210 Patent Prosecution (3 hours)
  • PATA 5300 Patent Office Ethics (3 hours)
  • PATA 5310 Patent Law Regulations and Procedures (3 hours)
  • PATA 5400 Patent Litigation in the Federal Courts (3 hours)
  • PATA 6000 Integrated Practices in U.S. Patent Office Procedure (3 hours)

Two elective courses (6 credit hours) from the following:

  • PATA 5500 Global Intellectual Property Law (3 hours)
  • PATA 5510 Copyright and Trade Secret Law (3 hours)
  • PATA 5520 Trademark Law (3 hours)
  • PATA 5530 Ownership, Licensing, and Transfer of Intellectual Property (3 hours)
  • PATA 5540 Computerized Patent Searching and Patentability (3 hours)

The MS in U.S. Patent Practice is not approved by the American Bar Association.

Successful completion of Webster’s  U.S. Patent Practice program should not be construed to imply state, local, or board certification, as only the United States Patent and Trademark Office licenses patent agents.

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Admission

Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should see the Admission Section of this catalog for general requirements.

Send all admission materials to

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 East Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119

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-Revised July 31, 2013-

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