« on: February 22, 2005, 11:37:59 AM »
I'm about 10% through the PATBAR course, and Reindeers is right on the money.
1) So far it really has nothing to do with the law, just the USPTO's regulations stemming from the law. It is very boring (as opposed to something you would wake up thinking about) but there are some interesting topics, read below.
2) There is a heavy emphasis on submitting correct materials and timelines for submission. Submitting the correct materials is extremely boring - who would want to memorize every paper that needs to be submitted in every single situation? However the timelines get very interesting since you begin to see the ambiguous side of the business where (i imagine) most patent lawyers make their living. Who has priority, foreign/domestic, etc.
3) I'm doing about the same as Reindeers, maybe a little less than 80%. Personally i'd have to spend significantly more time to better that grade (you know how it goes, sometimes the difference between an A and a B is much greater than the difference between a B and C).
4) The course requires discipline - it's not that easy to sit down for 2-3 hours a day and study for the patent bar considering the material is not very exciting. Good thing it's winter up here in Syracuse! But seriously, i'm working full time and to come home at 6 and start doing 3 hours of studying is not very pleasant, but oh well.
5) Does PATBAR prepare you for the bar exam? Won't really know until i take the test, but it seems intelligently put together, but not as structured as a regular college course. My guess is that there are so many places where to start this study that the author picked the most logical starting place for him. Doesn't look like there's a great base of information that you must know before moving forward, just a bunch of rules. If you go to PATBAR's website, you'll see some kind of statement that they don't publish success rates for applicants because it all depends on how much they study, etc. At first that looks like an excuse because the numbers are probably not as good as those live courses. But when thinking about it, the author is absolutely right, in this case since it's a take home course, your success depends only on your willingness to sit down and study.
Hope this is helpful somewhat...