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Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

To practice any type of law, you must pass the bar exam of the state where you intend to practice. To qualify for the bar exam in most states, you must usually have a college degree as well as a law degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Many find these requirements tough enough, but would-be patent lawyers have a much longer and harder road to travel before they can practice. First, all patent attorneys must pass another bar exam specific to patent law and given by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Patent attorneys must then also prove that they have at least an undergraduate degree in one of the scientific fields that has been approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Additionally, the National Association of Patent Practitioners offers a voluntary certification program to patent practitioners.

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