Agents and attorneys: Learn to think like a patent examiner (STEPP) three-day course - CANCELED

This event has been CANCELED. If it will be rescheduled, we will publicize it when that decision is made. We apologize for the inconvenience.

If you are a patent attorney or agent, it helps to think like an examiner. Get a better understanding of how examiners makes decisions at the Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure (STEPP) agent attorney three-day course. The USPTO is applying for CLE credit in Minnesota for this course. 

In-person courses are led by USPTO trainers and based on material developed for training USPTO employees. Training focuses on how our examiners review patent applications according to the  Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). Similar to entry level examiners, each trainee will use a sample application that will be the focus of exercises. The training is broken into the following modules:

  • Day one focuses on the role of an examiner and the steps an examiner would take when reading an application for the first time, with an emphasis on claim interpretation and 35 USC 101 and 112.
  • Day two gives participants the chance to use the information gathered during day one to plan a search, conduct a search, and map prior art to claims using 35 USC 102 and 103.
  • Day three focuses on writing of an office action, as well as post-examination options such as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Central Reexamination Unit (CRU). 


Learn more about STEPP.

For a detailed schedule, please view the Agent/attorney 3-day course schedule.

For questions about this course, please email

Reasonable Accommodation Requests

If you are an individual with a disability in need of a reasonable accommodation to access this training, please contact the USPTO’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity (OEEOD) at or 571-272-8292.  You may also contact the USPTO’s Reasonable Accommodation Program Manager Heather Austin Jones at

This event is part of a series: Continuing legal education (CLE)