For further information and the application form, consult the General Requirements Bulletin(link is external) and the Routine Processing of Certain Documents or Requests Submitted to the Office of Enrollment and Discipline page.
Application and Registration Process
Summary information detailing the application and registration process.
Notice Regarding Registration Exam Scheduling
The Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) has temporarily extended the window for scheduling the registration examination. No action on the part of applicants is necessary.
For applicants who are admitted to take the registration examination during the months of April and May 2021, OED will set the scheduling window to 240 days.
The modification of registration examination scheduling periods as referenced herein is temporary. OED will post notice prior to a return to the regular scheduling window.
Prometric re-instated rescheduling fees on August 3, 2020 according to established program policies.
Recently, the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) launched an online exam applicant portal where applicants can apply or reapply for the Registration Examination. Prior to the launch, OED only accepted applications sent through postal mail. The online portal allows applicants to fill out forms, upload supporting documentation, and pay applicable examination and application fees for immediate receipt by OED. Designed to be a practical and simple self-service portal, OED continually looks for ways to use technology to create a user-friendly experience for applicants to conduct transactions with the office. To apply online, please visit the Exam Applicant Portal.
Registration examination questions
The computer-delivered examination includes 100 multiple-choice questions, of which 90 are scored. To pass the examination, a candidate must correctly answer seventy percent of the scored questions (63 of 90). Each scored question has been used on previous examination forms and has been psychometrically analyzed to ensure the question provides a useful assessment of a candidate's legal qualifications.
Ten of the questions on the computer-delivered examination will be undergoing beta testing. The ten beta test questions will be distributed throughout the examination. These questions will not be identified and will not be scored. These questions will be psychometrically analyzed to assess whether the questions are too simple, complex, or ambiguous to serve as an adequate basis for measuring candidates' legal qualifications. Accordingly, these questions will not be included in the scoring of the candidate's examination or in determining whether a candidate has passed or failed an examination. Beta test questions will not be available for review by candidates who do not pass the examination.
Beta test questions that are found to accurately measure candidates' legal qualifications will be introduced into future examination forms and scored. The future examination forms will include different beta test questions. In this manner, the USPTO will continue to beta-test new questions in the registration examination to identify questions capable of measuring candidates' legal qualifications and add those questions to the database of questions that can be used and scored in the registration examination.
Notice of non-disclosure agreement
Anyone taking the registration examination is expressly prohibited from disclosing, publishing, reproducing, or transmitting the content, or substantially similar content, of the examination, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose. At each test site, every applicant is required to enter into a non-disclosure agreement as a condition to sitting for the examination.
Any information tending to show that an applicant failed to abide by the non-disclosure agreement will be considered when determining whether an applicant has demonstrated good moral character for the purposes of registration or recognition. See 37 CFR § 11.7(g)(2). If an applicant discloses information that appears to be substantially similar to the content of the examination, OED will consider whether an ordinary reasonable person would recognize the essence of an examination question based upon the information disclosed.
Applicants who failed their registration examination will be able to schedule a review session through Prometric at a location selected by the applicant. Reviews must take place within 60 days of the mailing date of the notice of results. Applicants will review only those scored questions they answered incorrectly (37 CFR § 11.7(e)). Complete instructions for scheduling these review sessions will be provided with the result letters.
Examination updates and source materials
The USPTO will update the registration examination on October 13, 2020. The examination will be blacked out as follows: no examination will be administered from October 6, 2020 through October 12, 2020. The updated examination will cover the subject matter designated as “BEGINNING OCTOBER 13, 2020” in the source materials, including the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP), Ninth Edition, Revision 08.2017. Please be advised that the updated examination will additionally cover Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (81 Fed. Reg. 18750, April 1, 2016) (allowing for testimonial evidence in a preliminary response to petition). Up until October 6, 2020, however, the examination will cover the subject matter designated as “THROUGH OCTOBER 6, 2020” in the source materials.