This page addresses frequently asked questions about the MLS-Patent Practice and related topics.
Am I eligible to sit for the patent bar exam?
Only the Office of Enrollment and Discipline at the United States Patent and Trademark Office can determine eligibility to sit for the patent bar exam. The College of Law does not opine on applicants' eligibility. There is a process interested persons can utilize to have eligibility declared or declined before enrolling in the MLS-Patent Practice program. Click here for more information.
What is a patent agent?
A patent agent, formally referred to as a registered patent agent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), is a non-lawyer that has passed the patent bar exam and met the other requirements to represent others in patent matters before the USPTO. Click here for more information.
Why would I enroll in the MLS-Patent Practice program instead of just using a commercially available patent bar exam prep course?
The commercially available prep courses are focused on simply passing the patent bar exam. The MLS-Patent Practice will provide graduates with the information they need to pass the patent bar exam but the primary focus is to prepare graduates for a patent practice, either as part or all of the graduate's career. For example, the patent bar exam can be passed without an understanding of claim drafting best practices, client interviewing techniques, or a full understanding of intellectual property. The MLS-Patent Practice will provide a much broader level of expertise than the commercially available prep courses.
Why would I choose the ASU Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law for a patent-focused degree?
The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law has a long history of teaching intellectual property courses and a robust array of patent-related course offerings. Additionally, the College of Law houses the Center for Law, Science, and Innovation, one of the oldest and largest centers focused on issues related to technology and innovation. The MLS-Patent Practice curriculum also sets the program apart from others, featuring a wide array of patent and IP focused courses and allowing all 30 credit hours to be completed in law school courses, if the student chooses. Finally, the Tempe/Phoenix/Scottsdale area is a fun, vibrant, and destination area with many career, entertainment, and quality of life opportunities.
Do I need to take the GRE, LSAT or other entrance exam to apply for the MLS-Patent Practice program?
No, an entrance exam is not required as part of the admissions policies for the program. Click here for more information.
What is an MLS degree?
An MLS degree is a Master of Legal Studies degree, offered and conferred by the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Click here for more information.
What is a JD?
A JD is a Juris Doctor, the degree awarded by the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law that is a prerequisite for the practice of law in most US jurisdictions. In other words, it is the traditional law degree practicing attorneys obtain.
What is IP?
IP is an abbreviation for intellectual property. The generally accepted types of intellectual property are patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.
For what types of jobs would an MLS-Patent Practice degree be beneficial?
We believe our graduates can excel in any job in which a detailed understanding of patent law and a general understanding of intellectual property and the US legal system would be beneficial. The specific jobs include patent agents, technology transfer professionals, technical employees in general counsels' offices, and many more. Click here for more information.
If I enroll in the MLS-Patent Practice program, will I be in classes with law students?
Yes, many of the courses for the MLS-Patent Practice program are the same IP courses law students are enrolled in. Click here for more information.
If I enroll as an MLS-Patent Practice student and later decide that I want to be a law student, will I be more likely to be accepted as a JD student by the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law?
No, participation in the program will not have any effect on how your JD application is evaluated.
If I enroll as an MLS-Patent Practice student and later decide that I want to be a law student, will I be able to transfer credits to an accredited JD program?
No, the American Bar Association does not allow credits earned before formally enrolling as a JD student to count toward an accredited law degree.
Is there an online version of the MLS-Patent Practice program?
At this time, there is not a fully online version of the program.
Can I participate in the MLS-Patent Practice program on a part time basis?
Yes, the MLS-Patent Practice degree program can be completed in up to three years. Click here for more information.
Can I start the program in either the Fall or Spring semester? Summer?
The program can be started in either the Fall or Spring semester, but not the Summer. Students beginning in the Spring should work closely with the advisors at the College of Law to ensure a proper ordering and timing of courses.
Can I qualify for financial aid if I enroll in the MLS-Patent Practice program?
Yes, if you meet the general financial aid requirements for the MLS. Click here for more information.
What if I already have a Masters or PhD in an engineering or science degree? Am I still a good candidate for the MLS-Patent Practice program?
Yes! You are a great candidate for the program.
How do I get in touch with someone at the College of Law to ask questions or obtain additional information about the MLS-Patent Practice program?
The easiest way to contact us is via email. Click here to contact us.