Takeaway: The USPTO finalizes rules of those who can take the patent bar examination and practice before the U.S. Patent Office, specifically by expanding the list of accepted degrees or additional necessary training requirements.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released a notice that it is going to open up the pool of who is qualified to take the U.S. patent exam.

An examination applicant has to meet one of three criteria categories: Category A was for applicants with specific computer science, engineering, science or technology bachelor’s degrees; Category B was for those with a combination of another bachelor’s degree and additional training, such as 24 course hours of physic or 30 course hours of chemistry; and Category C included those with certain practical experience, such as passing the Fundamentals of Engineering test.

The opening of the applicant pool will add a new list of degrees to Category A that are currently part of Category B. Those degrees include aerospace engineering, bioengineering, biological science, biophysics, electronics engineering, genetic engineering, genetics, marine engineering, materials engineering, materials science, neuroscience, ocean engineering and textile engineering.

Additionally, the agency is making a change to allow advanced degrees in Category A to qualify under that category and would adjust how core sciences could be combined under Category B to qualify those applicants for the exam.