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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW

agent vs. attorney

understanding the difference

Lincoln’s unique intellectual property (IP) studies program offers students opportunities to learn more about IP law and give them hands-on experience in the only IP Clinic in Northern California. Lincoln offers both agent and JD programs.

Patent Agent (IP Studies)

Patent Agents are licensed to draft patents and to appear in front of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seeking protection of those patents on behalf of the inventor. A Patent Agent must pass the Patent Bar Exam. Lincoln’s one year Patent Agent Program is designed to teach students how to draft and present patents. It is the only program in Northern California that provides a Clinic in which students may practice these skills on behalf of actual inventors prior to being licensed. The Patent Agent Program also prepares students to take the Patent Bar Exam.

Patent Attorney (JD + IP Studies)

Patent Attorneys are licensed to draft patents and to appear in front of the United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) seeking protection of those patents on behalf of the inventor. The difference between a Patent Agent and a Patent Attorney is that Patent Attorney may also appear in State or Federal Court to defend those patents against infringement (third parties using the invention without permission). Patent Attorneys must pass both the Patent Bar Exam (to obtain their Patent License) and a state Bar Exam (to become licensed as an attorney). Lincoln students pursuing a Juris Doctor in preparation for the California Bar Exam may take IP Studies courses and participate in the IP Clinic as electives. These students may become Patent Agents on their way to becoming Patent Attorneys.

explore intellectual property law at Lincoln.

Applications are accepted year-round for terms beginning in January, May, and August each year. 

If you have questions, we’re here to help.

Call or email an admissions counselor today.

find your career in law.

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