Which Path is Right For You?

Patent Agent Certificate - 1 year

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 Certificate program is designed to teach students how to draft and present patents. It is the only program in Northern California that provides a USPTO-approved 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) - 4 years

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 a 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 degree 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.