MPEP: What is it, Why is it so LARGE?

The MPEP is the manual for patent agents and patent examiners published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

In short (ha…pun intended!) it’s a long, long document (Over 3,000 pages) that describes the laws and regulations that must be followed in the examination of U.S. patent applications.  It also outlines in detail the appropriate actions to take, and responses to give, to an enormous variety of different situations in the patent world.

This is the document that is primarily tested on the USPTO Patent Bar Examination.  There are a few supplemental documents and briefs that are also included.

One of the major, major, pitfalls for many test-takers is they feel the need to memorize or know ALL the information contained within the MPEP.  This is an all but impossible task.  And, since it’s an all but impossible task, many individuals studying therefore feel ill prepared, freak out, and bomb the exam.  The sooner you come to terms with the cold, simple, fact, that you’ll never, ever, know everything in the MPEP (ESPECIALLY within 2 months of studying for the exam), the better off you’ll be.  Why?  You’ll be able to relax.  You’ll be able to accept what is, and utilize energy (That would have otherwise been wasted on anxious thoughts and worry) to study what’s important.  Focus on the architecture of the MPEP.  Learn some specifics, and lots of generalities to help steer you in the right direction through the MPEP.  You’re basically on a hunt, using clues and guides from memory (from your studies) to direct you through the MPEP.

So…that’s the MPEP.  


Link to the MPEP

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