Professors Ralph Clifford, Tom Field, and Jon Cavicchi have published an interesting study on the technical backgrounds of patent attorneys and agents. After the trio submitted a FOIA request, the PTO handed-over 50,000 pages of patent bar registration applications. Using that information, the trio created a database of registered patent attorneys and their associated degrees/schools.
The paper makes the legitimate argument that the PTO should allow folks with a computer science degree to register — especially with the rise in the number of inventions related to computer science. “[A]n institutional bias exists within the PTO that prevents software-savvy individuals from registering with the Office.”
The following table is excerpted from the article and shows the top-ten institutions where patent attorneys/agents received non-law degrees.
|Rank||Non-Law Degree University||Count|
|2||Massachusetts Inst. Tech.||908|
|5||Univ. California Berkeley||623|
- The article’s data is of attorneys registered as of May 2006.
- Download the article here.