There are some key issues with the US patent bar and its qualifications process. The fundamental problem is that the qualifications for demonstrating sufficient scientific and technical qualifications are quite narrow, too rigid, and not in tune with today's technologies. According to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), its regulations provide that practitioners "demonstrate possession of scientific and technical qualifications" to register for the patent bar exam. As the US Patent and Trademark Office reviews its requirements to sit the patent bar, Finnegan partner Linda Thayer explains why change is vital to promote greater gender diversity in the patent field.

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