The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or just PTO) allows you apply for patent protection for your own invention. This is known as a patent application. You may write the application yourself, or have someone else write the application for you. In order to have another person write a patent application for your invention, that person must first pass the United States Patent Bar Exam. The pre-requirements for this exam can be obtained from the PTO. A person who passes this exam is called a patent agent, and may write patent applications for inventors. A patent attorney is a patent agent who, in addition to passing the patent bar exam, has also attended law school, has passed a State bar exam, and currently holds a valid license to practice law in that State. They can write patent applications for inventors, and can also go to court and litigate a patent infringement case.

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