A: A registered “patent attorney” is, first of all, an attorney who is licensed to practice law in at least one state or territory of the United States. Second, a registered patent attorney has passed a rigorous registration examination administered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”). Third, a registered patent attorney has obtained an adequate scientific and technical background or education, which is required before even being allowed to take the USPTO registration examination. A “patent agent” is someone who has passed the examination, but who is not a licensed attorney. Only a small percentage of attorneys are registered to practice before the USPTO. In fact, if you don’t count California, there are, on average, only about 500 such attorneys in each state, with Wyoming actually having less than ten!