Applications will also be accepted from students who expect to complete qualifying education within 9 months from the date of application. USPTO requires verification of successful completion before extending a final offer.Learn more about this agency
Come work for the USPTO, we have been ranked as one of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government®!
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been serving the economic interests of America for more than 200 years. We are responsible for granting US intellectual property rights for patents and trademarks. Our efforts have provided inventors exclusive rights over their discoveries. It's an effort that continues to contribute to a strong global economy, to encourage investment in innovation and to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit for the 21st century. The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and has over 12,000 employees, including engineers, scientists, attorneys, analysts, IT specialists, etc. all dedicated to accomplishing the USPTO’s mission, vision, strategic goals and guiding principles. For more information about the USPTO, please visit the USPTO Careers Website.
THIS VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT IS FOR POSITIONS LOCATED IN SAN JOSE, CA ONLY. YOUR APPLICATION TO THIS VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT WILL ONLY ALLOW CONSIDERATION FOR THIS ANNOUNCEMENT AND THIS DUTY STATION.
Please read this entire announcement before submitting application materials.
A patent examiner (PE) reviews applications to determine whether patents can be granted for inventions. Patents give inventors the right to exclude others from making or selling their inventions for a limited time. As a U.S. patent examiner, you will handle these basic patent examining functions:
- Search prior art to ensure that an invention is new and unique. Prior art is information that has been disclosed to the public about an invention before a given date - including any related patents, published articles and public demonstrations.
- Review patent applications to ensure conformity to formal requirements.
- Write legal office actions on patentability and respond to patent applicants.
GS-9: Independently perform basic patent examining functions with some supervision. Assignments are of average difficulty and require the application of technical concepts to the patent examining process. May perform advanced patent examining functions with supervision (e.g., the evaluation of special claim constructions, the requirement of restrictions, the recognition and development of probable interferences, etc.). These advanced activities are supported by close review.
Almost all of a Patent Examiner's work is performed using a computer and is visually very demanding.
This is a Electrical Engineering position. If this is not your area of expertise, please consult our Careers Website and consider one of our other open Patent Examiner positions. We regularly have openings for Patent Examiner positions in disciplines such as:
- Computer Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
Who May Apply
This job is open to…Applications will be accepted from all United States Citizens and Nationals.
**One or more cutoff dates may occur at management's request during the open period for this announcement.**
Questions? This job is open to 1 group.
Job family (Series)
Conditions Of Employment
- Engneering degree or combination of engineering edu. & tech. experience
- Basic Qualifications plus additional Qualification Requirements
- U.S. Citizen or National
- Live near, or be willing to relocate or commute to the San Jose metro area
- Submit a complete application and furnish all required documentation
- Enjoy research and work well autonomously
B) Have at least one year of specialized experience, equivalent to the GS-5 level in the Federal service interpreting and applying basic engineering and/or scientific principles, theories, concepts and methodologies used in the evaluation of technology; planning and conducting research; applying appropriate references to the claimed invention, etc.
C) Have at least one year of graduate level education from an accredited college and/or university in the fields of study as described in the Basic Qualification Requirements. If the number of credit hours representing one year of full-time study cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours will be considered an academic year of graduate study.
D) Have less than the full amount of graduate education as described in “C” above and less than the amount of experience described in “B” above, but have a combination “B” and “C” above.
GS-9: A) Have at least one year of specialized experience, equivalent to the GS-7 level in the Federal service interpreting and applying intermediate engineering and/or scientific principles, theories, concepts and methodologies used in the evaluation of technology; planning and conducting research; applying appropriate references to the claimed invention, etc.
B) Have at least two years of graduate level education leading to a master’s degree or equivalent graduate degree from an accredited college and/or university in the fields of study as described in the Basic Qualification Requirements. If the number of credit hours representing one year of full-time study cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours will be considered an academic year of graduate study.
C) Have less than the full amount of graduate education as described in “B” above and less than the amount of experience described in “A” above, but have a combination of “A” and “B” above.
QualificationsYou must meet the United States Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) qualification requirements. by the closing date of this announcement.
BASIC QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: To be considered for this position, you must have either: (A) successfully completed a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in Engineering; OR (B) a combination of qualifying education and experience.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience:
A) Successfully completed a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in Engineering (See REQUIRED DOCUMENTS). The curriculum must:
1. Be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum;
2. Include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas:
a) statics, dynamics
b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships)
c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics
e) electrical fields and circuits
f) nature and properties of materials (relating to particle and aggregate structure to properties)
g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics or electronics
B) A combination of Education and Experience. This combination of college level education, training and/or technical experience must have furnished both:
• A thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering;
AND • A good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their application to professional engineering
This can be demonstrated by one of the following:
1. Professional registration-- Current registration as a professional engineer by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam or Puerto Rico.
2. Written test-- Evidence of passing the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) examination or the written test required for professional registration, administered by the Boards of Engineering Examiners in various States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.
3. Specified academic courses-- Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours in the physical, mathematical and engineering sciences and including the courses specified in the basic requirements. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of a professional engineering curriculum as described in paragraph A.
4. Related curriculum-- Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field, e.g., physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of an Engineering degree, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience with professional engineering supervision and guidance.
ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: (In addition to the BASIC QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS)
For documentation requirements, see REQUIRED DOCUMENTS.
GS-7: A) Superior Academic Achievement (SAA). This can be defined by one of the following:
1) Class standing—Upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the "School of Engineering and Applied Science" or "College of Science and Technology" based on completed courses.
2) Grade point average (GPA) as recorded on the final transcript—
i) 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 (“B” or better) as recorded on the official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or
ii) 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 (“B+” or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum. The GPA is rounded to one decimal place. (2.95 = 3.0 and 2.94 = 2.9). The final transcript must cover the period being used to determine the GPA.
3) Honor Society membership--Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society. Click here for a list of qualified honor societies.
Applicants applying for this position must be a United States Citizen.
If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System. If you are exempt from registration under Selective Service Law, you must provide appropriate proof of exemption. Please visit the Selective Service System website for more information.
This is a Bargaining Unit position.
This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of “moderate”.
Financial Disclosure - You may be required to file a confidential Financial Disclosure Report to avoid involvement in a real or apparent conflict of interest.
Background Investigation - If selected for this position, you may be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306), which includes a fingerprint and credit check, to determine your suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.
The USPTO participates in E-Verify. For more information on E-Verify, please visit the Department of Homeland Security Website.
Probationary Period- If selected, you may be required to complete an initial one-year probationary period.
All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choice.
Relocation Expenses are not authorized and will not be paid.
Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transaction Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) will be eligible if they are assigned to the “well qualified” quality category under the category rating procedures. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website CTAP/ICTAP documentation requirements are listed in the ‘Required Documents’ section of this announcement.
More than one selection may be made from this announcement if additional identical vacancies in the same title, series, grade, and unit occur within 90 days from the date the certificate was issued.
All application materials become the property of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors. If you believe that you have been discriminated against and would like to file an EEO complaint, you must do so within 45 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act. Claims of employment discrimination must be submitted to the attention of the USPTO’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (571-272-8292).
How You Will Be Evaluated
Your resume, supporting documentation and self-assessment answers will be evaluated for required competencies and experience. Your responses to the self-assessment questions must be supported in your resume. Failure to support your answer(s) in your resume may impact you or eliminate you from consideration.
The self-assessment questions cover the following competencies:
• Ability to analyze and interpret written technical materials, rules, regulations, instructions and reports
• Ability to establish and maintain effective public relations with diverse groups
• Skill in oral communications in order to make clear and convincing oral presentations
• Ability to produce well-written information for technical material
Your application will then be evaluated and rated under Category Rating and Selection procedures. Category rating procedures evaluate your total qualifying experience, education, and training and assigns them into a single, pre-defined quality category. Qualified applicants are assigned to one of three categories following a review of their resume and other supporting documentation. Each category is defined as follows:
Best Qualified - Applicant possesses exceptional experience with a background that demonstrates a superior level of knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies required to perform the duties of the position.
Well Qualified - Applicant possesses good experience with a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies required to perform the duties of the position.
Qualified - Applicant possesses the minimum qualifications with a background that demonstrates a basic level of knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies required to perform the duties of the position.
Veterans’ Preference is applied by listing preference eligibles ahead of non-preference eligibles within the same quality category in which they are placed. Qualified preference eligibles with a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent will be placed at the top of the highest quality category (Best Qualified), except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-9 grade level or higher. A selecting official may make selections from the highest quality category (Best Qualified) provided no preference eligible in that category is passed over to select a non-preference eligible in that category.
For more information on category rating procedures, please visit the Category Rating Fact Sheet.
Please note that a complete application is required for consideration. (Please review the “Required Documents” section of this job announcement to see what must be included in a complete application).
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
A complete application includes the following documents submitted by the closing date of this announcement:
1. Resume (cover letter optional) including:
• Job-related qualifications
• Work experience (including job titles, salary, employment dates, duties and accomplishments, and how any experience relates to the competencies listed in the job announcement.)
• Responses to self-assessment questions not fully supported by your resume may result in rating adjustments.
• Any experience claimed in a cover letter should also be substantiated by your resume.
2. Education Documentation
• Transcripts: College transcripts or a statement from the institution or equivalent documentation will be accepted. Inadequate or illegible information could result in non-qualification. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the initial application; however, if selected, you must furnish official transcripts two weeks before entrance on duty. Transcripts must include:
• Applicant Name
• Name of College/University
• Type of Degree (e.g., Bachelor of Science)
• Discipline (e.g., Biomedical Engineering, Computer Engineering)
• Semester hours completed
• Course names and grades
• Foreign Education: Applicants who have completed part or all of their education outside of the U.S. must have their foreign education evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that the foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the U.S. This evaluation must be provided by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of this vacancy announcement. We will only accept the completed foreign education evaluation. For more information on Foreign Education verification, visit the US Department of Education. Another listing of services that can perform this evaluation is available at the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) website.
OTHER SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION:
Please submit any other supporting documentation by the closing date of this announcement. You may be contacted within 7 business days of the closing date to submit the following supporting documentation if you do not submit it with your application. Applicants claiming Veterans' Preference or CTAP/ICTAP eligibility who fail to submit supplemental documentation within 3 days of receiving the request will not lose consideration for this position; however, they will not be entitled to special or priority consideration.
Documents that may be requested after the closing date are:
1. Veterans' Preference Documentation:
• 5-point Veterans’ Preference - Copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214 or an official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty, or other official documentation (e.g., copy of military orders, campaign documents or expeditionary award citation, etc.) that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions.
• 10-point Veterans’ Preference
o Copy of your DD-214,
o Standard Form (SF) 15, “Application for 10-Point Veterans’ Preference”, and
o An official statement, dated 1991 or later from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from a branch of the Armed Forces certifying to the veteran’s present receipt of compensation
For more information about Veterans’ Preference, click here.
2. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Documentation (all of the below):
• A copy of your specific RIF notice, written notice of your expected separation or other documentation of priority consideration status
• A copy of your latest SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location
• A copy of your last performance appraisal
• Documentation from your agency showing your current promotion potential
To submit supporting documents during the Vacancy Open Period:
• Upload documents when you register with USAJobs, or update your application on the Department of Commerce application site accessed through USAJobs,
• Fax documents to 571-258-4254 using the system-generated fax coversheet.
Your application and all required documentation must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on the closing date of this job announcement.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement
Federal agencies, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. USPTO job applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should request accommodation(s) from the USPTO at http://www.uspto.gov/accommodation. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is defined as information that can be traced back to a specific individual and potentially compromise their security or privacy. Examples of PII include: date of birth, Social Security Number, and place of birth.
Please ensure that you have removed all Personally Identifiable Information from all documents prior to submitting or uploading your applications material.
You MUST apply online. If you experience difficulties with the application process or do not have access to a computer, please contact the HR Specialist listed as the point of contact before the closing date of this job announcement.
If you are a new user to the USAJobs Site and have never registered for an account; you will first need to create an account profile with your basic contact information and a resume to begin applying. You must be a registered USAJobs user AND you must be signed-in to your account in order to apply for this position. For help setting up an account or for general help using USAJobs, go to USAJobs Help Page.
Once you have gathered all of the required information and are ready to begin the application process, click the "APPLY ONLINE" button at the right side of the page. You will then be directed away from USAJobs to the Department of Commerce application site for USPTO.
If you experience any difficulties with the application site, help is available! If you have problems completing your on-line application, contact the Monster Hiring Management Help Desk at 1-866-656-6831 or by e-mail at MGSHELP@monster.com. The help desk is available Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. You may call and leave a voice mail message at all other times.
All required supporting documents will be collected electronically via the USAJobs “Saved Documents” feature.
Agency contact information
AddressPATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
550 Elizabeth Lane
Alexandria, VA 22314
Visit our careers page
Learn more about what it's like to work at Patent and Trademark Office, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.
You will be notified by USAJobs after successfully submitting your application.
After this vacancy announcement closes or a cutoff date occurs, we will review your application and required documentation to determine your qualifications and to verify any Veteran’s Preference claim.
Here is a general idea of the timing of the process from the date the vacancy announcement closes (or a cutoff date occurs):
1. OHR reviews applications for qualifications – about 2 weeks
2. Hiring Officials review applications, conduct interviews and make selections – about 4-6 weeks
3. OHR extends job offers – about 1-2 weeks
You may be contacted for an interview wthin three weeks of the closing date of this announcement. TOTAL ESTIMATED TIME FRAME – Approximately 10 weeks During this time, you might not hear from us directly, but you may check the status of your application any time by logging into USAJobs at http://www.usajobs.gov/. To sign up for automated email status updates:
- Sign in to USAJobs
- Edit your profile
- Under ‘Account Information’, change 'Notification Settings'
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/438484300. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.