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    Please Note: This announcement has been extended to reflect a new closing date of April 5, 2018.

    The United States 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 is 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 13,000 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 our websites at www.uspto.gov/careers

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    An Administrative Patent Judge (APJ) serves as a member of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The PTAB has authority to:

    Hear and adjudicate appeals from decisions of Primary Examiners as to Patentability in patent applications and reissue and re-examination of patents

    Conduct Post-Grant Review proceedings, Inter Partes Review proceedings, Derivation proceedings, and Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patent proceedings, and declare and conduct proceedings in legacy interferences.

    As and APJ, you will be expected to:

    Formulate ideas and communicate them effectively to various stakeholders; and

    Draft decisions regarding patentability.

    Though not required, PTAB prefers candidates with 10-15 years or more of patent experience, including those who have prosecuted and/or litigated patent cases and supervised professional IP teams and/or attorneys. In addition, PTAB prefers candidates with experience prosecuting and/or litigating electrical, computer, data processing or biotechnology/pharma patents and patent applications.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    Applications will be accepted from all United States Citizens and Nationals. This is a Non-bargaining position. More than one position may be filled.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

  • Job family (Series)

    1222 Patent Attorney

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    Conditions Of Employment

    • Complete application with all required documentation.
    • Bachelor or higher technical degrees and law degree.
    • Proof of active Bar Membership in good standing.
    • U.S. Citizen or National.
    • Writing Sample (answer to Vacancy Question 11 serves as the writing sample)
    • Must Provide a Copy of School Transcripts.


    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, biology, 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.

    (C) Successful completion of a law degree (minimum: J.D. or equivalent).

    (D) Proof of active membership of the Bar of any state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any U.S. territory, in good standing.

    (E) Demonstration of recent, extensive and comprehensive experience with the following:
    1. Evaluating combined Intellectual Property (IP) assets and providing legal advice.
    2. Formulating ideas and communicating them effectively to various stakeholders via clear, logically-developed opinions and decisions regarding patentability.
    3. Effectively working with others.
    4. Conducting and managing patent prosecution, examination or administration which demonstrates a thorough knowledge and application of patent laws and rules of practice.


    Experience must have been at a sufficiently high level of difficulty to clearly show that the candidate possesses the required professional and technical qualifications to litigate and/or prosecute issues and to draft decisions directed to patentability.

    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.


    You must meet the United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement. To qualify for this position, you must be a Member in good standing of the Bar and meet the technical degree requirements outlined within the Qualification section.

    Individuals with an Electrical Engineering and/or Biotechnology/pharma degree are strongly encouraged to apply.

    To be considered for this position, you must possess the following:

    (A) Proof of successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in the study of engineering, chemistry, or biology.

    For an engineering degree, 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
    d) thermodynamics
    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;

    Additional information

    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. Visit the Selective Service System website for details. This is a Non-Bargaining Unit position.

    This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of "high." Background Investigation - If selected for this position, you may be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) to determine your suitability for Federal employment by authorizing fingerprinting, a credit check and a background investigation.

    Probationary Period - If selected, you will be required to complete a trial period of up to two years.

    Relocation expenses will not be paid.

    All Federal employees must receive salary payments by direct deposit.

    Drug Testing - All applicants tentatively selected for this position may be required to submit to a drug test to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and, if appointed, the individual will be subjected to random drug testing procedures. All appointments are contingent upon a negative drug test result.

    The Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, requires senior officials in the executive, legislative and judicial branches to file public reports of their finances as well as other interests outside the Government. If selected for this position you will be required to file a Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 278). The OGE 278 is available to the public. The primary purpose of disclosure is to assist agencies in identifying potential conflicts of interest between a filer's official duties and the filer's private financial interests and affiliations.

    The USPTO participates in E-VERIFY. For more information on E-Verify, please visit here. http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1185221678150.shtm

    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 https://uspto.entellitrak.com. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    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 USPTOs Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity via email (oeeod@uspto.gov) 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 specialized experience. The self-assessment questions cover the following competencies:

    • Knowledge of legal matters associated with patent prosecution, examination, litigation, and administration.
    • Knowledge of Patent Trial and Appeal Board jurisdiction, rules, and procedures.
    • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing
    • Knowledge of evaluating, applying, and interpreting patent law
    • Ability to lead people

    Your application will then be evaluated and rated by a subject matter expert panel via federal government selection procedures.

    Qualified applicants are assigned to one of these two categories:

    • Best Qualified - Possessing recent 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 - Possessing good recent experience with a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies required to perform the duties of the position
    To preview questions please click here.

    Background checks and security clearance

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    Required Documents

    IMPORTANT NOTE: You are expected to furnish all required documents to ultimately qualify for the position. Official undergraduate, graduate and law degree transcripts may be requested before employment. Proof of Bar Membership is due upon the closing date of the announcement. Official documents will be accepted after the application is submitted.

    A complete application includes the following documents submitted BY THE CLOSING DATE of this announcement:

    1. Cover Letter explaining, at a minimum, your interest in the position and your first preference for office location (if interested in multiple locations).

    2. Resume including: • Citizenship • Job-related qualifications • Education • Work experience (including job titles, salary, employment dates, duties and accomplishments, and how any experience relates to the competencies listed in the job announcement.) Resumes should clearly address any relevant experience in electrical, computer, data processing or biotechnolgy/pharma patents and patent applications.

    3. Responses to self-assessment questions. Answers to questions not fully supported by your resume may result in rating adjustments. Also, any experience claimed in a cover letter should also be substantiated by your resume.

    4. Education Documentation • Transcripts: As part of the recruitment process, MUST provide a copy of school transcripts.

    5. Proof of active Bar Membership (Good Standing)

    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.

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    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.


    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.

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    How to Apply

    All application materials become the property of the USPTO. You MUST apply online. If you need help or do not have access to a computer, contact the HR Specialist listed as the point of contact before the closing date of this job announcement.

    If you have never registered for a USAJobs account, you must first create an account profile with your basic contact information and a resume. Sign in to your account to apply. For help, see the USAJobs Help Page. When you have gathered all of the required information and are ready to begin applying, click the "APPLY ONLINE" button. You will be directed away from USAJobs to the Department of Commerce's USPTO application site.

    NEED HELP? If you have problems completing the online application, contact the Monster Hiring Management Help Desk at 1-866-656-6831 or by email at MGSHELP@monster.com.

    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, OR
    • Fax documents to 571-258-4052 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. Questions? Contact the HR Specialist listed on this announcement.

    Agency contact information

    Stevie L. Miller








    550 Elizabeth Lane
    Alexandria, Virginia 22314
    United States
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    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.


    Next steps

    You will receive a notice generated by the USAJobs System when you have successfully submitted your application. After all application packages have been received, we will review your application and transcript(s) (if you are qualifying based on education) to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. We will evaluate each applicant who meets the basic qualifications on the information provided and you may be contacted for follow-up supplemental documentation. It is the applicant's responsibility to provide any supplemental documents or information requested by the Office of Human Resources within the allocated timeframes. Failure to submit requested documents or information within 5 business days of receiving the request may result in your application not receiving further consideration. You can check the status of your application by logging into USAJobs (http://www.usajobs.gov). You may also sign up to receive automatic emails anytime the status of your application has changed by logging into your USAJobs Account, editing your profile and changing the 'Notification Settings' to indicate that you want to be notified by email when the status changes. Information regarding the status of your application should be updated in the system within 2 weeks after the closing date of this job announcement.

    You will receive notification through USAJOBS at each of the following points during the applications process: (1) application received; (2) applicant assessed for qualifications; (3) applicant referred or not referred; and (4) selected or not selected.

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 to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • 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.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/488320100. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.