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    Duties

    Summary

    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. The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and has over 12,000 employees. For more information about the USPTO, please visit the USPTO Jobs Website.

    Learn more about this agency

    Responsibilities

    This position is a full-time, temporary appointment, with a one year term that will typically start around 1 October 2020.

    The incumbent of this position will be a Patent Attorney serving as a Law Clerk.

    The Patent Attorney (Law Clerk) will be responsible for assisting Administrative Patent Judges in the following:

    • Adjudicating Inter Partes Review proceedings, Post-Grant Review proceedings, Covered Business Method Review proceedings, and Derivation proceedings; addressing appeals from adverse decisions of Examiners regarding patent applications, reissuing applications, and reexamination requests; conducting interference proceedings; and other projects critical to the Board's mission.
    • Researching and writing tasks to assist the Administrative Patent Judges in the disposition of cases from the various jurisdictions of the Board, including assisting in the preparation of decisions on appeal, decisions to institute Inter Partes Review, Post-Grant Review, Covered Business Method Review, and Derivation proceedings, declarations of interference, orders, decisions on motions, final written decisions, and judgments.
    • Assisting Administrative Patent Judges in comprehensively reviewing and analyzing appeal briefs, answers, reply briefs, and evidence of record in each appeal to identify all relevant factual and legal issues raised by patent applicants, patent owners, and/or third party requesters en route to ultimate adjudication of the appeal.
    • Researching statutes, legislative history, relevant case law, applicable USPTO rules, regulations, standards, and procedures, as needed to analyze issues and points of law for particular matters or germane to the Board’s overall mission; prepares written work product including legal memoranda, bench briefs, orders, and decisions and assist in proofreading orders and decisions, verifying citations, and ensuring procedural requirements; assisting with docket management, scheduling and conducting of conference calls, and scheduling of filing due dates and time periods with the parties; and assisting with other projects critical to the Board’s mission.
    • Researching and drafting memorandum for special projects and initiatives concerning patent laws, statutes, and USPTO policy at the direction of and under the supervision of PTAB and USPTO management.

    Travel Required

    Not required

    Supervisory status

    No

    Promotion Potential

    12

  • Job family (Series)

    1222 Patent Attorney

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    Requirements

    Conditions Of Employment

    • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
    • You must show proof of Law School graduation prior to start date.
    • Obtain bar membership of any state within 14 months of start date.
    • Suitable for Federal employment.
    • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
    • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (www.sss.gov)

    If selected for this position, you will be required to serve an initial two year trial period, (if the position is extended).

    If selected, all qualifications must be maintained throughout the period of employment.

    Applicants must possess a Bachelor's degree in the study of engineering, chemistry, or biology from an accredited undergraduate college or university. *Please refer to the "Qualifications" section of this announcement.

    During the opeming period of the vacancy announemcement, applicants MUST be enrolled in a law degree program (minimum: J.D. or equivalent) from an accredited college or university. Applicants MUST have a conferred law degree prior to the start date of 1 October 2020.

    A Law transcript must be submitted with your application. Please ensure your law transcripts indicate the type of degree awarded and the date it was or will be awarded.

    Failure to provide proof of graduation prior to the start date will result in rescinding the applicant's selection of the position.

    Failure to obtain bar membership within 14 months of start date, (if position is extended) will result in termination from the position.

    Qualifications

    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has not issued qualification standards for attorney positions. USPTO sets minimum qualifications for attorney positions and sets forth these qualifications in each vacancy announcement.

    To meet minimum qualifications requirements for this position, applicants must: Possess a Bachelor's degree in the study of engineering, chemistry, or biology from an accredited undergraduate college or university.

    To meet the basic qualifications requirement with an engineering degree, the curriculum must:

    1. Be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; OR

    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; OR

    (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.

    (B) 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.

    To meet the basic qualifications requirement with a chemistry degree, the curriculum must:

    1. Degree: physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics.
    OR
    2. Combination of education and experience -- course work equivalent to a major as shown in A above, including at least 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

    To meet the basic qualifications requirement with a biology degree, the curriculum must:

    1. Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.
    OR
    2. Combination of education and experience --courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

    The quality of the combination of education and experience must be sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform work in the occupation, and is comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of a full 4-year course of study with a major in the appropriate field.

    Education

    Applicants must: Possess a Bachelor's degree in the study of engineering, chemistry, or biology from an accredited undergraduate college or university as identified in the "Qualifications" section of this announcement.

    During the opeming period of the vacancy announemcement, applicants MUST be enrolled in a law degree program (minimum: J.D. or equivalent) from an accredited college or university. Applicants MUST have a conferred law degree prior to the start date of 1 October 2020.

    Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website – 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. You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.

    Additional information

    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 not Bargaining Unit position.

    This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of "moderate". 

    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.

    Trial Period- If selected, you may be required to complete an initial two-year trial period for the duration of your appointment.

    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 Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position. 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 (oeeod@uspto.gov) or phone (571-272-8292). 

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    Your eligibility for consideration and qualifications for the position will be determined based upon a review of your detailed resume and your supporting documents.

    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

    Security clearance

    Other

    Drug test required

    No

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    Required Documents

    A complete application consists of:

    1. A resume or any other written format you choose to describe your job-related qualifications; optional cover letter: Your resume should indicate your citizenship and should list your educational and work experience including job titles, salary, employment dates, duties and accomplishments, experience.

    2. Transcripts: (for Individual Occupational Requirements and/or Substitution of Education for specialized experience) You MUST submit copies of your college transcripts for verification of the education requirements. Unofficial copies are acceptable, however, if selected you will be required to furnish official transcripts. It is your responsibility to provide adequate proof that you meet the above educational requirements. Inadequate or illegible information could result in non-qualification and loss of consideration.

    3. Law School Transcripts: You MUST submit copies of your Law School transcripts for verification of the education requirements. Unofficial copies are acceptable, however, if selected you will be required to furnish official transcripts. It is your responsibility to provide adequate proof that you meet the above educational requirements. Inadequate or illegible information could result in non-qualification and loss of consideration.

    4. Bar Membership Documentation: Bar Membership MUST be obtained within 14 months of start date. Within that time period, you MUST submit documentation showing you are an active member of the Bar in Good Standing of any State, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any Territorial Court under the Constitution. The letter and/or certificate should be dated no earlier than six months prior to the date of submission.

    PLEASE NOTE: Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility and qualification requirements for this position may be contacted within 7 business days of the closing date of this announcement to submit follow-up supporting documentation if applicable. Applicants claiming veterans' preference entitlement who fail to submit supplemental documentation within 5 business days of receiving the request will not lose consideration for this position, however they will not be entitled to special or priority consideration.

    Supporting documents that may be requested of applicants after the closing date of this announcement are:

    1. Veterans’ Preference Documentation: If you are a veteran with preference eligibility, you will be asked to submit a Member 4 copy of your DD-214. If you are a preference eligible claiming a service connected disability of 10 percent or more, you will be asked to submit documentation (i.e. a letter 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. Veterans must include dates of military service within the automated application process, and submit Member 4 copy of each Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. For more information, please visit Special Appointing Authorities for Veterans.  For excepted service positions, Veterans' Preference does not apply; however, Veteran's will receive positive consideration.

    2. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) documentation: Applicants will be asked to submit: (1) A copy of your specific RIF notice, written notice of your expected separation or other documentation of priority consideration status; (2) A copy of your latest SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location; (3) A copy of your last performance appraisal; and (4) Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

    You can choose ONE of the following methods to submit Supporting Documents:

    1) You can upload your documents when you register or update your information on the Department of Commerce application site which you access through the USAJobs site.

    OR

    2) You can fax your documents to 571-258-4254 using the system generated fax cover sheet.

    Your application and all required documentation must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time 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.

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    Benefits

    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.

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, paid holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System.  Alternative Work Schedule(AWS) and Telework Program are available to eligible employees.

    Please visit USPTO New Employee Information for additional information.

    Visit Working for the Federal Government to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.

    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.

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    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.

    You can choose ONE of the following methods to submit supporting documents:

    1) You can upload your documents when you register or update your information on the Department of Commerce application site which you access through the USAJobs site.

    OR

    2) You can fax your documents to 571-258-4254 using the system generated fax cover sheet.

    Your application and all required documentation must be received by 11:59 pm EST on the closing date of this job announcement.

    NOTE: The preceding documentation requirements are based on job requirements and individual applicant eligibility. Not all documents are applicable to all applicants--if you are unsure which documents apply to you, contact the HR Specialist listed on this announcement.

    Agency contact information

    Tomiko Starling

    Address

    PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
    550 Elizabeth Lane
    Elizabeth Townhouse
    Alexandria, Virginia 22314
    United States
    Learn more about this agency

    This position is located in the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), Office of the Under Secretary & Director (U/DIR), United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

    The PTAB is responsible for hearing and deciding appeals from adverse decisions of examiners concerning applications for patents; and making final determinations of questions of patentability. The PTAB is also responsible for conducting trial proceedings established under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) (Public Law 112-29; Sept 16, 2011) including Inter Partes Review proceedings, Post-Grant Review proceedings, Covered Business Method Review proceedings, and Derivation proceedings.

    Next steps

    You will receive a notice generated by the USAJobs System when you have successfully submitted your application. 

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

    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.  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.

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/543995400. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.