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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

    A Design Patent Examiner (PE) performs work in the examination of applications for United States patents pertaining to the form, appearance, and ornamentation of objects. Incumbent uses professional knowledge of designs and practices to evaluate the invention claimed in each patent application. Incumbent uses a broad knowledge of past and current developments in design to uncover previous inventions, as represented by domestic and foreign patents, supply catalogs, style books, etc., that affect the novelty claimed in the application. Incumbent uses well developed visual aptitude, specialized knowledge of patent laws, rules, regulations and procedures to determine whether the application and its claimed invention meet all legal requirements for the granting of design patents. 

    GS-7: Perform basic patent examining functions with extensive instructions from the supervisor. Training will develop the ability to apply technical concepts to the patent examining process. Assignments combine performance of productive work with supervised on-the-job training.

    Travel Required

    Not required

    Supervisory status

    No

    Promotion Potential

    13

  • Job family (Series)

    1226 Design Patent Examining

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    Requirements

    Conditions Of Employment

    • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
    • Your resume and question responses must demonstrate the job-related KSAs.
    • You must meet the definition of specialized experience.
    • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
    • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (www.sss.gov)
    • Suitable for Federal employment.

    Specialized Experience Required: Specialized experience is experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level. Applicants must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience which has equipped them with particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position, which is typical to the work of the position to be filled, and is equivalent to the next lower grade (GS-05) in the Federal Service.

    Specialized experience is defined as experience in art involving areas such as industrial design, product design, architecture, applied arts, graphic design, fine/studio arts, and art teacher education.

    All requirements must be met by the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

    Qualifications

    You must meet the United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements for the advertised position:  https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/1200/design-patent-examining-series-1226/  OPM's prescribed Group Coverage Qualification Standards for Professional and Scientific Positions can be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=Group-Standards

    You must meet all qualification requirements, including time-in-grade (refer to 5 CFR 300.604 for more information on time-in-grade) by the closing date of the job announcement.  

    BASIC QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: To be considered for this position, you must have either: 

    (A) Degree (BA/BS) in industrial design, product design, architecture, applied arts, graphic design, fine/studio arts or art teacher education OR courses equivalent to a major in one of the above disciplines, -OR- (B) a combination of related courses totaling at least at least 20 semester hours in industrial design, product design, architecture, applied arts, graphic design, fine/studio arts, or art teacher education, plus appropriate experience or additional education -OR- (C)  four years of experience in the field of industrial design, product design, architecture, applied arts, graphic design, fine/studio arts, or art teacher education that demonstrated knowledge of the fundamental principles of the field involved in the position to be filled equivalent to that which would have been obtained through successful completion of a full 4-year degree.  All academic degrees and course work must be from accredited or pre-accredited institutions.

    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; 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. OR

    B) Have at least one year of specialized experience, equivalent to the GS-7 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience for this position is defined as experience performing at least one of the following functions: (1) Applying basic principles and concepts related to industrial design, product design, architecture, applied arts, graphic design, fine/studio arts, or art education; (2) Planning and conducting technical research to draft technical papers; or (3) Applying Patent intellectual property laws and rules; OR

    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. OR 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.

    Education

    Positive education requirements for this position are listed in the "Qualifications" section of this vacancy announcement.

    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 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 http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1185221678150.shtm

    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 it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining a minimum rating of 85 out of 100.  Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website at:  http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp.  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.

    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 responses to job specific self-assessment questions.  Your resume will be evaluated based on evidence of your ability to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) for this position, possession of any specialized experience, and how well your background and experience relates to the self-assessment questions in the job announcement.  The self-assessment questions relate to the following knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies:   

    The self-assessment questions cover the following competencies:

    • Ability to analyze and interpret written technical materials, rules, regulations, instructions and reports.

    • 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 http://www.opm.gov/employ/category_rating/cr_factsheet.pdf.  

    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 and how it relates to the KSAs in the job announcement. Please Note: Responses to job questions that are not fully supported by the information in your resume may result in adjustments to your rating. Any experience claimed in a cover letter should be substantiated by information contained in your resume.

    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.

    Supporting Documents:
    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 or CTAP/ICTAP eligibility 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 copy of your DD-214 containing your discharge disposition, dates of service, and rank. 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 a copy of each Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. For more information, please visit Special Appointing Authorities for Veterans.

    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 including your rating; and
    (4) Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

    3. Schedule A Documentation: Applicants will be asked to submit:
    (1) A copy of your Schedule A letter.


    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.

    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.

    Review your resume and responses carefully. Responses to job questions that are not fully supported by the information in your application package may result in adjustments to your rating. A Human Resources Representative will validate the qualifications of those candidates eligible to be referred to the hiring official.

    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 https://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.

    Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

    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.  

    You must click "Submit" at the end of the application process to send your application for consideration.  To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at www.usajobs.gov and click on "Applications."  Click on the position title, then select "Update Application."

    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

    Eryn Murray

    Phone

    571-270-7406

    Fax

    571-273-8840

    Email

    eryn.murray@uspto.gov

    Address

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

    As a Patent Examiner with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you'll be working with the largest Intellectual Property Rights entity in the nation. You'll be supporting economic growth and positioning America as one of the world's top innovators.

    Next steps

    You will be notified of your application status through USAJOBS at four points during the hiring process, as applicable. You can check the status of your application by accessing the USAJOBS website at https://usajobs.gov/ and clicking on "Track Your Online Application." The four points of notification are:

    1. Application Received or Application Incomplete;

    2.  Minimum Qualification Requirement Met or Minimum Qualification Requirement Not Met;

    3.  Referred (Application Referred to the Selecting Official) or Not Referred (Application Not Referred to the Selecting Official); 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. 

    You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veterans' preference, disability, etc.).

    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.

    By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or, you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation. 

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/547321600. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.