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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

    During the current period of mandatory telework required by the Agency’s COVID-19 response, telework will be mandatory. When it is determined the Agency will be moving to the reopening phase, the expectation will be to physically return to the office at the USPTO – Alexandria, VA campus.  Telework days and any required waiting period for eligibility will be determined at that time.

    This position is located in the Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA), United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The incumbent of this position serves as an international and legislative expert in the field of intellectual property protection in the areas of patent, industrial design, and unfair competition law.   

    The duties of this position will include, but are not limited to:

    • Developing policy for the United States Government on patent and other intellectual property that arise in international organizations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperations, and International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), etc.
    • Developing legislative proposals in the areas of patent, industrial design and unfair competition related issues.
    • Conducting thorough studies and analysis of potential international agreements to determine positions for the US Government and USPTO.
    • Negotiating international agreements with other intellectual property offices.
    • Formulating positions on all legal, procedural and technical issues that arise prior to or during negotiation of any international agreement or treaty.
    • Representing USPTO at international meetings and diplomatic conferences.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Limited

    Supervisory status

    No

    Promotion Potential

    15

  • 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 meet the definition of professional and specialized experience.
    • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
    • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (www.sss.gov)
    • Confidential Financial Disclosure filing is required for this positon.
    • You must be able to obtain and maintain a Secret clearance.

    • Meet the following education requirements: possess a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from an American Bar Association accredited law school.
    • You must be a current member of the Bar in Good Standing of any state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any U.S. territory.
    • You must possess a degree in one of the scientific/engineering disciplines.

    Qualifications

    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has not issued qualification standards for Attorney positions. However, the agency sets minimum qualifications for Attorney positions and sets forth these qualification for each vacancy announcement. You must meet all eligibility and qualifications requirements by the closing date of the job announcement.

    Specialized Experience is experience that has equipped applicants with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform 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 in the federal service. 

    GS-14 - Candidates for the GS-14 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower GS-13 grade level in the Federal service in the following:

    • Experience developing US and/or International Patent Policy; interacting with foreign and international intellectual property offices and/or organizations; handling PCT applications; and writing multiple types of legal documents including memoranda, speeches, testimonies, legislative proposals, etc.

    GS-15:  Candidates for the GS-15 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower GS-14 grade level in the Federal service in the following:

    • Experience developing US and/or International Patent Policy; interacting with foreign and international intellectual property offices and/or organizations; and negotiating on behalf of clients or the U.S. government in an international setting, foreign forum or international tribunal.

    In addition to the specialized experience listed above, you must have:

    GS 14: three (3) years post J.D. of the professional legal experience listed below.

    GS 15: four (4) years post J.D. of the professional legal experience listed below.

    Professional legal experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position to be filled.  Legal work is described as extremely complex and difficult and requires a high order of original and creative legal endeavor in balancing conflicting interests; has broad or wide-scope impact on an economy, industry, private or public interests; and may involve directly or indirectly very large sums of money. Work may also involve patent examination or patent prosecution experience; acting as an attorney in charge of the preparation and presentation of cases; recommending policies and developing procedures and regulations to implement new or amended legislation; and acting as legal counsel to a major firm or organization.

    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.

    Education

    The minimum education requirement for this position is a conferred Juris Doctor (J.D.) or Masters of Laws (LL.M). from an accredited college or university; AND

    Possess a technical degree in a scientific/engineering discipline from an accredited college or university;

    For more information on degree requirements click here.

    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 or National. 

    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 “secret”. 

    This position requires a Financial OF-450 Disclosure.  For more information on 450 filing, please visit:  https://www.oge.gov

    If selected, you may be required to complete a initial two (2) year trial period.

    Telework Eligibility is available as determined by agency policy.

    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.

    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.

    Please Note: Writing samples may be requested prior to being interviewed.

    Your resume and any other supporting documentation will be evaluated by a Human Resources Specialist. Falsifying your background, education, and/or experience is cause for not hiring you.

    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

    Secret

    Drug test required

    No

    Position sensitivity and risk

    Critical-Sensitive (CS)/High Risk

    Trust determination process

    National security

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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 requirements in the job announcement.

    2. Transcripts: You MUST submit copies of your undergrad and 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.

    3. Bar Membership Documentation: You MUST submit documentation showing that 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 U.S. Constitution. Examples of acceptable bar documentation may include one of the following: 1)  Copy of Bar Card;   2)  Screen shot of state of licensure with your name identified; 3)  Copy of Certificate of Good Standing. 

    Supporting documents

    Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) - For current and/or former Federal employees, your status eligibility and highest permanent grade/step/salary held in the Federal service will be validated with a copy of your most recent SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action".

    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.

    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.

    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

    Sheryl White-Riley

    Phone

    571-272-7170

    Fax

    000-000-0000

    Email

    Sheryl.White-Riley@uspto.gov

    Address

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

    The Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA) is looking for an enthusiastic individual with significant patent law and legal experience and in matters pertaining to intellectual property.

    The individual will be responsible for providing legal advice to the USPTO and Administration officials on domestic and international intellectual property law policy with emphasis on difficult patent issues on an international level.

    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. 

    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/596701300. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.