Job Overview

Summary

Yearning for a job that harnesses the power of innovation, yet provides work/life balance? As a Patent Examiner with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, 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. You'll gain experience, training and mentorship you won't get anywhere else. You'll conduct research and interact with applicants who are working on inventive modern breakthroughs. You'll have access to alternative, flexible schedules, telework, bonuses and paid overtime.

Applications will be accepted from students who expect to complete qualifying education within 9 months from the date of application. USPTO requires verification of successful completion before extending a final offer.

THIS VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT IS FOR POSITIONS LOCATED IN ALEXANDRIA, VA ONLY.  YOUR APPLICATION TO THIS VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT WILL ONLY ALLOW CONSIDERATION FOR THIS ANNOUNCEMENT AND THIS DUTY STATION.

USPTO has been serving the economic interests of America for more than 200 years. Our 10,230 employees are responsible for granting U.S. intellectual property rights for patents and trademarks. Visit our website.

Please read this entire announcement before submitting application materials.

Duties

A patent examiner (PE) reviews applications to determine whether patents can be granted for inventions. Patents give inventors the right to exclude others from making or selling their inventions for a limited time. As a U.S. patent examiner, you will handle these basic patent examining functions:

  • Search prior art to ensure that an invention is new and unique. Prior art is information that has been disclosed to the public about an invention before a given date - including any related patents, published articles and public demonstrations.
  • Review patent applications to ensure conformity to formal requirements.
  • Write legal office actions on patentability and respond to patent applicants.

GS-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.

GS-9: Independently perform basic patent examining functions with some supervision. Assignments are of average difficulty and require the application of technical concepts to the patent examining process. May perform advanced patent examining functions with supervision (e.g., the evaluation of special claim constructions, the requirement of restrictions, the recognition and development of probable interferences, etc.). These advanced activities are supported by close review.

Almost all of a Patent Examiner's work is performed using a computer and is visually very demanding.

This is a Computer Engineering position. If this is not your area of expertise, please consult our Careers Website and consider one of our other open Patent Examiner positions. We regularly have openings for Patent Examiner positions in disciplines such as:

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science