This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:General Counsel

Department:Department Of Commerce

Agency:Patent and Trademark Office

Job Announcement Number:OGC-2013-0025

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$119,554.00 to $179,700.00 / Per Year


Friday, July 26, 2013 to Friday, August 30, 2013




Permanent - Full-Time


1 vacancy in the following location:
Alexandria, VA, USView Map


Applications will be accepted from all qualified individuals.


The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is looking for a General Counsel that is a strategic, energetic and enthusiastic leader to represent and direct the agency in all legal matters, serve as the principal legal advisor to the Under Secretary and Director (U/S) of the USPTO, and serve as a resource on legal matters and issues in institutional procedure and governance.

The USPTO's Office of General Counsel plays a vital role in the USPTO's mission to issue patents and trademarks. It does so by providing timely and innovative legal advice which promotes innovation and creativity.  The General Counsel serves as the Under Secretary for Commerce and Director of the USPTO's principal legal advisor. The General Counsel supervises the provision of legal advice and court representation on intellectual property and administrative matters for the agency. In addition the General Counsel is responsible for providing legal advice on patent, trademark and copyright matters as well as administrative issues such as government contracts, personnel, and budgetary matters.  

Legal advisory opinions rendered by the General Counsel are relied on by the U/S in establishing policy and procedures of the USPTO. The General Counsel's supervision of court work ensures that the USPTO's views are skillfully presented to court and administrative forums. 



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    The General Counsel for the USPTO is responsible for the following:

    • Chief legal advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    • Supervising the Offices of the Solicitor, Office of General Law and the Office of Enrollment and Discipline.
    • Developing legal positions for patent, trademark and copyright litigation before the Federal Courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S district courts, and regional U.S. courts of appeals,
    • Participating in the development of legislative proposals for revisions to patent and trademark statutes.
    • Legal review and drafting of patent and trademark regulations.
    • Rendering legal advice in all areas of general law, including procurement, employment, fiscal, Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act and regulatory matters.
    • Supervising all enrollment and discipline matters for registered patent practitioners and attorneys handling trademark matters.
    • Public outreach to and speaking engagements at various organizations involved in intellectual property law matters.


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    To qualify, the applicant’s resume and answers to questions must demonstrate his or her technical and leadership experience/expertise as they relate to the duties described.You must submit your responses to the Professional Technical Qualifications to be considered for the announcement (See Professional Technical Qualification Preview Questions link under the "How You Will Be Evaluated Section).

    NOTE: If you are selected for the position you may be required to submit your Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) to the Office of Personnel Management to be approved before you can be placed into the position. However, at this time you are not required to submit your ECQs.

    The incumbent must have a law degree from an accredited law school program. In addition, the incumbent must have a membership in good standing of the Bar of any state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any other territorial court under the Constitution.

    A highly qualified candidate would have substantial experience in litigating patent and trademark cases in the Federal Courts and applying knowledge of intellectual property law in cases involving complex legal and technological issues. An in-depth understanding of the USPTO's organic statute and the agency's rule making process is highly desirable along with an understanding of the American's Invent Act. In addition, a highly qualified candidate would have a minimum of fifteen years of senior legal practice experience.

    Commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards; personal and professional integrity beyond reproach; unquestioned discretion in maintaining confidentiality.

    Excellent written and oral communications skills in public and private settings with diverse audiences; ability to translate complex legal issues for a lay audience.

    Strong leadership and interpersonal skills, able to collaborate with a diverse population, and ability to relate well with Senior Administration, political staff, government officials, and external audiences.


    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.

    To preview questions please click here.


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    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 USPTO links below for information concerning USPTO New Employee Information: (Please note by clicking on the links below you will be redirected away from this page and to the Website)

    USPTO CampusReporting to Work>Work/Life BalanceFinancialEmployee AssistanceLiving in the D.C. Metro Area

    Visit the link below to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.

    Working for the Federal Government - Benefits


    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 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), which includes a fingerprint and credit check, to determine your suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.

    Drug Testing-   All applicants tentatively selected for this position will 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 USPTO participates in E-Verify. For more information on E-Verify, please visit

    Probationary Period- If selected, you may be required to complete an initial one-year trial period.

    Relocation Expenses are not authorized and will not be paid.

    Recruitment Incentives may be authorized.

    All application materials become the property of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.


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    You MUST apply online.   Email, fax or paper resumes will not be accepted.  If you experience difficulties with the application process, it is your responsibility to contact the HR Specialist listed in the "Contact Information" 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 job.  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.

    NEED HELP?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 The help desk is available Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern 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.


    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 PTQs in the job announcement.

    2.  Answers to the four Professional Technical Qualification questions upon which the applicant will be rated.  Please Note:  Responses to the four Professional Technical Qualification 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.  In addition, responses to the four Professional Technical Qualification questions should be answered in narrative form.

    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.


    2) You can fax your documents to 571-258-4052 using the system generated fax cover sheet.Your application and all required documentation must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard 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.


    Carolyn P. Schad
    Phone: 571-272-7003
    Fax: 571-258-4052
    Agency Information:
    550 Elizabeth Lane
    Alexandria, VA
    Fax: 571-258-4052


    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.  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.

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