Job Overview


About the Agency

Come work for the #1 Best Place to Work ™ in the Federal Government! The 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. Our efforts have provided inventors exclusive rights over their discoveries. It is an effort that continues to contribute to a strong global economy, to encourage investment in innovation and to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit for the 21st century. The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and has over 12,000 employees, including engineers, scientists, attorneys, analysts, IT specialists, etc. all dedicated to accomplishing the USPTO's mission, vision, strategic goals and guiding principles. For more information about the USPTO, please visit our websites at


The Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge (Vice Chief Judge) serves under the administrative direction of the Chief Administrative Patent Judge (Chief Judge) and the Deputy Chief Administrative Patent Judge (Deputy Chief Judge), is a full voting member of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) as provided by Title 35 U.S. Code, Section 6, and is the immediate supervisor of all Lead Administrative Patent Judges (Lead Judges) and second line supervisor for all of the Administrative Patent Judges (Judges) assigned to the one of the Board’s divisions of Judges (Judges & Patent Attorneys of the Board – Division 1 or Judges & Patent Attorneys of the Board – Division 2).  The Director, the Deputy Director, the Commissioner for Patents, the Commissioner for Trademarks, and the several administrative patent judges (including the Chief Judge, Deputy Chief Judge, Vice Chief Judges, and Lead Judges) constitute the membership of the Board; but any three or more of these individuals may constitute a legal panel of the Board to render a decision in a patent appeal, an interference proceeding, a post grant review proceeding, an inter partes review proceeding, a derivation proceeding, or a proceeding under the Transitional Program for Covered Business Methods Patents (Covered business method review proceeding). The Board has the sole authority to hear and adjudicate patent appeals from decisions of Primary Patent Examiners. The Board also holds oral hearings when requested, and has the authority to grant rehearings.


The Vice Chief Judge is responsible for assisting the Chief Judge and Deputy Chief Judge in developing and implementing the USPTO rules associated with patent appeals, interferences, post grant reviews, inter partes reviews, derivations, and covered business method reviews.  They include Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 41: Subpart A provides the General Provisions; Subpart B involves Ex Parte Patent Appeals; Subpart C involves Inter Partes Appeals; Subpart D is directed to Contested Cases; and Subpart E involves Patent Interferences and Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 42: Subpart A provides Trial Practice and Procedure; Subpart B involves Inter Partes Review, Subpart C involves Post-Grant Review, Subpart D involves Transition Program for Covered Business Method Patents.  The Vice Chief Judge is also responsible for developing and implementing the Standard Operating Procedures necessary for the internal operation of the Board.  Furthermore, the Vice Chief Judge is responsible for adjudicating petitions for the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.

The Vice Chief Judge may serve as the Acting Deputy Chief Judge during the absence of the Deputy Chief Judge or Acting Chief Judge if both the Chief Judge and Deputy Chief Judge are absent. The Vice Chief Judge also assists the Chief Judge and Deputy Chief Judge in the comprehensive executive management, strategic planning, and financial functions essential to effective Board operations; the assignment of panels of administrative patent judges to adjudicate all patent appeals, interference proceedings and AIA trials; and periodically serves on such panels.  The Vice Chief Judge further assists the Chief Judge and Deputy Chief Judge in the development and implementation of quality, timeliness, productivity, and customer service performance standards for the Judges.

The Vice Chief Judge interacts with the legal community, including the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, bar associations, etc.; actively participates in public conferences and meetings; and makes presentations to foreign dignitaries regarding the Board.