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

Job Title:Patent Examiner (Computer Engineering)

Department:Department Of Commerce

Agency:Patent and Trademark Office

Job Announcement Number:CP-2014-0033

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.

SALARY RANGE:

$51,988.00 to $78,881.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Friday, March 21, 2014 to Thursday, July 10, 2014

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-1224-07/09

POSITION INFORMATION:

This is a Full-time permanent - Career/Career-Conditional appointment in the competitive service.

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

13

DUTY LOCATIONS:

MANY vacancies - Alexandria, VA View Map

WHO MAY APPLY:

U.S. Citizens and Nationals

** The current cut-off dates, in addition to the closing date of July 10, are:

April 1, 2014
May 20, 2014

Additional cutoff dates may occur at management's request during the open period for this announcement.**

SECURITY CLEARANCE:

Public Trust - Background Investigation

SUPERVISORY STATUS:

No

JOB SUMMARY:

About the Agency

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.

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. Our efforts have provided inventors exclusive rights over their discoveries. It's 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 the USPTO Careers Website.



Please read this entire announcement before submitting application materials.

TRAVEL REQUIRED

  • Not Required

RELOCATION AUTHORIZED

  • No

KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • Engineering degree or combination of engineering edu. & tech. experience.
  • Basic Qualifications plus additional Qualification Requirements
  • U.S. Citizen or National.
  • Live near, or be willing to relocate or commute to the D.C. area.
  • Submit a complete application and furnish all required documentation.
  • Enjoy research and work well autonomously.

DUTIES:

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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


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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Applications will also 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.

You must meet the United States Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

BASIC QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: To be considered for this position, you must have either: (A) successfully completed a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in Engineering; OR (B) a combination of qualifying education and experience:
A) Successfully completed a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in Engineering (See REQUIRED DOCUMENTS).
The curriculum must:
1. Be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum;
OR
2. Include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas:
a) statics, dynamics
b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships)
c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics
d) thermodynamics
e) electrical fields and circuits
f) nature and properties of materials (relating to particle and aggregate structure to properties)
g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics or electronics
OR
B) A combination of Education and Experience.
This combination of college level education, training and/or technical experience must have furnished both:
• A thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering;
AND
• A good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their application to professional engineering
This can be demonstrated by one of the following:

1. Professional registration-- Current registration as a professional engineer by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam or Puerto Rico.

2. Written test-- Evidence of passing the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) examination or the written test required for professional registration, administered by the Boards of Engineering Examiners in various States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.

3. Specified academic courses-- Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours in the physical, mathematical and engineering sciences and including the courses specified in the basic requirements. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of a professional engineering curriculum as described in paragraph A.

4. Related curriculum-- Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field, e.g., physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of an Engineering degree, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience with professional engineering supervision and guidance.

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, such as the "School of Engineering and Applied Science" or "College of Science and Technology" based on completed courses.
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-5 level in the Federal service interpreting and applying basic engineering and/or scientific principles, theories, concepts and methodologies used in the evaluation of technology; planning and conducting research; applying appropriate references to the claimed invention, etc.

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.

GS-9:
A) Have at least one year of specialized experience, equivalent to the GS-7 level in the Federal service interpreting and applying intermediate engineering and/or scientific principles, theories, concepts and methodologies used in the evaluation of technology; planning and conducting research; applying appropriate references to the claimed invention, etc.

OR

B) Have at least two years of graduate level education leading to a master’s degree or equivalent graduate degree 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

C) Have less than the full amount of graduate education as described in “B” above and less than the amount of experience described in “A” above, but have a combination of “A” and “B” above.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

Your resume, supporting documentation and self-assessment answers will be evaluated for required competencies and experience.
The self-assessment questions cover the following competencies:
• Ability to analyze and interpret written technical materials, rules, regulations, instructions and reports
• Ability to establish and maintain effective public relations with diverse groups
• 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.
Qualified applicants are assigned to one of these two categories:
Best Qualified – Highly proficient in the required competencies
Well Qualified – Competent in the required competencies
Veterans’ Preference For information and eligibility requirements, please visit the VetGuide. If you are eligible, please indicate on your resume the type of Veterans' Preference you are claiming and provide the appropriate documentation described under REQUIRED DOCUMENTS.
Click here for details on Category Rating, including how Veterans’ Preference is applied.
To preview questions please click here.


BENEFITS:

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OTHER INFORMATION:

You may be contacted for an interview within three weeks of the closing date of this announcement.

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. Visit the Selective Service System website for details.

This position is covered by a USPTO labor union.

This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of “moderate.”

Financial Disclosure - You may be required to file a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report to avoid involvement in a real or apparent conflict of interest.

Background Investigation - If invited for an interview, you may be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) to determine your suitability for Federal employment by authorizing fingerprinting, a credit check and a background investigation. You may be required to sign and certify the accuracy of all the information in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired, you may be fired after you begin work, or you may be fined.

Probationary Period - If selected, you may be required to complete a one-year probationary period.

All Federal employees must receive salary payments by direct deposit.

Relocation expenses 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 they exceed the minimum qualifications with a rating of 85 to 100. For information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, click here. See “REQUIRED DOCUMENTS” for CTAP/ICTAP documentation requirements.

HOW TO APPLY:

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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.

All application materials become the property of the USPTO.


You MUST apply online. If you need help or do not have access to a computer, contact the HR Specialist listed as the point of contact before the closing date of this job announcement.


If you have never registered for a USAJobs account, you must first create an account profile with your basic contact information and a resume. Sign in to your account to apply. For help, see the USAJobs Help Page.


When you have gathered all of the required information and are ready to begin applying, click the "APPLY ONLINE" button. You will be directed away from USAJobs to the Department of Commerce’s USPTO application site.

NEED HELP? If you have problems completing the online application, contact the Monster Hiring Management Help Desk at 1-866-656-6831 or by email at MGSHELP@monster.com.


REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

A complete application includes the following documents submitted by the closing date of this announcement:
1. Resume (cover letter optional) including:
• Citizenship • Job-related qualifications • Education • Work experience (including job titles, salary, employment dates, duties and accomplishments, and how any experience relates to the competencies listed in the job announcement.) • For every position held in the Federal Government, you MUST also identify on your resume the pay plan, series and grade of each position (i.e. GS-2210-09) and the starting and ending dates (month/year), as this information will be used to determine if you meet the Time-In-Grade requirements of the position. Failure to include this information on your resume may result in an ineligible rating and loss of consideration. • Responses to self-assessment questions not fully supported by your resume may result in rating adjustments. • Any experience claimed in a cover letter should also be substantiated by your resume.


2. Education Documentation
Transcripts: College transcripts or a statement from the institution or equivalent documentation will be accepted. Inadequate or illegible information could result in non-qualification. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the initial application; however, if selected, you must furnish official transcripts two weeks before entrance on duty. Transcripts must include: • Applicant Name • Name of College/University • Type of Degree (e.g., Bachelor of Science) • Discipline (e.g., Biomedical Engineering, Computer Engineering) • GPA
• Semester hours completed • Course names and grades


Foreign Education: Applicants who have completed part or all of their education outside of the U.S. must have their foreign education evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that the foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the U.S. This evaluation must be provided by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of this vacancy announcement. We will only accept the completed foreign education evaluation. For more information on Foreign Education verification, visit the 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.

3. Current Career/Career-Conditional Eligibles: SF-50: Most recent SF-50 which verifies grade, full performance level of position, and eligibility for consideration as a current DOT applicant with status

OTHER SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION (where applicable):
Please submit any other supporting documentation by the closing date of this announcement. You may be contacted within 7 business days of the closing date to submit the following supporting documentation if you do not submit it with your application. Applicants claiming Veterans' Preference or CTAP/ICTAP eligibility who fail to submit supplemental documentation within 3 days of receiving the request will not lose consideration for this position; however, they will not be entitled to special or priority consideration.

Documents that may be requested after the closing date are:
1. Veterans' Preference Documentation:
5-point Veterans’ Preference - Member 4 copy of each Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214 or an official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty, or other official documentation (e.g., copy of military orders, campaign documents or expeditionary award citation, etc.) that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions.
10-point Veterans’ Preference
o Member 4 copy of your DD-214,
o Standard Form (SF) 15, “Application for 10-Point Veterans’ Preference”, and
o An official statement, 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
For more information about Veterans’ Preference, click here.

2. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Documentation (all of the below):
• A copy of your specific RIF notice, written notice of your expected separation or other documentation of priority consideration status
• A copy of your latest SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location
• A copy of your last performance appraisal
• Documentation from your agency showing your current promotion potential

To submit supporting documents during the Vacancy Open Period:
• Upload documents when you register with USAJobs, or update your application on the Department of Commerce application site accessed through USAJobs,
OR
• Fax documents to 571-258-4052 using the system-generated fax coversheet.
Your application and all required documentation must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on the closing date of this job announcement.

AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

Karen Jackson
Phone: 571-272-6139
Fax: 000-000-0000
Email: karen.jackson@uspto.gov
Agency Information:
PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
550 Elizabeth Lane
Elizabeth Townhouse
Alexandria, VA
22314
US
Fax: 000-000-0000

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

You will be notified by USAJobs after successfully submitting your application.  After this vacancy announcement closes or a cutoff date occurs, we will review your application and required documentation to determine your qualifications and to verify any Veteran’s Preference claim.

Here is a general idea of the timing of the process from the date the vacancy announcement closes (or a cutoff date occurs):
1. OHR reviews applications for qualifications – about 2 weeks
2. Hiring Officials review applications, conduct interviews and make selections – about 4-6 weeks
3. OHR extends job offers – about 1-2 weeks
TOTAL ESTIMATED TIME FRAME – Approximately 10 weeks
During this time, you might not hear from us directly, but you may check the status of your application any time by logging into USAJobs at http://www.usajobs.gov/. To sign up for automated email status updates:
  • Sign in to USAJobs
  • Edit your profile
  • Under ‘Account Information’, change 'Notification Settings'

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Job Announcement Number:

CP-2014-0033

Control Number:

365086800