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 USPTO boosts America’s economy one invention at a time. Ranked #1Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, this subagency offers its global workforce of civilians and Veterans unparalleled work-life balance, unmatched flexibility and unlimited career advancement. One of America’s most enduring cities, Detroit, holds the distinction of being USPTO’s first-ever satellite office, and is home to the region’s top, homegrown IP law professionals. Administrative Patent Judges in Detroit work diligently to uphold Intellectual Property laws that support USPTO’s mission of advancing the kind of innovation that changes the world.

Why Detroit? Detroit is the optimal place to work. You will find a city full of culture and rich history, attractive and affordable real estate, beautiful lakes and national parks, great entertainment and theatres, ease of access to Canada, and most excitedly you'll find the #1 Best place to work in the Federal Government: the Detroit Regional Satellite Office of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

If you fit the profile, come join our team!




An Administrative Patent Judge (APJ) serves as a member of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The PTAB has authority to:

• Hear and adjudicate appeals from decisions of Primary Examiners as to Patentability in patent applications and reissue and re-examination of patents

• Conduct post-grant review proceedings, inter partes review proceedings, derivation proceedings, and Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patent proceedings, and declare and conduct proceedings in legacy interferences.

As and APJ, you will be expected to:

• Formulate ideas and communicate them effectively to various stakeholders; and

• Draft decisions regarding patentability. 

Though not required, PTAB prefers candidates with 10-15 years of patent experience, including those who have prosecuted and/or litigated patent cases and supervised professional IP teams and/or attorneys. Though not required, PTAB prefers candidates with experience prosecuting and/or litigating electrical, computer, mechanical or data processing patents and patent applications.