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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Supervisory Patent Attorney
Department:  Department Of Commerce
Agency:  Patent and Trademark Office
Job Announcement Number:  PTAB-2014-0038

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$133,830.00 to $157,100.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 to Monday, August 25, 2014
This is an Excepted Service appointment. - This is a Full-Time and Permanent position.
3 vacancies in the following location(s):
Alexandria, VA View Map
Alexandria, VA View Map
Applications will be accepted from all United States Citizens and Nationals.

This is an Excepted Service position.

This vacancy announcement has been amended to extend the closing date to August 25, 2014.

Public Trust - Background Investigation


About the Agency

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.

The PTAB is responsible for conducting trial proceedings established under the AIA including inter partes review proceedings; post-grant review proceedings; covered business method patent review proceedings; and derivation proceedings. The PTAB is also responsible for hearing and deciding appeals from adverse decisions of examiners concerning applications for patents and reexamination proceedings; conducting interference proceedings; and making final determinations of questions of priority and patentability.

As a Supervisory Patent Attorney, you will be working within the largest IP Rights governing body in the nation. You will be supporting economic growth and positioning America as the hub of critical thinking on patent-related matters in the world.
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) (Public Law 112-29; Sept. 16, 2011) has made the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) the cutting edge of evolution in patent law. Now you can experience this evolution and experience the PTAB’s other assigned jurisdictions as a Supervisory Patent Attorney with the PTAB at the USPTO's Alexandria, VA office.


  • Occasional Travel
  • Some travel to USPTO satellite offices may be required.


  • No


  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • Your resume and question responses must demonstrate the job-related KSAs.
  • You must meet the definition of specialized experience.
  • Proof of active Bar Membership in good standing.
  • A legal writing sample will be requested at the time of interview.


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The position serves under the general direction of a PTAB executive or an Administrative Patent Judge (APJ). The position provides direct supervision to 8 to 20 patent attorneys, grades GS-14-15, who assist APJs in performing their inherently governmental judicial duties. Duties include:

-Exercises the full range of supervisory duties reviewing and evaluating the performance of all patent attorneys under their supervision for compliance with standards set forth in the Patent Attorney Performance Appraisal Plan.

-Makes authoritative interpretations of legal precedents which involve decisions on the technology reviewed by patent attorneys under their supervision, and performing a number of related duties such as determining whether two or more applications contain interfering subject matter.

-Monitors and reports on the status and progress of work, checking on work in progress and reviewing completed work to see that priorities, methods, deadlines, and quality are met.

-Prepares reports and maintains records of work accomplishments and administrative information, as required and coordinates the preparation, presentation, and communication of work-related information to the supervisor.

-Reviews the draft bench memos, orders, opinions, and other work products prepared by the patent attorneys under their supervision. Determines whether the drafts are correct, complete, and ready for final review by an APJ.

-Reviews and analyze current and proposed patent laws, regulations, guides and directives related to controversial scientific, financial, corporate, medical, engineering or other highly technical areas and provides substantive technical guidance on subject issues.

-Recommends the initiation of major projects. Determines all allocation of staff to these projects, and monitors the overall progress in order to make changes in timing, emphasis and priority.

-Conducts or participates in specialized studies relating to PTAB programs.


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Experience must have been at a sufficiently high level of difficulty to clearly show that the candidate possesses the required professional and technical qualifications to litigate and/or prosecute issues and to draft decisions directed to patentability.
You must meet the positive education and qualifications requirements by the closing date of this announcement. To qualify for this position, you must meet the following Qualifications: To be considered for this position, you must possess the following:
(A) Proof of successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in the study of engineering, chemistry, or biology.
For an engineering degree, the curriculum must:
1. Be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum;
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
(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;
• 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, biology, 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.

(C) Proof of successful completion of a law degree (minimum: J.D. or equivalent).
(D) Proof of active membership of the Bar of any state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any U.S. territory, in good standing.

In addition to the education requirement, applicants must also meet the specialized experience. Specialized Experience is experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the federal service. Candidates for the GS-15 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 grade level in the Federal service.

Specialized experience for this position is defined as experience as an attorney managing or supervising, in the area of patent prosecution, preparing legal documents as well as reviewing them for legal sufficiency and understanding highly complex scientific and technical subject-matter in order to be able to present this information to others.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You are expected to furnish all required documents to ultimately qualify for the position. Unofficial undergraduate, graduate and law degree transcripts and Bar certificates can be provided if official copies are unattainable before the closing date of the announcement. Official documents will be accepted after the application is submitted.

This position does have a positive education requirement.

In addition to the qualifications requirements all candidates must possess a J.D. or LL.B degree from an accredited law school, AND must be a member in good standing of the appropriate licensing authority of any state in the U.S. or the District of Columbia Bar.

If you are including education on your resume, report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants must have a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited undergraduate college or university, and Law Degree from an ADA accredited law school.

All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement.


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. Your resume will be evaluated based on evidence of your ability to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) for this position, possession of any specialized experience, and how well your background and experience relates to the self-assessment questions in the job announcement. The self-assessment questions relate to the following knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies:

KSA-1 Knowledge of legal matters associated with patent prosecution, examination, litigation, and administration.

KSA -2 Knowledge of Trial and Appeal Board jurisdiction, rules, and procedures.

KSA -3 Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.

KSA -4 Knowledge of evaluating, applying, and interpreting patent law.

KSA -5 Ability to supervise people.

Your responses to the self assessment questions serve as the basis for your initial rating. You will receive a numerical score based on your responses to these questions. Next, your responses will be evaluated by a Human Resources Specialist and/or a subject matter expert against the information provided in your resume and optional cover letter.

Your resume must support your answers to the self assessment questions, or your score may be adjusted or lowered accordingly which may affect your overall final rating. Falsifying your background, education, and/or experience is cause for not hiring you or for changing your scored responses to questions you’ve answered, which may affect your overall final score.

Please note that a complete application is required for consideration. (Please review the “Required Documents” section of this job announcement to see what must be included in a complete application).
To preview questions please click here.


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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 may 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 the Department of Homeland Security Website.

Trial Period- If selected, you may be required to complete an initial two-year Trial period.

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

All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choice.

Relocation Expenses are not authorized and will not be paid.

Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transaction Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) will be eligible if they are assigned to the “well qualified” quality category under the category rating procedures. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website
CTAP/ICTAP documentation requirements are listed in the ‘Required Documents’ section of this announcement.

More than one selection may be made from this announcement if additional identical vacancies in the same title, series, grade, and unit occur within 90 days from the date the certificate was issued.

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

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors. If you believe that you have been discriminated against and would like to file an EEO complaint, you must do so within 45 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act. Claims of employment discrimination must be submitted to the attention of the USPTO’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity via email ( or phone (571-272-8292).Applicants applying for this position must be a United States Citizen.


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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.

You MUST apply online. If you experience difficulties with the application process or do not have access to a computer, please contact the HR Specialist listed as the point of contact 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 position. 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.

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 Standard 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.

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.


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 KSAs in the job announcement. Please Note: Responses to job 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.

2. Transcripts: You MUST submit copies of your college transcripts for verification of the education requirements. Unofficial copies are acceptable, however, if selected you will be required to furnish official transcripts. It is your responsibility to provide adequate proof that you meet the above educational requirements. Inadequate or illegible information could result in non-qualification and loss of consideration.

3. Bar Membership Documentation: You MUST submit documentation showing that you are an active member of the Bar in Good Standing of any State, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any Territorial Court under the U.S. Constitution. This letter and/or certificate should be dated within the last six months of the closing date of this job announcement. If you are unable to obtain this information by the closing date of this announcement, you must contact the HR Specialist listed on this announcement to make other arrangements prior to the closing date of the announcement.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility and qualification requirements for this position may be contacted within 7 business days of the closing date of this announcement to submit follow-up supporting documentation if applicable. Applicants claiming veterans’ preference entitlement who fail to submit supplemental documentation within 5 business days of receiving the request will not lose consideration for this position, however they will not be entitled to special or priority consideration.

Supporting documents that may be requested of applicants after the closing date of this announcement are:

1. Writing Samples - A legal writing sample will be requested at the time of interview.

2. Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) - For current and/or former Federal employees, your status eligibility and highest permanent grade/step/salary held in the Federal service will be validated with a copy of your most recent SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action".

3. Veterans’ Preference Documentation: If you are a veteran with preference eligibility, you will be asked to submit a Member 4 copy of your DD-214. If you are a preference eligible claiming a service connected disability of 10 percent or more, you will be asked to submit documentation (i.e. a letter 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. Veterans must include dates of military service within the automated application process, and submit Member 4 copy of each Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. For more information, please visit Special Appointing Authorities for Veterans. For excepted service positions, Veterans' Preference does not apply; however, Veteran's will receive positive consideration.

4. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) documentation: Applicants will be asked to submit: (1) A copy of your specific RIF notice, written notice of your expected separation or other documentation of priority consideration status; (2) A copy of your latest SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location; (3) A copy of your last performance appraisal; and (4) Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

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.


Candice Dow
Phone: 571-272-2891
Fax: 000-000-0000
Agency Information:
550 Elizabeth Lane
Elizabeth Townhouse
Alexandria, VA
Fax: 000-000-0000


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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