Job Overview


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.


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.

Supervisory Status


Promotion Potential


Travel Required

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

Relocation Authorized

  • No

Who May Apply

This job is open to…

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.

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.