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. The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and has over 12,000 employees. For more information about the USPTO, please visit the USPTO Jobs Website.Learn more about this agency
The individual selected for this position will perform the duties as listed below:
-Performs basic factual analysis and research of pertinent facts, applicable law and established policy relating to petitions practice.
-Prepares decisions for review and signature on petitions, ensuring all requirements of the pertinent patent laws, regulations, and policies have been satisfied.
-Assists internal and external USPTO customers on petitions-related matters on the Petitions Help Desk.
-Performs special projects as assigned by supervisor.
-Reviews and prepares indexes of petition decisions and points of law or practice for reference purposes.
Conditions of Employment
- 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.
- Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
- Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (www.sss.gov)
- Suitable for Federal employment.
You must meet the following United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements for the advertised position. OPM's prescribed Group Coverage Qualification Standard for GS-0950 Paralegal Specialist can be found at:Click Here. You must meet all qualification requirements including time-in-grade (refer to 5 CFR 300.604 for more information on time-in-grade) by the closing date of the job announcement.
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-07 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-05 grade level in the Federal service.
Specialized experience for this position includes: Prepares factual analysis and research on problematic and difficult petitions-related matters; analyzing and preparing reports on complex pertinent statues, court decisions, legal opinions, and other legal documents; examining petition-related documents that required resolving conflicting data and interpreting rules, regulations, and policies; reviewing and organizing complex factual material using methods of legal research and reference sources.
Substitution of Education for Experience - Having one (1) year of graduate level education may be qualifying at the GS-7 grade level. This graduate education must have provided you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform the work of a Paralegal Specialist, GS-7 position. One (1) year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent one (1) year of full-time study.
Combination of Education and Experience - Having a combination of successfully completed graduate level education and specialized experience as described above may be qualifying at the GS-7 grade level. This graduate education must have provided you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully to perform the work of a Paralegal Specialist GS-7 position. The combination of education and experience percentage must be at least 100%. To compute the percentage of the requirements, divide your total months of experience by 36. Then divide your total number of completed undergraduate semester hours (or equivalent) by 120. Add the two percentages.
Superior Academic Achievement (SAA): At the baccalaureate level in the coursework detailed above if fully qualifying. Applicants who wish to apply under this provision must submit proof from their education institution that they meet one of the criteria listed below. To qualify for SAA, applicants must have completed all the requirements for a bachelor's degree as described above under "Basic Requirements" and meet one of the following:
Class standing - Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in a college or university. Grade-point average (G.P.A.) - Applicants must have a grade-point average of; 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) as recorded on their official transcript or 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.
Honor Society Membership - Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society - Applicants can be considered eligible based on membership in one of the national scholastic honor societies.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website - US Department of Education. Another listing of services that can perform this evaluation is available at the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.
NOTE: Only education and experience acquired before the filing deadline will be considered. Report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
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 Bargaining Unit position.
This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of "moderate".
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.
The USPTO participates in E-Verify. For more information on E-Verify, please visit the Department of Homeland Security Website.
Probationary Period- If selected, you may be required to complete an initial one-year 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.
CTAP and ICTAP candidates will be eligible for selection priority if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a "well qualified" rating of 85 out of 100. Information about CTAP and ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website at: https://www.opm.gov/ctap. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (571-272-8292).
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation will be reviewed to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the job opportunity announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the self-assessment questions (True/False, Yes/ No, Multiple Choice questions) and place you in one of three pre-defined categories. These categories are "gold," "silver," and "bronze." Your resume and/or optional cover letter must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered. Candidates placed in the "gold" category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.
How you will be evaluated for preference eligibility: Within each category, those entitled to veterans' preference will be listed at the top of the pre-defined category for which they are placed.
For positions in the scientific and professional series, except for those at the GS-9 or ZP-II and above, include the below language.
Preference eligibles with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category (gold).
The scored self assessment questions in the job announcement will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:
KSA 1 - Knowledge of commonly used legal reference resources and commonly used research procedures and methods to locate, analyze and prepare reports on pertinent statues, court decisions, legal opinions, and other legal documents.
KSA 2 - Knowledge of legal guides, such as rules of practice and particularly the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, sufficient to locate factual information through use of their indices.
KSA 3 - Ability to analyze petitions and legal precedents in order to apply general principles of law and draft decisions.
KSA 4 - Ability to communicate factual information both orally and in writing.
For more information on category rating, please go to: http://hr.commerce.gov/s/groups/public/@doc/@cfoasa/@ohrm/documents/content/prod01_009474.pdf
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.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
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: (for Individual Occupational Requirements and/or Substitution of Education for specialized experience): 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.
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 or CTAP/ICTAP eligibility 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. Veterans' Preference Documentation: If you are a veteran with preference eligibility, you will be asked to submit a copy of your DD-214 containing your discharge disposition, dates of service, and rank. 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 a copy of each Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. For more information, please visit Special Appointing Authorities for Veterans.
2. 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 including your rating; 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 571-258-4254 using the system generated fax cover sheet.
Your application and all required documentation must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern 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.
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.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, paid holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) and Telework Program are available to eligible employees.
Please visit USPTO New Employee Information for additional information.
Visit Working for the Federal Government to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement
Federal agencies, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. USPTO Job Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should request accommodation(s) from the USPTO at https://www.uspto.gov/accommodation. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
This vacancy is also being announced under the USPTO’s Merit Promotion Program, the Job Announcement Number is OP-2019-0004. Please review that announcement to determine if you are eligible for consideration under the Merit Promotion Program.
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.
Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
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.
You must click "Submit" at the end of the application process to send your application for consideration. To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at www.usajobs.gov and click on "Applications." Click on the position title, then select "Update Application."
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 MGSHELP@monster.com. 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.
Agency contact information
AddressPATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
550 Elizabeth Lane
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
You will be notified of your application status through USAJOBS at four points during the hiring process, as applicable. You can check the status of your application by accessing the USAJOBS website at https://usajobs.gov/ and clicking on "Track Your Online Application." The four points of notification are:
1. Application Received or Application Incomplete;
2. Minimum Qualification Requirement Met or Minimum Qualification Requirement Not Met;
3. Referred (Application Referred to the Selecting Official) or Not Referred (Application Not Referred to the Selecting Official); and
4. Selected or Not Selected.
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.
You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veterans' preference, disability, etc.).
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.
By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or, you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment 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 factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/541020200. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.