USPTO Seeks Externs for Summer 2013

Serving the economic interests of America for more than 200 years, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is responsible for granting US intellectual property rights for patents and trademarks and providing inventors exclusive rights over their discoveries. It’s an effort that contributes to a strong global economy, encourages investment in innovation, and cultivates an entrepreneurial spirit in the 21st century.

The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and has over 10,230 employees, including engineers, scientists, attorneys, analysts, IT specialists, etc. all dedicated to accomplishing the USPTO’s mission, vision, strategic goals and guiding principles.

The USPTO is currently seeking applicants for a non-paid summer 2013 externship — the Patent Experience Externship Program (PEEP).  This externship program is intended to give students an opportunity to experience what it’s like to work at PTO, as well as interact with experts in several disciplines, explore opportunities and develop or enhance personal and professional skills. The program is an 8-10 week summer program. There will be two entry on duty dates, one on May 28th and the other on June 10th, 2013. Those selected will be notified of their entry on duty date and made a formal offer to participate.

The thumbnail sketch of the externship program is as follows:

JOB TITLE: Patent Experience Externship Program
DEPARTMENT: U.S. Department Of Commerce
AGENCY: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT:           PEEP-2013-0001
SALARY RANGE: $0.00 to $0.00 / Per Year
OPEN PERIOD: Monday, November 05, 2012 to Friday, February 01, 2013
SERIES & GRADE: GS-0099-00
POSITION INFO: Full-Time – 8-10 week volunteer summer program
DUTY LOCATIONS: MANY vacancies – Alexandria, VA, US


The USPTO is seeking applications for this unpaid externship. PEEP offers opportunities in the areas of engineering, science, and law. Examples of positions within PEEP include:

  • Office of Patent Information Management: plays a critical role in providing automation technologies, e-commerce products, information resources, and customer support to patent business area employees and to global members of the Intellectual Property community. * Office of the Commissioner for Patents:
  • Office of Patent Legal Administration: The mission of the Office of Patent Legal Administration (OPLA) is to assist in the development and administration of U.S. patent law, advise the USPTO on patent examination policy and formulate new regulations, policies, and procedures regarding patents.
  • Office of PCT Legal Administration: The function of the PCT Legal Office is to educate and assist the patent community with respect to the PCT and to resolve legal issues relating to the PCT often arising through petitions to the Commissioner in PCT international applications and in U.S. national stage applications submitted under 35 U.S.C. 371.
  • Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy: provides staff assistance in establishing patent examination and documentation policy standards for the Commissioner for Patents and is the authority on patent laws, rules, and examining practice and procedure. This office also provides direction on establishment of new rules, practices and procedures; reviews and revises the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure.
  • Office of Petitions: reviews and decides petitions, requests, and related inquiries, regarding the filing of patent applications, revival of abandoned applications, reinstatement of expired patents, withdrawal of patent applications from issue, small entity entitlement, review of previous decisions of the Technology Centers, suspension of regulations, and questions not specifically provided for by regulations.
  • Central Reexamination Unit: examines the technology (Chemical, Electrical, Mechanical, etc.) in which the patent to be reexamined is currently classified as an original. In that art unit, the Supervisory Patent Examiner (SPE) assigns the reexamination request to a primary examiner, other than the examiner that originally examined the patent, who is most familiar with the claimed subject matter of the patent.


  • Must be a United States Citizen or National
  • Responses to the job specific self assessment questions are required
  • You must meet the education requirements for this position

The deadline to apply is February 1, 2013, which is fast approaching. For more information please see PEEP-2013-0001 on

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