A patent examiner (PE) reviews applications to determine whether patents can be granted for inventions. Patents give inventors the right to exclude others from making or selling their inventions for a limited time. As a U.S. patent examiner, you will handle these basic patent examining functions:
- Search prior art to ensure that an invention is new and unique. Prior art is information that has been disclosed to the public about an invention before a given date – including any related patents, published articles, and public demonstrations.
- Review patent applications to ensure conformity to formal requirements.
- Write legal office actions on patentability and respond to patent applicants.
GS-7: Perform basic patent examining functions with extensive instructions from the supervisor. Training will develop the ability to apply technical concepts to the patent examining process. Assignments combine performance of productive work with supervised on-the-job training.
GS-9: Independently perform basic patent examining functions with some supervision. Assignments are of average difficulty and require the application of technical concepts to the patent examining process. May perform advanced patent examining functions with supervision (e.g., the evaluation of special claim constructions, the requirement of restrictions, the recognition and development of probable interferences, etc.). These advanced activities are supported by close review.
Almost all of a Patent Examiner’s work is performed using a computer and is visually very demanding.
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.
Candidates must live near, or be willing to relocate or commute to the DC metro area.
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 Patent Examiner Series, GS-1224,can be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/1200/patent-examining-series-1224/
You must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the job announcement.
BASIC QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:
To be considered for this position, you must have either: (A) successfully completed a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree in Engineering; OR (B) a combination of qualifying education and experience.
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.
Interested Candidates are encouraged to apply online for the discipline of their choice:
Patent Examiner in Electrical Engineering
Patent Examiner in Mechanical Engineering
Patent Examiner in Computer Engineering
Patent Examiner in Biomedical Engineering
Patent Examiner in Industrial Engineering
About the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Come work for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), we have been ranked as one of the Best Places 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. The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and has over 12,000 employees. For more information about the USPTO, please visit the USPTO Careers Website.