Patent Job Directory | Intellectual Property Jobs | Trademark Jobs

Job Details


Job Type: Full time
Company/Firm: Agricultural Research Service
Location: Beltsville, MD
Date posted: 09/10/10
Salary: From $89,033 to $136,771
Job Description:
Job Description (Please follow all instructions carefully)

Job Title: Patent Department: Department Of Agriculture Agency: Agricultural Research Service Sub Agency: Office of Technology Transfer Job Announcement Number: ARS-X10E-0223
Salary Range: $89,033.00 - $136,771.00 /year

Series & Grade: GS-1221-13/14

Promotion Potential: 14

Open Period: Thursday, September 09, 2010 to Thursday, September 23, 2010

Position Information: Full-Time Permanent

Duty Locations: 1 vacancy - Beltsville, MD

Who May Be Considered: Applications will be accepted from US Citizens, from current and former competitive service Federal employees, and people eligible under special hiring authorities.

Job Summary:Find Solutions to Agricultural Problems that Affect Americans Every Day, From Field to Table

This position is located on the Patent Staff in the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). OTT's mission is to encourage, promote, and facilitate the application and commercialization of technology resulting from ARS research and to foster cooperation between users and ARS. OTT is responsible for ARS' Technology Transfer Program, including patenting, licensing, and developing cooperative research and development agreements.

As a member of the Patent Staff, you will advise and assist ARS scientists in protecting intellectual property, coordinate invention reports, prepare and prosecute applications, and oversee patent applications prepared by contract law firms.

This position requires the selectee to undergo a pre-employment check and background investigation. Any offer made is considered a tentative job offer pending the outcome of the pre-employment check. Retention in the position is based on favorable adjudication of the background investigation. The incumbent will be subject to periodic reinvestigations.

You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position.

Major Duties:

As a member of the Patent Staff, you will advise and assist ARS scientists in protecting intellectual property, coordinate invention reports, prepare and prosecute applications, and oversee patent applications prepared by contract law firms. Patents are of a scientific nature resulting from both basic and applied agricultural research principally in the areas of chemistry (e.g., general or organic chemistry); engineering (e.g. chemical, agricultural, or mechanical engineering or interdisciplinary combinations dealing with expert systems); and biology (e.g., biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, plant physiology, plant pathology, or genetics).

Specific duties may include the following:

- Advising researchers, administrators, and officials of collaborating institutions on matters involving domestic and foreign patent rights, policies, and procedures;

- Preparing and prosecuting patent applications arising through ARS research investigations;

- Evaluating inventions to determine the patentability;

- Conducting investigations of infringement, validity, inventorship, and ownership; and

- Coordinating technology transfer activities relating to intellectual property protection with other staff in OTT.

Working Conditions and Other Considerations: Travel to other ARS researchlocations is required.


Your education and experience will be evaluated against all qualification requirements (basic and any additional requirements) listed below.

Basic Requirements:

Degree: major in a scientific, technological, or engineering field pertinent to the position to be filled, as shown in paragraph A of the individual occupational requirements for the particular series, e.g., Physics, GS-1310; Chemistry, GS-1320; etc.

Combination of education and experience -- that meets the paragraph B provision of the individual occupational requirements for the particular series pertinent to the position to be filled, e.g, Physics, GS-1310; Chemistry, GS-1320; etc.

Four years of scientific, technological, or engineering experience that demonstrated knowledge of the fundamental principles of the field involved in the position to be filled equivalent to that which would have been obtained through successful completion of a full 4-year degree as shown in A above.
Evaluation of Experience: Professional patent work experience that involved either the examination or the preparation and prosecution of applications for U.S. Patents; or experience gained as a Patent Attorney, Patent Adviser, Patent Examiner, Patent Classifier, Patent Interference Examiner, Patent Research and Development Examiner, Patent Examiner Specialist, or Law Examiner (Patents) is accept-able for any of the professional experience as required above.

Additional Requirements:

GS-13: You must possess one year of specialized experience (as described below) equivalent to the GS-12 level in the federal service.

GS-14: You must possess one year of specialized experience (as described below) equivalent to the GS-13 level in the federal service.

Applicants for both the GS-13 and the GS-14 levels must be registered to practice before the Patent & Trademark Office. You must submit proof of registration with your application.

Patent experience in chemistry, engineering, and/or biotechnology is highly desirable. However, all areas of patent experience will be considered.

Time –In-Grade Restrictions apply for all candidates considered under Merit Promotion/Alternative Merit Promotion.

Specialized Experience is experience which has equipped you with the following Knowledge, Skills and Abilities - 'KSAs' required to perform the duties of this position:

1. Ability to apply scientific information from a wide variety of disciplines associated with agriculture and/or food research (such as chemistry, engineering, biology, biotechnology) to evaluate the patentability of USDA research projects.

2. Ability to understand and interpret U.S. patent law to advise researchers and conduct investigations on patent issues (e.g., infringement, validity, inventorship, and ownership).

3. Ability to prepare and prosecute domestic and foreign patent applications.

4. Ability to convert scientific concepts into easily understood expressions in order to facilitate the completion of paperwork, which includes interacting with scientists and other parties associated with the patent process.

5.Ability to advise researchers, administrators, and officials of collaborating institutions on matters involving domestic and foreign patent rights, policies, and procedures.

If qualifying all or in part based on your education, you must submit a copy of your academic transcripts OR a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grade point average or class ranking to verify education when applying for this position. If this information is not provided, your education may not be appropriately evaluated and you may lose consideration for this position. If you are selected for this position, you will have to provide an official copy of your transcripts prior to entering on duty. Application materials will not be returned.

Graduate education must be directly related to the work of the position and must have equipped you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Please visit the Office of Personnel Management's website at for additional information on this topic.

Applicants for both the GS-13 and the GS-14 levels must be registered to practice before the Patent & Trademark Office. You must submit proof of registration with your application.

How You Will Be Evaluated:

You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the basic and any additional requirements.The Agricultural Research Service uses a category rating process. Based on evaluation of all written materials submitted in application for the position, you will be determined to be Ineligible, if you do not meet eligibility and/or minimum qualifications criteria; Eligible, if you meet all eligibility and minimum qualifications criteria; OR Quality, if you meet quality criteria in addition to eligibility and minimum qualifications criteria. For information about how to addressKSAs, please visit our website at, click on 'How to Apply,' then click on 'What are those KSAs anyway?' For more information about the evaluation process, please visit our website at:, click on 'How to Apply,' thenclick on the link to 'Qualifications andWhatThey Mean.'


A Benefits Package is authorized for this position. Additional information about Federal benefits can be obtained at

Other Information:

Veteran's Preference:
For further details, call the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) at 703-724-1850 or TDD 978-461-8404. Select General Information on the Federal
Employment Policies and Procedures, and then Veteran's Preference and Special Appointing Authorities for Veterans. Visit their VetGuide website at

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA): Qualified candidates eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA), a special hiring authority, will be considered. VEOA eligibles are preference eligibles or veterans who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of active service. Veterans who are released under honorable conditions shortly before completing a 3-year tour are also eligible.

Creditable Service:
Service credit for annual leave accrual may be granted for directly related non-Federal work experience or uniformed service for newly appointed individuals, or those individuals reappointed after a break in service from civilian Federal employment of at least 90 calendar days. The amount of non-Federal service to be credited will be based on the amount of directly related and documented experience that the selectee possesses as documented by the employee and which is approved by agency management.

Displaced/Surplus Employees: Individuals eligible under the USDA Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection. CTAP and ICTAP eligibles within the local commuting area will be considered well qualified if that applicant meets the qualification standard and eligibility requirements for the position, meets minimum education and experience requirements, meets all selective factors where applicable and is able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position upon entry. Employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent performance rating and a copy of their most recentSF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible. Additional information on CTAP and ICTAP is available at

Relocation Expenses:
Payment of relocation expenses will be determined in accordance with P&P 412.5, Recruitment and Retention Incentives and Other Special Pay, Sections 6 and 7, as amended by Bulletins 03-402 and 05-412.5, which may be found at See also

Financial Disclosure Requirement:
Federal employees are subject to prohibitions against officially dealing with
outside organizations in which they have a financial interest. You may berequired to submit a financial disclosure report if hired for this position.

False statements:
If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not
be hired; may be fired after beginning work; or may be fined or jailed.

Optional Form 306, (Declaration for Federal Employment):
If you are selected for this position, you will be required to complete this form before an offer may be made.

Selective Service System:
Males over age 18 who were born after December 31, 1959, must have registered with the Selective Service System (or have an exemption) to be eligible for Federal employment.

ARS Reasonable Accommodation Contact Information:
If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, or have questions regarding reasonable accommodation and/or accessibility for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager on 202-720-6161 or through the DC Relay Service on 202-855-1234 (TDD).

How To Apply:

Applications may be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to the appropriate address and/or facsimile number, but they must be postmarkedby 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the closing date.

If sending your application as an attachment to an email, do not send zipped files. They will be removed in accordance with standard electronic security procedures.

If hand delivered, be sure your application is received in the Human Resources Division on or before closing date.

If application packages do not contain all of the requested information, you may lose consideration for the job. To help you ensure your application fully outlines your qualifications and eligibility for this position, please submit the following documentation as appropriate. Some of the items listed maynot apply to you. NOTE: Applications received in postage paid government envelopes will not be considered.


__ Optional Form 612 (Optional Application for Federal Employment),Resume, Curriculum Vitae, or other document outlining your qualifications (Go to scroll down to obtain the OF-612).

The following information is required of all applicants:

__ Announcement number, title, and grade(s) of the position

__ Full name, mailing address (including zip code) and day and evening phone numbers (with area code)

__ Social security number

__ Statement that you are a U.S. citizen (if not using the OF-612)

__Copy of DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) (only if claiming veteran's preference) (Visit the following web site for additional information:

__SF-15 (Application for 10-point Veteran's Preference) plus the support documentation required by this form (if claiming 10-point veteran's preference) (Go to the web site at obtain form.)

__ Paid and non-paid work experience related to the position. For each period of work experience include:

___Job title

___Series/grade (if Federal employment)

___Duties and accomplishments

___Employer's name and address

___Supervisor's name and contact information

___Starting and ending dates of employment (at least month/year)

___Number of hours worked per week


___Indicate if we may contact current supervisor/employer

__ Other job related information, such as training courses (title & year); skills (e.g., other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, etc.)

___Certificates/licenses (current)

___Honors, awards, and special accomplishments

___Supplemental questionnaire if applicable
(usually for Federal Wage System positions - WG, WL, WS)

__ Copy of college transcripts (if qualifying all or in part on the basis of education for this position) (If you have non-conventional education, e.g., foreign study, continuing education units, life experience, etc., go to the web site at look under the heading “Other Education†for information governing acceptability of this type of education.)

__ Copy of SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) to verify possession of competitive civil service status (if you are a current or previous federal employee)

__ Copy of most recent performance appraisal (if you are a current federal employee)

__ Second copy of application packageIF you are a candidate with competitive status. (NOTE: All status candidates who wish to be considered under both alternative merit promotion and non-status competitive examining must submit two (2) complete applications when the position is open to both status and non-status candidates. When only one (1) application is received, it will be considered under the alternative merit promotion procedures if the applicant is a current or former Federal employee with reinstatement eligibility.)

__ Support documentation for eligibility for special hiring authorities, such as disability, Peace Corps service, etc. (If you have questions about whether you are eligible for a particular hiring authority, please call the servicing HR specialist or visit the web site at

__ Support documentation if you are a USDA surplus or federal displaced employee (See pertinent section under “Other Important Information†below.

__ Self-certification of typing speed (if required as a basic qualification for the position)

__ While not required, a separate response to the required knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs listed under Specialized Experience) and Selective Placement Factor(s), if present, for this position may better highlight your specific qualifications for this position. (For an explanation of KSAs, go to the web site at, and click on 'How to Apply.'

If this is your first time applying for a federal job, or if you wish to view more detailed information about various aspects of applying for federal jobs, go to scroll down to access the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Optional Form 510.

Contact Information: Diane Wolf
Phone: 301-504-1366
Fax: 301-504-1535
TDD: 202-855-1234
Agency Information:
Department Of Agriculture
USDA-REE-ARS-HRD/Announcement #ARS-X10E-0223
5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Stop #5104
Beltsville, MD 20705-5104
Fax: 301-504-1535

What To Expect Next:

You will be notified at four stages throughout the hiring process - upon receipt of your application, if you meet the minimum qualifications, if you are referred on the selection certificate, and when a final selection has been made.

EEO Policy Statement:

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:

Veterans Information:

Legal and Regulatory Guidance:

Control Number: 2028954
Necessary Experience:


Contact: Diane Wolf
Phone: 301-504-1366
Fax: 301-504-1535
TDD: 202-855-1234

« Back to Patent Job Directory