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Job Details

Patent Examiner 9/11/12/13

Job Type: Full time
Company/Firm: Patent and Trademark Office
Location: Alexandria, VA
Date posted: 10/02/10
Salary: From $60,682 to $123,923
Job Description:
Job Description (Please follow all instructions carefully)

Job Title: Patent Examiner 9/11/12/13 Department: Department Of Commerce Agency: Patent and Trademark Office Job Announcement Number: PTO-10-0192-MP
Salary Range: $60,682.00 - $123,923.00 /year

Series & Grade: GS-1224-09/13

Promotion Potential: 13

Open Period: Friday, October 01, 2010 to Friday, September 30, 2011

Position Information: This is a Full-Time, Permanent, Career/Career-Conditional appointment in the Competitive Service in the Patent Technology Centers.

Duty Locations: Many vacancies - Alexandria, VA

Who May Be Considered:

Applications will be accepted from Reinstatement Eligibles,Veterans' Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) and CTAP/ICTAP Eligibles.

Job Summary:


Discover an exciting career with the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office as a Patent Examiner! A career as a Patent Examiner is filled with endless possibilities, where you can be a part of something that makes a difference for the country and the world. It is a career that allows you to continue to contribute to a strong global economy and to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit for the 21st century. A Patent Examiner reviews patent applications to determine if they comply with Federal law and regulations, in addition to scientific principle. The incumbent would be responsible for scrutinizing patent applications, determining the scope of protection claimed by the inventor, researching relevant technologies, and communicating findings and decisions to patent practitioners and/or inventors. The job is generally visually demanding in nature and almost all of a Patent Examiner's work is performed using a computer. The incumbent is required to conduct an extensive review of a large body of technical information which regularly includes detailed drawings as represented in electrical schematic, 3-dimensional mechanical portrayed drawings or chemical manufacturing process diagrams. The incumbent reviews patent applications and writes office actions, in a production oriented environment that requires the analytical ability to efficiently digest large volumes of scientific information and to use this in making timely decisions regarding the patentability of an application.

The Office of Human Resources strongly encourages applicants applying for positions to read the vacancy announcement in its entirety before submitting application materials. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the individual listed under "Contact Information." Failure to follow instructions will result in your application not receiving consideration.

Key Requirements:

-You must be a U.S. citizen.

-Written Responses to Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities are required.

-Transcript (if applicable) is required.

Major Duties:

Incumbent independently performs "Basic", "Advanced", and "Legal" patent examining functions (e.g., the application of legal precedents, the determination of double-patenting situations, the evaluation of patents to the Commissioner and affidavits of patentable equivalence, etc.) with no preliminary instructions from the supervisor. References used to determine whether or not the claimed invention is new and patentable are rarely, if ever reviewed. All official Patent Office actions, including the substantive evaluation in terms of both statutory and precedent law of the legal sufficiency of evidence submitted by the applicant, are presented to the supervisory in final form. Patent examiners are responsible for the quality, productivity and timely processing of patent applications, which is the basis of their performance evaluation.


Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree that included a major field of study or specific course requirements in one of the following disciplines: Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Ceramic Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, General Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Metallurgy, Physics, Chemistry, Food Technology, Textile Technology,Computer Science and Pharmacology.

In addition to the Basic Qualification Requirements, applicants must have the specialized experience described below.

Specialized Experience:

Specialized experienceis experience that equipped the applicant 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.

Applicants must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience which has equipped them with particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position, which is typical to the work of the position to be filled, and is equivalent to the next lower grade in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is experience that includes examining/prosecuting patent applications in the appropriate art areas covered by the Patent Technology Centers.

Candidates for the GS-13 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 grade level in the Federal Service.

Candidates for the GS-12 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level in the Federal Service.

Candidates for the GS-11 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 level in the Federal Service.

Candidates for the GS-09 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 grade level in the Federal Service.


Transcript -Official, unofficial college transcripts, or a statement from the institution's registrar, dean, or other appropriate official; or equivalent documentationwill be accepted. NOTE: An official transcript or equivalent documentation as listed above will be required two weeks prior to entrance on duty. For former Patent Examiner, in lieu of a transcript, an SF-50, notification of Personnel Action, showing past classification in the GS-1224 series is acceptable.


To receive credit for education completed outside the United States you must show proof that the education has been submitted to a private organization that specializes in interpretation offoreign educational credentials and such education has been deemed at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs. Please refer to for more information.

How You Will Be Evaluated:

Your application will be reviewed to determine if you are eligible and if you are qualified for the position. Your eligibility for consideration and qualifications for the position will be determined based upon a review of:

Your detailed resume;

Your responses to the job specific evaluation criteria (also called KSAs); and

Your supporting documentation required.

The job specific evaluation criteria cover the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). Submit a narrative statement individually addressing how you meet each KSAs. Be sure to provide specific examples of what you actually did that would demonstrate your possession of each factor. Failure to provide this information may affect your eligibility.Resumes will be evaluated and referral certificates will be issuedonce a monthup to the closing date of this vacancy announcement.

KSA 1- Knowledge of administrative and legal matters associated with the patent process, which includescompetence in examining practices and procedures and the classification of patents.

KSA 2- Skill in processing patent applications including interpreting application searches.

KSA 3 - Ability to communicate effectively orally.

KSA 4 - Ability to write office actions.

You will be rated and may receive a numerical score based on your responses to the KSAs identified above. When appropriate, a cut-off score may be used to determine the group of best qualified candidates. If you are determined to be in the group of best qualified candidates, you will be referred to the selecting official. If you are qualified and eligible for consideration for non-competitive assignment at your current or former grade level, you may be referred directly to the selecting official. Interviews may be held at the discretion of the selecting official.

NOTE: All required supporting documents, including your responses to the KSAs, will be collected electronically via the USAJobs "Saved Documents" feature. (See "To Upload a document in USAJobs" under the "How to Apply ".

Please note that a complete resume is required for consideration.


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.Visit USPTO links below for information concerning USPTO New Employee Information:

USPTO Campus:

Reporting to Work:

Work/Life Balance:


Employee Assistance:

Living in the D.C. Metro Area:

The following web address is provided for you to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees. To learn more please click on:

Other Information: Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959 you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. Please see for more information.

Social Security Number - Your Social Security Number (SSN) is requested under the authority of Executive Order 9397 to uniquely identify your records from those applicants who may have the same name. This law requires that persons doing business with the Federal government furnish an SSN or tax identification number. Failure to provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number on your application materials will result in your application not being processed.

These are POPA Bargaining Unit positions.

This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of "moderate."

Background Investigation -If selected, the selectee will be subject to a background investigation which also includes fingerprinting and credit check.

This employer participates in E-Verify. This employer will provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each new employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. If the Government cannot confirm that you are authorized to work, this employer is required to provide you written instructions and an opportunity to contact SSA and/or DHS before taking adverse action against you, including terminating your employment. In order to determine whether Form I-9 documentation is valid, this employer uses E-Verify's photo screening tool to match the photograph appearing on some permanent resident and employment authorization cards with the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) photograph. For more information on E-Verify, please contact DHS at 1-888-464-4218.

If selected for this vacancy, you may be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) to determine your suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. You may be required to sign and certify the accuracy of all the information in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be fired after you begin work; or, you may be fined.

Probationary Period- If selected, the selectee 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.

Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position.To be well-qualified, applicants must meet all qualification requirements for the position and when evaluated against the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) for the position, must be excluded from the minimally qualified category of applicants and clearly exceed minimum qualifications. Federal employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit proof that they meet the requirement of 5 CFR 330.605 (a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent Performance Rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location. Information about CTAP /ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management's Career Transition Resources website at:

If a vacant position is filled below the full performance level, the selectee may be promoted without further competition. However, this implies no promise or guarantee of promotion.

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.
How To Apply:

You may either: 1) Apply on-line; 2) Fax your resume; 3) Mail your resume; 4) Email your resume or 5) Hand deliver your resume.

Your complete application package will include:

1. Your resume;
2. Your answers to the job specific evaluation criteria (KSAs);
3. Your supporting documentation required; and
4. Your latest SF-50 - noting current position and grade level.

If you are applying on line or by fax your application must be received by 11:59 p.m. eastern standard time (EST) on the closing date of this announcement. If you are applying by mail, email, or hand-deliver your application must be received by 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time (EST) on the closing date of this announcement.

Apply Online: To apply on-line you must complete and submit a resume by accessing the USAJobs website at To begin, click the Apply Online button at the right side of page. If you are a new user on USAJobs 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 vacancy. For help setting up an account or for general help using USAJobs, please click on the "Contact Us" link.

Before you apply, please make sure you have read the entire vacancy announcement and are comfortable with the requirements stated here. If you have ANY questions, please contact the HR Specialist listed on the vacancy before the closing date.

All required supporting documents (including your responses to the job specific evaluation questions-KSAs) will be collected electronically via the USAJobs "Saved Documents" feature.

NOTE: Files must be less than 2MB and should be in one of the following formats: 1) JPEG document image, 2) Word 97-2008 .doc format, or 3) Adobe Portable Document format (.pdf).

By Email:

Please email your application materials to . Your application materials must be in these supportable formats, MS Word, Adobe (pdf), or JPEG.

By Fax:

Please fax your application materials to (571) 273-0055. Please limit your application package to no more than 25 pages.

By Mail:

If you do not have access to the Internet, and would like to mail your application along with the required documentation, please send to:

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Office of Human Resources, Mail Stop 171
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450
Attn:Sabrina Lewis, HR Specialist, PTO-10-0192-MP

Hand Deliver:

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Office of Human Resources, Customer Service Center
HOURS: Mon - Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
50 Elizabeth Lane, Room 1a72a or 1a72b - Elizabeth Townhouse Complex
Alexandria, VA 22314
Attn:Sabrina Lewis, HR Specialist, PTO-10-0192-MP

Required Documents:

Applicant applying for this position MUST submit the following REQUIRED documents:

A Resume, Optional Application for Federal Employment (OF-612), or any other written format you choose to describe your job-related qualifications. Remember to include the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number and your citizenship. Information required for all applications for Federal employment and the OF-612 may be found at:

A complete resume MUST contain the following information:
Announcement number, title and grade(s) of the position for which you are applying;

Personal information which includes:
Full name, mailing address (including ZIP Code),
Home and work telephone Numbers (including area codes);
Social security number;
Country of citizenship; and
Veterans Preference entitlement (None, 5 point or 10 point)

High school - name, city, state and ZIP Code (if known) and date you received diploma or GED.
Colleges and universities - name, city, state and ZIP Code (if known), majors(s), type(s) of degree(s) received and date(s) received. If you did not receive a degree, show total credits earned and indicate whether semester or quarter hours. Submit copies of undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts if the announcement specifies minimum education requirements, if you are qualifying based on allowable substitution of education for experience or if you are qualifying based on Superior Academic Achievement (see the announcement for details).

Job-Related Work Experience (Paid and Non-Paid)
Job title (include series and grade if Federal)
Duties and accomplishments
Employer's name and address
Supervisor's name and telephone number
Starting and ending dates (month and year)
Hours per week
Indicate if we may contact your current supervisor.

Other Qualifications

Job-related training courses (title and year)

Job-related skills (i.e., other languages, computer hardware/software, tools, machinery, etc.)

Job-related certificates and licenses (current only). Do not send copies unless required in the announcement.

Job-related honors, awards and special accomplishments (i.e., publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking, performance awards, etc.) Give dates but do not send documents unless requested.

Written responses to the job specific Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) - which describes your work experience, education/training, awards, and performance appraisals, and how they relate to each of the factors.

Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) - For current and/or former Federal employees, you must submit a copy of your most recent SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action", confirming your status eligibility and highest permanent grade/step/salary held in the Federal service and a copy of your most recent official performance appraisal. (Note: Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) applicants' SF-50 should reflect the promotion potential of their most recent Federal position) and a copy of your most recent official performance appraisal, or a statement with reasons as to why you do not have such an appraisal.)

If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming eligibility under VEOA you must attach a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. Veterans must include dates of military service on your resume/application materials, and submit Member 4 copy of each Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. For more information, please go to

College transcripts or list of college courses - for former Patent Examiners, in lieu of a transcript, an SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, showing past classification in the GS-1224 series is acceptable.

These required documents may be submitted through any of the following methods:

Attachment of any document you have uploaded to your USAJobs "Saved Documents"


Mail your documents

Email to .

Hand Deliver

Problems Completing Your Application:

If you are experiencing technical difficulties (computer-related, i.e. email or fax) in applying for this position, you should contact the HR Representative listed in the announcement for instructions on submitting your application. Otherwise, you should use one of the alternative methods, i.e. by mail or in person (hand delivery) to submit your complete application package.

Status of Your Application:

If you apply online, you will receive a notice generated by the USAJOBS System that you have successfully transmitted your application. You can check the status of your application by logging into your USAJOBS account at and click on "Application Status."

If you apply by fax, mail, e-mail or hand-delivery, you will receive written notification, regarding the status of your application.

Contact Information: Sabrina Lewis
Phone: 571-272-6187
TDD: 1-800-828-1120
Agency Information:
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office/Office of Human Resources
Employment Division/Patents Branch
550 Elizabeth Lane Suite 1A72
Alexandria, VA 22314

What To Expect Next:

You will be sent notice that your application has been received. After all application packages have been received, we will review your resume 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 may interview the best-qualified applicants.

EEO Policy Statement:

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:

Veterans Information:

Legal and Regulatory Guidance:

Control Number: 2053947

Necessary Experience: N/A
Contact: Sabrina Lewis
Phone: 571-272-6187
TDD: 1-800-828-1120

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