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Patent Examiner (Biomedical Engineering)

Job Type: Full time
Company/Firm: Patent and Trademark Office
Location: Alexandria, VA
Date posted: 11/04/10
Salary: From $69,899 to $90,866
Job Description:
Job Description (Please follow all instructions carefully)

Job Title: Patent Examiner (Biomedical Engineering) Department: Department Of Commerce Agency: Patent and Trademark Office Job Announcement Number: LD398295
Salary Range: $69,899.00 - $90,866.00 /year

Series & Grade: GS-1224-11

Promotion Potential: 13

Open Period: Tuesday, November 02, 2010 to Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Position Information: Full TimeCareer/Career Conditional

Duty Locations: Many vacancies - Alexandria, VA

Who May Be Considered: United States Citizens

Job Summary: Do you enjoy technology? Have you ever explored the world of inventions and patents? If you are a degreedelectrical engineer your opportunity to expand in this world just arrived.

Work for the largest Intellectual Property Rights Firm in the United States- United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Discover an exciting career with the USPTO 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.

Patent Examiner positions are located in the Patent Examining Corps of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, Virginia.

The Office of Human Resources strongly encourages applicants applying for positions to read the vacancy announcement in its entirety before submitting application materials for this position. If you have any questions or concerns about the application procedure or processes, please contact the Human Resources Specialist listed under "Contact Information."

Failure to follow instructions in this vacancy announcement will result in your resume NOT receiving consideration.

Key Requirements: Must be a U.S. Citizen or National Major Duties: The individuals selected for this position will:

Perform patent examining functions such as planning and conducting the search and applying references, evaluation of special claim constructions, requirement of restrictions, and the recognition and development of probable interferences. Conduct legal patent examining functions (e.g., application of legal precedents, determination of double-patenting situations) after obtaining detailed preliminary instructions. Analyze requests for patents that claim application of biomedical engineering technology. Apply knowledge ofbiomedical engineering technology related to diagnostic, therapeutic, and treatment devices, systems, or methods used in the study and practice of medicine to examine requests for patents. Review claims for patents relating to a variety of biomedical engineering applications for therapeutic and treatment equipment and devices, (e.g., exercise devices, prosthetics). Identify applications for patents that involve the use of biomedical engineering technology for diagnostic equipment, (e.g., imaging devices, body system testing). Evaluate applications for patents that usebiomedical engineering technology for claimed inventions for equipment and instruments, (e.g., therapeutic surgical instruments, orthopedic instruments, surgical tools). Determine whether application of biomedical engineering technology to a claimed invention is operable/useful as disclosed.Qualifications: You must meet the United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements (including specialized experience and/or educational requirements) and meet all eligibility requirementsfor the advertised position by the closing date of the vacancy announcement. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. It is available for your review on the OPM web site at

Basic Qualification Requirements forPatent Examiner (Biomedical Engineering), GS-1224-11:

A.Degree: professional biomedical engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must: (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.


B.Combination of education and experience -- college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professionalbiomedical engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to biomedical engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following:

1. Professional registration -- Current registration as a professional engineer by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. Absent other means of qualifying under this standard, those applicants who achieved such registration by means other than written test (e.g., State grandfather or eminence provisions) are eligible only for positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of their registration. For example, an applicant who attains registration through a State Board's eminence provision as a manufacturing engineer typically would be rated eligible only for manufacturing engineering positions.

2. Written Test -- Evidence of having successfully passed the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) examination, or the written test required for professional registration, which is administered by the Boards of Engineering Examiners in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

Applicants who have passed the EIT examination and have completed all the requirements for either (a) a bachelor's degree in engineering technology (BET) from an accredited college of university that included 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences, or (b) a BET from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) may be rated eligible for certain engineering positions at GS-5. Eligibility is limited to positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of the engineering technology program. Applicants for positions that involve highly technical research, development, or similar functions requiring an advanced level of competence in basic science must meet the basic requirements in paragraph A.

Because of the diversity in kind and quality of BET programs, graduates of other BET programs are required to complete at least 1 year of additional education or highly technical work experience of such nature as to provide reasonable assurance of the possession of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for professional engineering competence. The adequacy of this background must be demonstrated by passing the EIT examination.

3. Specified academic courses -- Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and in engineering that included the courses specified in the basic requirements. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of a professional biomedical engineering curriculum as described in paragraph A.

4. Related curriculum -- Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field, e.g., physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a degree inbiomedical engineering, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional biomedical engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. Ordinarily there should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professionalbiomedical engineering competence, or several years of prior professional biomedical engineering-type experience, e.g., in interdisciplinary positions. (The above examples of related curricula are not all-inclusive.)

Additional Qualification Requirements for Patent Examiner (Biomedical Engineering), GS-1224-11: In addition to meeting the Basic Qualification Requirements you must also:

A. Have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-9 grade level in the Federal service covering both the knowledge of biomedical engineering (interpreting and applying advanced biomedical engineering and/or scientific principles, theories, concepts, and methodologies related to the study and practice of medicine) AND patent prosecution experience.

Examples of qualifying experience include:


Performing complex evaluation of modern biomedical engineering technology applications related to therapeutic and treatment devices (e.g., exercise devices, prosthetics). Identifying use of biomedical engineering applications to diagnostic and medical equipment (e.g., body system diagnostic testing, imaging, surgical tools and methods). Assessing use of biomedical engineering applications related to instruments for various medical and dental practices (surgical and dental instruments, therapeutic surgical instruments, orthopedic and prosthetic devices). Conducting research using a variety of reference materials and resources regarding application of scientific technology related to biomedical engineering practices and techniques. PATENT PROSECUTION

Applying established scientific analytical techniques to evaluating applications for patents related to biomedical engineering. Drafting patent applications in compliance with formal requirements and technical accuracy. Drafting disclosure and claims for compliance with 35 USC 112. Planning and conducting searches. Ensuring that specification and claim amendments fail to introduce new matter. Assessing the potential for a proper restriction. Determining whether claims distinguish over the prior art. Analyzing rejections under 35 USC 102 and 103 which have supporting rationale. Determining whether claimed invention is operable/useful as disclosed. Evaluating/applying case law as necessary. Evaluating sufficiency of affidavits/declarations Determining whether an appropriate line of patentable distinction is maintained between application and/or patents. Evaluating legal sufficiency of reissue oath/declaration Evaluating appropriateness of grounds of reexamination as it relates to biomedical engineering. OR

B. Have three years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D., or equivalent doctoral degree as stated in the Basic Qualification Requirements. One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent one year of full-time study. If that number cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours will be considered an academic year of graduate study.


C. Have less than the full amount of graduate education as described in “B” above and less than the amount of experience described in “A” above, but have a combination of the type of graduate education and experience described above.

Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit:

Conditions of Employment:

1.You must be a United States Citizen or National.

2. You must submit responses to the jobspecific self assessment questions.

3. You must meet the definition of specialized experience for this position.

4. You must successfully pass a written test to be considered for promotionto the GS-13 grade level and meet time in grade requirements.

5.Selectee will be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) to determine your suitability for Federal employment, authorize a background investigation, and certify the accuracy of all the information in your application (or resume).

6. Selecteewill be required to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting and security badge prior to your entrance on duty date.

7. A background security investigation will be required for all new appointments. Your continued employment will be subject to your successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully

meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.

How You Will Be Evaluated: Once the application process is complete, a review of your resume and supporting documentation will be made and compared against your responses to the assessment questionnaire to determine if you are qualified for this job. You will be ranked against job related criteria and placed into one of three predefined quality categories. The predefined quality category that you are placed into is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for this position. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is apparent in your description of experience and/or education OR ifyour transcript(s)is not submitted, you will not be consideredeligible and will not be placed in a quality category. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Your qualifications will be evaluated on the followingknowledge, skills, and abilities:

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs):

1. Knowledge of biomedical engineering theories, concepts, principles, and practices and their application to the study and practice of medicine.

2. Ability to evaluate applications of modern biomedical engineering technology to new or improved diagnostic, therapeutic, and treatment devices (e.g., exercise devices, surgical tools, orthopedic instruments, prosthetics, imaging equipment).

3. Knowledge of patent examining functions for the preparation/prosecution of patent applications.

4.Skill in applying engineering and scientific principles to determine whether technology applications meet formal and technical requirements for patentability.

5. Skill in presenting technical information in writing.

6.Skill in presenting technical information orally.

Your application will be evaluated and rated under Category Rating procedures. Category rating procedures evaluate your total qualifying experience, education, and training and assigns them into a single, pre-defined quality category. Qualified applicants are assigned to one of three categories following a review of their job-related KSAs. Each category is defined as follows:

Best Qualified: Applicant possesses exceptional experience with a background that demonstrates a superior level of knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies required to perform the duties of the position.

WellQualified: Applicant possesses good experience with a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies required to perform the duties of the position.

Qualified: Applicant possesses the minimum qualifications with a background that demonstrates a basic level of knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies required to perform the duties of the position.

For these positions, veterans' preference is applied by listing preference eligibles ahead of non-preference eligibles within the same quality category in which they are placed. Qualified preference eligibles with a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent will be placed above non-preference eligibles within the same quality category.

For more information on category ratingprocedures, please visit

Veterans Preference: If you are eligible for veterans’ preference, please indicate on your resume the type of veterans’ preference you are claiming and provide the appropriate supporting documentation. Additional information on supporting documentation may be found in the ‘Required Documents’ section of this job announcement. For information regarding Veterans’ Preference and eligibility requirements, please visit


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:

(Please note by clicking on the links below you will be redirected away from this page and to the Website)”>USPTO Campus”>Reporting to Work”>Work/Life Balance”>Financial”>Employee Assistance”>Living in the D.C. Metro Area

Visit the link below to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.”> Working for the Federal Government – Benefit

Other Information: If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-points veterans' preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must also submit an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form. For more information on veterans’ preference see

Males born after December 31, 1959 must be registered or exempt from Selective Service (see

This is a Bargaining Unit position.

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

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

The USPTO participates in E-Verify. For more information on E-Verify, please visit

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 your choice.

Relocation Expenses are not authorized and will not be paid.

Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transaction Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications andis well-qualifiedfor the position as defined in ‘How You Will Be Evaluated’ section of this announcement. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website at: CTAP/ICTAP documentation requirements are listed in the ‘Required Documents’ section of this announcement.

You may be promoted without further competition. However, this implies no promise or guarantee of promotion.

Review your resume carefully. By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. A Human Resources Representative will validate the qualifications of those candidates eligible to be referred to the hiring official.

How To Apply: To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

1. Your Résumé

2. A complete Assessment Questionnaire

3. Other supporting documents:

- Veterans Preference Documentation, if applicable

- College transcript(s)

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on

TAG:Closing Date.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the assessment questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application you may use the following link:

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page using the following Vacancy IDLD398295. Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot apply online:

Click the following link to view and print the assessment questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire, and Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the assessment questionnaire and Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.Required Documents: A complete application consists of:

1. Your responses to the Assessment Questionnaire

2. A resume or any other written format you choose to describe your job-related qualifications; optional cover letter: Information for applications for Federal employment and the OF-612 may be found at: 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. Any experience claimed in a cover letter should be substantiated by information contained in your resume.

3. 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.

Optional supplemental docs:

4. Veterans’ Preference Documentation: Veterans claiming 5-point veterans' preference will be asked to submit a Member 4 copy of your DD-214. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must also attach an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference", and an official statement 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 on your application/application materials, and submit Member 4 copy of each Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. For more information, please visit

5. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) documentation: Applicants should 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; and

(4) Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

Contact Information: Anna Tankesley
Phone: (571)272-6174
Fax: (571)273-6174
Agency Information:
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Office of Human Resources
Employment Division/Patents Branch
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: (571)273-6174

What To Expect Next: You will be notified about your application status at the following points in the process:

1. When we receive your application, you will be notified immediately.

2. You will be notified whether you meet the minimum qualification requirements for this position approximately 2 weeks from the date we receive your complete application.

3. If you meet the minimum qualification requirements, you will be referred to the selecting official approximately two weeks after the closing date of this announcement.

4. You will be notified of your selection or non-selection approximately 5 weeks from the referral date.

To obtain these status updates through USAJOBS, you must select the Apply Online button at the bottom of the announcement and log into your USAJOBS account before completing the questionnaire in Application Manager. If you do not have a USAJOBS account, you will need to create one before you can apply.

You can sign up to be automatically notified through email whenever your application status changes. Log into your USAJobs account, click "Application Status" and then select the "Notification Settings" link at the bottom of the window.

Note: If your personal information changes after the closing date of this vacancy announcement, please contact the servicing HR Specialist to update your information to ensure you can be contacted throughout the process.

EEO Policy Statement:

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:

Veterans Information:

Legal and Regulatory Guidance:

Control Number: 2071485

Necessary Experience: N/A
Contact: Anna Tankesley
Phone: (571)272-6174
Fax: (571)273-6174

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