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Job Details

Patent Examiner General

Job Type: Full time
Company/Firm: Patent and Trademark Office
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Date posted: 01/20/10
Salary: From $69,899 to $90,866
Job Description:

 Position Information:
This is a Full-Time,  Permanent, Permanent, Career/Career-Conditional appointment in the Competitive Service.  This position is also being announced under the USPTO's Merit Promotion Program, the Job Announcement Number is RT-10-0034-MP Please review that announcement to determine if you are eligible for consideration under the Merit Promotion Program.  This position is covered by the Bargaining Unit.
Duty Locations:
1 vacancy - Alexandria, VA 
Who May Be Considered:

All qualified United States citizens and nationals.


Job Summary:

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 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 Patent Examiner 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 Patent Examiner position is 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 individual listed under "Contact Information."  Failure to follow instructions in the announcement will result in your application not receiving consideration.

Key Requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or National.
  • Written Responses to Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities are required.
  • Transcript is required.


Major Duties:

As a Patent Examiner with no preliminary instructions, you will perform patent examining functions and formulate or recommend appropriate action with respect to checking applications for compliance with formal requirements and technological accuracy, treating disclosure statements and claims of priority; analyzing disclosure and claims for compliance with 35 USC 112; planning a field of search; conducting search; formulating rejections under 35 USC 102 and 103 with supporting rationale, or determining how claim(s) distinguish over the prior art; determining whether amendment introduces new matter; determining whether restriction is proper; and determining whether claimed invention is operable/useful as disclosed.  After preliminary instruction, you will perform patent examining functions and formulate or recommend appropriate action with respect to evaluating/applying case law as necessary; evaluating sufficiency of affidavits/declarations; determining whether appropriate line of patentable distinction is maintained between application and/or patents; evaluating sufficiency of reissue oath/declaration; and evaluating appropriateness of grounds of reexamination.

*This vacancy announcement covers 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, Pharmacology, Physics, Chemistry, Food Technology, Textile Technology, and Computer Science.


Qualifications:

You must meet the following United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualifications requirements for the advertised position.  OPM's prescribed Group Coverage Qualifications Standards for Professional and Scientific Positions can be found at: http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/SEC-IV/A/gs-PROF.asp. It is available for your review in our office and in other Federal agency personnel office.  Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of the General Schedule Positions. You must meet all qualification requirements including time-in-grade (refer to 5 CFR 300.604 for more information on time-in-grade) by the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

BASIC QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: 

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, Pharmacology, Physics, Chemistry, Food Technology, Textile Technology, and Computer Science.
Specialized Experience:
In addition to the basic education requirement stated above, applicants must meet the following to qualify for the GS-11 level: Have at least one year of specialized experience that is directly related to the duties of the position to be filled and is equivalent to the GS-09 level in the Federal service.  Directly related experience may be legal and/or prosecution experience that is directly related to patent examining functions, including 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; and evaluating appropriateness of grounds of reexamination.


Education:

Transcript - Official, unofficial college transcripts, or a statement from the institution's registrar, dean, or other appropriate official; or equivalent documentation will be accepted.  NOTE:  An official transcript or equivalent documentation as listed above will be required two weeks prior to entrance on duty.


Foreign Education:

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 of foreign educational credentials and such education has been deemed at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs.


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 detail and comprehensive responses to the job specific evaluation criteria (also called KSAs);
  • Your detailed resume; and
  • The supporting documentation required.

 

The job specific evaluation criteria cover the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA).  Submit a narrative statement individually addressing how you meet each KSA.  Be sure to provide specific examples of what you actually did that would demonstrate your possession of each factor.  Failure to provide this information will affect your eligibility and will result in you not receiving consideration for this position.

KSA 1 - Knowledge of patent examining functions and experience in the preparation/prosecution of patent  applications.

KSA 2 - Knowledge of the scientific and technical matters associated with the patent process in a designated art area  (professional scientific or engineering field).

KSA 3 - Knowledge of legal matters associated with the patent examination practices, processes, and  procedures.

KSA 4 - Ability to effectively communicate in writing.

KSA 5 - Ability to effectively communicate orally.

Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility and qualification requirements will be evaluated based on their overall background as it relates to the position being filled, and the specific Knowledge, Skills, or Abilities (KSAs) needed in the job.  Applicants will be rated and ranked on the KSAs identified above.  Qualified candidates will be assigned a score between 70 and 100, before the addition of veterans' preference points.  All application materials and interviews, if conducted, will be used in the final evaluation and selection process.  Interviews are at the discretion of the selecting official.

Veterans Preference: Five points may be added to the eligible ratings of veterans who: Entered the military service prior to October 14, 1976; served on active duty during the Gulf War between August 2, 1990 and January 2, 1992, regardless of where the person served; served on active duty as defined in section 101(21) of Title 38 at any time in the armed forces for a period of 180 consecutive days any part of which occurred during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom; or, served in a military action for which they received a campaign badge or expeditionary medal. Medal holders and Gulf War veterans must have served continuously for at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty. Ten points may be granted to the eligible ratings of disabled veterans; Purple Heart recipients; spouses or mothers of a 100 percent disabled veteran; or the widows, widowers, or mothers of a deceased veteran. Supporting documentation must be provided in order to receive the appropriate veteran's preference.  For more information on Veterans' Preference please visitwww.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetguide.asp.

It is not possible to submit your KSAs on-line. You MUST submit your KSAs by Fax, E-mail, Mail, or Hand delivered (See Instruction on “How to Applyâ€).

Please note that a complete resume is required for consideration.


Benefits:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, 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:  http://www.usptocareers.gov/Pages/NewEmployee/Campus.aspx

Reporting to Work:  http://www.usptocareers.gov/Pages/NewEmployee/ReportToWork.aspx

Work/Life Balance:  http://www.usptocareers.gov/Pages/NewEmployee/WorkLife.aspx

Financial:  http://www.usptocareers.gov/Pages/NewEmployee/Financial.aspx

Employee Assistance:  http://www.usptocareers.gov/Pages/NewEmployee/Assistance.aspx

Living in the D.C. Metro Area:  http://www.usptocareers.gov/Pages/NewEmployee/Living.aspx

The following web address is provided for you to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.  To learn more please click on:  http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/ei61.asp


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 seehttp://www.sss.gov 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.
  • This is a Bargaining Unit position.  (change as needed)
  • This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of "moderate". (change as needed)
  • Background Investigation -If selected, the selectee will be subject to a background investigation which also includes fingerprinting and credit check. 
  • Probationary Period - If selected, the selectee may be required to complete an initial one-year probationary period.
  • 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.
  • 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 (KSA's) 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: http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp.
  • 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 application; 3) Mail your application; 4) Email your application or 5) Hand deliver your application.

Your complete application package will include:
1. Your resume;
2. Your answers to the job specific evaluation criteria (KSAs); and
3. Your required supporting documentation.

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

On-line application:  To apply on-line you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USAJobs website athttp://www.usajobs.gov.  To begin, click the Apply Online button near the bottom of this screen and follow the prompts to login into your current USAJobs account or register if you do not have an account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents.  You will be able to upload documents in both Word and PDF formats.

To return to your saved application, go to the "My Applications" link in your USAJobs account.  Select the position and hit the “More Info†button to update or edit responses.

By Email:

Please email your application materials to PatentResumes@uspto.gov .  (Select appropriate email address).  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
550 Elizabeth Lane, Room 1a72b Elizabeth Townhouse Complex
Alexandria, VA 22313-9998
Attn: Ronald Taylor, HR Specialist, RT-10-0035-DE

Hand Deliver:

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Office of Human Resources, Customer Service Center 
HOURS: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
550 Elizabeth Lane, Room 1a72a or 1a72b - Elizabeth Townhouse Complex
Alexandria, VA 22314
Attn: Ronald Taylor,HR Specialist, RT-10-0035-DE

Required Documents:

Applicants 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.  Information required for all applications for Federal employment and the OF-612 may be found at: www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/of612.pdf.
  • 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. 
  • Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) applicants' must submit an SF-50 that reflects 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 5-point veterans' preference, you must attach a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must attach an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form.  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 tohttp://www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetguide.asp#6.

 

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

Upload your file(s)
Fax 
Mail your documents
Email to PatentResumes@uspto.gov  .

Hand Deliver


Problems Completing Your Application:

If you are experiencing technical difficulties (computer-related, 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 hand deliver to submit your complete application package.

Status of Your Application:

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 accessing the USAJobs website at http://www.usajobs.gov and clicking on "Track Your Online Application."

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


Contact Information:
Ronald Taylor 
Phone: 571-272-6190 
TDD: 1-800-828-1120 
Email: patentresumes@uspto.gov 
Or write:
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office/Office of Human Resources
Employment Division/Patents Branch
550 Elizabeth Lane Suite 1A72
Alexandria, VA 22314 
US
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.  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. 

You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment.  The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veteran's preference, disability, etc.). 

Necessary Experience:

 .

Contact: see notes above

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