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.
This is an Computer Engineering position. If this is not your area of expertise, please consult our Careers Website and consider one of our other open Patent Examiner positions. We regularly have openings for patent examiner positions in disciplines such as:
- Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
This vacancy announcement is for positions located in Alexandria, Virginia, only. Your application to this vacancy announcement will only allow consideration for this announcement and this duty station.
Note: Applications will be accepted from students who expect to complete qualifying education within 9 months from the date of application. USPTO requires verification of successful completion before extending a final offer.
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.
The curriculum must:
1. Be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum;
2. Include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas:
- statics, dynamics
- strength of materials (stress-strain relationships)
- fluid mechanics, hydraulics
- electrical fields and circuits
- nature and properties of materials (relating to particle and aggregate structure to properties)
- any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics or electronics
B) A combination of Education and Experience. This combination of college-level education, training and/or technical experience must have furnished both:
• A thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering;
• A good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their application to professional engineering.
This can be demonstrated by one of the following:
- 1Professional registration-- Current registration as a professional engineer by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam or Puerto Rico.
- Written test-- Evidence of passing the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) examination or the written test required for professional registration, administered by the Boards of Engineering Examiners in various States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.
- Specified academic courses-- Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours in the physical, mathematical and engineering sciences and including the courses specified in the basic requirements. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of a professional engineering curriculum as described in paragraph A.
- 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 an Engineering degree, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience with professional engineering supervision and guidance.
For documentation requirements, see REQUIRED DOCUMENTS.
GS-7: A) Superior Academic Achievement (SAA). This can be defined by one of the following:
1) Class standing—Upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the "School of Engineering and Applied Science" or "College of Science and Technology" based on completed courses.
2) Grade point average (GPA) as recorded on the final transcript—
i) 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 (“B” or better) as recorded on the official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or
ii) 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 (“B+” or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum. The GPA is rounded to one decimal place. (2.95 = 3.0 and 2.94 = 2.9). The final transcript must cover the period being used to determine the GPA.
3) Honor Society membership--Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society. Click here for a list of qualified honor societies.
B) Have at least one year of specialized experience, equivalent to the GS-5 level in the Federal service interpreting and applying basic engineering and/or scientific principles, theories, concepts and methodologies used in the evaluation of technology; planning and conducting research; applying appropriate references to the claimed invention, etc.
C) Have at least one year of graduate level education from an accredited college and/or university in the fields of study as described in the Basic Qualification Requirements. If the number of credit hours representing one year of full-time study cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours will be considered an academic year of graduate study.
D) Have less than the full amount of graduate education as described in “C” above and less than the amount of experience described in “B” above, but have a combination “B” and “C” above.
GS-9: A) Have at least one year of specialized experience, equivalent to the GS-7 level in the Federal service interpreting and applying intermediate engineering and/or scientific principles, theories, concepts and methodologies used in the evaluation of technology; planning and conducting research; applying appropriate references to the claimed invention, etc.
B) Have at least two years of graduate level education leading to a master’s degree or equivalent graduate degree from an accredited college and/or university in the fields of study as described in the Basic Qualification Requirements. If the number of credit hours representing one year of full-time study 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 “A” and “B” above.
Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website - US Department of Education. Another listing of services that can perform this evaluation is available at the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.
NOTE: Only education and experience acquired before the filing deadline will be considered. Report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Applicants applying for this position must be a United States Citizen.