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   Author  Topic: Working for the USPTO  (Read 346704 times)
mk1023
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Posts: 52
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #1025 on: Jun 20th, 2007, 1:41pm »
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For those of you that care it looks like the training academies are going to be cut short by a month. Also, my lab is now eligible to work overtime/comp time (if you're at 100% without the curve for three straight bi-weeks).
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guestexam
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #1026 on: Jun 20th, 2007, 5:41pm »
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on Jun 19th, 2007, 7:14pm, ss wrote:
What kind of people like working for the PTO?  What do they like about it?
 
Are the ones who leave for law firm jobs the ones who couldn't make it at the PTO, or is it the other way around?

 
People who like always having a challenge or always having to learn something new like to work at the PTO.  People who care about having a life outside work and people who don't mind a bit of stress on the job.
 
The ones who leave for law firms, who work for law firms and then join the PTO, or the ones who work for the PTO, leave for law firms and come back, all have different reasons.  
 
I know people who left for law firms who were excellent examiners who got tired of the burecratic BS politics, the lack of management experience and training by PTO managers.  These were well educated, high productive people who were just worn down by the union and sometimes ineffective management in what is a typical government bureaucracy.  This group will do well at any profession they work in.
 
I know people who were "forced out" or asked to leave who were better suited for work in a law firm than the PTO because they were not analytical enough in their work or their production was marginal. This group will probably work better in a lower-stress, non-production environment.
 
I know people who were at law firms who came to work at the PTO because they were tired of billing 2000-2500 hours per year, wanted to have kids, wanted to spend more time with their family, or for health reasons, but still wanted an intellectually challenging job with somewhat decent pay.
 
Some people who left to work at law firms couldn't hack the production or the stress or the environment.  They were jumping from the frying pan into the fire, but for some, the extra money is worth it.  
Others just do better in environments where there is more hand-holding than at the PTO.
 
You can't pigeon-hole people because they did or didn't work at the PTO, or worked there and left, or worked there left and came back.  People do all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons.
 
What I can tell you is that you should read the postings on this board and others and form your own opinions on whether you are right for a job at the PTO.  just-n-examiner-dot-com is a good site.  Google it.
 
An examiner's job is not easy and it is thankless.  Attorneys and agents who have not been examiners do not tend to appreciate what examiners do or the kinds of pressures they are under.  Attorneys/agents are under similar, but different kinds of pressures.
 
You probably won't be surprised to learn that there are many attorneys working as examiners in different tech centers - everything from EE to CS to biotech.  There aren't many of them, but they are there.  Some got their law degrees while working at the PTO and others started at the PTO with their law degree in hand.
 
How well you like your job will depend on your tech center, your art, your SPE, your mentor (or your series of mentors), your own career goals, and what you hope to get out of the job.
The people you work for can be just as much a part of how well you like the job as the work, itself.
Unfortunately, they don't hire MBAs as managers.  Often you get someone who was a high producer as a primary who was promoted to an SPE.  The promotion doesn't necessarily mean that the SPE is a competent manager.
Life can be hell if you have a SPE who is not a good manager.  But, the same thing applies to any job in any engineering department anywhere.
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bobloblaw
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #1027 on: Jun 20th, 2007, 7:25pm »
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I asked this in another thread, but I am currently applying for a job at the PTO as an examiner.  My undergrad degree was in chemical engineering, and I also have a JD.  
 
Does anyone here know someone I could contact?  I filled out a form online, but it seems so impersonal.  Or would personally contacting someone be too much of an overkill?
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applied
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #1028 on: Jun 21st, 2007, 5:28pm »
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About a week after an interview with a SPE, I was told to follow the instructions in an email to submit the PIV and my unofficial transcripts. Also, I was told to request for official transcripts to be sent to USPTO HR office. I did all of the above. I was also told that after all these paper work are received, she will get the approval of the director, and then forward everything to the HR office. I was even given a Training Academy start date.
 
Question: I know that I will have to wait for the official firm offer before I can celebrate.  
 
But, having gone that far, how close am I from getting the actual offer? No one at the USPTO had asked me to fill out any background investigation related forms, such as SF86, or SF85. (which form is it going to be?). It has been 10 days since I submitted the PIV (and other required stuff). Should I be concerned because I had not yet heard from HR ?
 
How long is the background investigation going to take? I would assume that any "offer", written or verbal, before the completion of the background investigation would be considered a "Conditional Offer", am I right?
 
Any input from new USPTO employees would be appreciated.
 
 
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2Btabby
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #1029 on: Jun 21st, 2007, 5:56pm »
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I remember that period of uncertainty as well. Once I heard it I told people "I'm 95% sure I have a job with the USPTO, but its not official".  People got confused when I said that, as was I.  I think I recieved my official offer by phone anywhere from 2 weeks to a month after that.  What I do remember is that I heard 1 1/2 months before my start date (May 29th).
 
I'm sure you'll be fine, but I understand the uncertainty.
 
BTW, there is a lot of negative press on this board but I seem to like the job so far (albeit a month of it).  I think the people who don't like it don't know how much law and little engineering it is... I was fully aware of this.
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