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   Working for the USPTO
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   Author  Topic: Working for the USPTO  (Read 352071 times)
jdhawk05
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #55 on: Apr 14th, 2005, 3:29pm »
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I have an ME degree and and will have my  law degree this May.  ME doesnt seem to be quite as hot as EE or biotech and law firms dont seem to be foaming at the mouth for my background.  Would it be a step in the wrong direction to work at the PTO for a few years?  How does having a law degree figure into hiring decisions at the PTO? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 
Jdhawk05
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sirkut
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #56 on: Apr 14th, 2005, 3:42pm »
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Having your law degree will vary from art unit to art unit. Some of the managers see it as a positive while others see it as a negative because they believe you are only there to get the training and experience for a year or so and then leave.
 
Read the rest of this thread and make a decision on your own.  
 
This horse has been beat to death.
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Guest
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #57 on: Apr 14th, 2005, 4:31pm »
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Hi,
 
Does anyone have any tips for an interview with the USPTO? Looks like i'll be flying to D.C. soon and was wondering if anyone had any tips/info/other. Also, I'm taking the Patent Bar next month, and have read various opinions on this board of whether it helps or not in getting a job as an examiner, but there doesn't seem to be a consensus on that. Any thoughts or more opinions?
 
thanks!
-hr
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melwrc
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Posts: 97
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #58 on: Apr 14th, 2005, 11:52pm »
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to jdhawk, go with a firm before falling back on a PTO job.  I'm an ME and managed to find an agent position (wasn't even an agent yet) and am going PT law school.  
The general rule is that once you have a jd, go straight for a firm job if that's where you want to be.  The exception to that rule is if you can't get into any reasonably respected firm (not necessarily a mega firm, just not a job as an apprentice to some solo practice).  Then a PTO job might open up some doors, but some examiner experience, while better than nothing, doesn't shine like a big gold star on a resume.
 
The earlier postings on pay don't take into account how fast pay raises come with experience at a firm.  Mine has gone up a full 50% in a yr and half.  My base (1800 hr billable req) is far better than what I'd have at the PTO in the same amount of time, assuming max promotions (and ignoring the fact that my cost of living is 30% less).  And for bonuses, I don't know how much work is required for that "130% bonus" that was mentioned for examiners, but patent firms offer very nice bonuses based on hrs over the min.  A common amount is 30-35% of your bill rate times the extra hrs.
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anon
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #59 on: Apr 15th, 2005, 7:44am »
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I think each group is different. For instance, the culture in the electrical and mechanical areas may be less sophisticated as that in the biotech groups because many of the people working in ME and EE start straight out of undergrad and are young. Whereas those in biotechnology and Chem have PhDs, law degrees and serious industry experience so the atmosphere is more professional. The work is likely to be more sophisticated by nature too so one can get really good experience there. The pay is not as great as outside the goverment but to start a career with solid experience at the pto will likely give you a good foundation for your career.
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