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   Working for the USPTO
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   Author  Topic: Working for the USPTO  (Read 346730 times)
Jonathan
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #70 on: Apr 16th, 2005, 11:18am »
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on Apr 16th, 2005, 9:58am, niczon wrote:

 
POPA is a double edged sword. They do as much good as bad sometimes. Sometimes they're fantastic. Sometime... well.. lets just say they actually defended an examiner that was fired for trying to deck his supervisor. On the other hand they fight a good fight for examining hour flexibility.  
 
Most long-time examiners and primaries don't put much focus of reliance on pop, and instead rely on their ability and their relationship with their SPE to get what they want. Many actually look at you sideways when you mention popa.
 
As far as proteciton in the PTO.... Nothing beats having a good SPE... and nothing beats you down like a bad one.

 
 
Yep, sounds like most unions (POPA sounds like a union, don't know if it technically is as it seems membership is not a requirement). Their purpose is noble but sometimes that purpose probably gets clouded.
 
Reminds me of a time when I had an intern job in college at a computer chip factory. I was doing some tests on semiconductor manufacturing equipment and needed to switch out some gas lines. Since this was "union job" (doing anything to a machine), I had to wait an hour for the designated union person to do a 2 minute task with a wrench.
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #71 on: Apr 16th, 2005, 12:07pm »
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Excellent posts New Examiner!!  There's a lot of great information there.
 
Some follow up questions:
 
What TC are you?  What are the average qualifications for the new examiners in your TC (education, work experience, and maybe even the total occupational score from JARS (where you put a number by the subjects you have experience in))?
 
How many counts do examiners need per bi-week at each GS level? (I'm guessing that you get 1 count for the first office action, and then another count for the final action, even if they are both the same action.)
 
Also, what was the basic timeframe for the interview process? In other words, how long after you applied did you get your first interview?  How long between interviews?  How long did it take to get your job offer?  How long after the offer before you began the training class?  Did they fly you to DC for the second interview? Or were they both phone interviews?
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #72 on: Apr 16th, 2005, 2:20pm »
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Yes New Examiner, thanks!
 
I did the JARS thing this last week and sent in my resume and transcripts. I called and talked with the office and they said that they do phone interviews but it REALLY helps if you can come out to D.C. (i live on the left coast). This was before i had sent in my stuff or filled out the JARS info, so i wasn't really ready to book a flight yet - don't know if they will pay for that.
 
My JARS put me GS-11, which surprised me because while i do have a grad degree it isn't in my area of expertise. I do have 10 years of experience with lots of other extras, so that must enter into the equation.
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melwrc
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #73 on: Apr 16th, 2005, 2:43pm »
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"Then review any information they've disclosed in their information disclosure statement.  You don't have to do a thorough job with this, just quickly consider what they've submitted.  Sometimes, they'll screw up and give you the art you'll need for a rejection and you'll want to take a closer look at the art later."  
 
New examiner,
Disclosing relevant prior art in IDS's is a requirement if any are known by the applicant, the atty/agent, or anyone else involved in the prosecution of the application ("duty of candor," and "inequitable conduct" should you be found to have failed that duty renders the patent and any child patents unenforceable).  It's not a screw up unless the atty/agent was inept and actually drafted claims that they won't be able to convince an examiner to allow.  Sometimes a new reference comes to light after submitting the app, such as when a publication of an application by a competitor happens.  Then, the agent/atty still has to submit it, but knows that some amendments will be needed.
 
After the filing date, if I submit an IDS that I know screws my current claim set, I'll submit a preliminary amendment before the first OA, or if the app is involved in the prosecution already, I'll draft the amendments and wait for the examiner's rejections in the next OA (sometimes the examiner gives the surprise allowance).
 
Good luck with the examiner job.  I try to be nice to the examiners because many are placed under a load of stress and have to deal with big headed atty/agents berating them for not allowing their client's app.  Both sides of the prosecution game are under pressure, so we've all got to get along.  We also have to deal with each other more than once because each art unit is fairly small, so a big client filing multiple apps in the same area can result in having the same examiner for later apps.
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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #74 on: Apr 16th, 2005, 10:17pm »
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Everything melwrc pointed out is very true, the applicant has a duty to disclose relevant prior art.  The type of screw up I had in mind though was more along the lines of the agent/attorney submitted something they didn't think read right on a set of claims when in fact it did or maybe they hoped the examiner wouldn't notice.  I had a case the other day where that happened and the attorney didn't realize it till we had our interview.  I explained why I rejected the entire set of claims using something the first attorney who first worked on the case submitted (102b rejections) and he agreed that my agruments were valid.  I guess the guy who originally drafted the claims wasn't very familiar with the art.  Lucky for the second attorney I'm allowing him to do a supplimental amendment after our interview instead of just doing a final action since he didn't make any changes to the first set of claims in response to my first office action--he had the case dumped on him at the last moment I guess, which I can sympathize with since it's happened to me a few times already.
 
I've only had 4 interviews so far and so far the attornies were really nice.  There's rude people on both sides of the game and hopefully I won't have to deal with any for a long time.  The thing I try to keep in mind is that we're just doing our jobs and sometimes our jobs conflict.  No need to take it out on the opposing side though.
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