The Intellectual Property Law Server

Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
May 24th, 2019, 3:54pm

Forums Forums Help Help Search Search Members Members Calendar Calendar Login Login Register Register
   Intellectual Property Forums
  
  
Becoming a Patent Agent/Lawyer
(Moderators: Forum Admin, JimIvey, JSonnabend)
   Working for the USPTO
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1 ... 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149  ...  252 Reply Reply Send Topic Send Topic Print Print
   Author  Topic: Working for the USPTO  (Read 342980 times)
daven
Junior Member
**




   


Posts: 75
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #710 on: Oct 19th, 2006, 4:03pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

I don't work at the patent office but I do work for the federal government.  I'm not yet convinced I want to apply to the patent office.  Here's what I *think* I know about the patent office so far..
 
You can get a special promotion from GS 5 to 7 or 7 to 9 after six months but it depends on your supervisor.  I really doubt the patent office is offering that with the new training program, but I really don't know.  I was promoted from 7 to 9 after the first six months at my current federal job, but it's pretty much a given for everyone where I work.  
 
After the special promotion, you need to be at a given GS level for a minimum of a year before being eligible for promotion.  From what I understand, at the patent office, you need to be at least half way between your current quota and the quota of the next GS level for prompt promotion.  
 
Whenever you're promoted to the next GS level, you move over two steps to the right on the patent office GS scale, find that amount (or slightly higher) on the higher GS level.. and that's your new step.  If you're already at step 10 you add two times the difference between steps of that GS level to your current step, then go down, etc.  That's the same for all federal GS jobs.
 
The patent office will usually match what you make now, or match offers you have from other prospective employers.  I would rather start with them at a lower GS level with higher step than at the same yearly pay, but at a higher GS level (but lower step).  I believe production quotas are the same for any step within the same GS level, so starting lower makes sense.
 
From what I've read in my research of working for the patent office, you are actually less marketable as an engineer after taking a job at the patent office.  In my opinion, the most common career paths are:  
 
1) Stay at the patent office and enjoy the government benefits and work, assuming you enjoy it.  It will be easier after you've been there awhile and you will eventually be promoted to $90k+/yr (4-6 yrs?).  
 
2) Work there a few years and use your experience to make ~$75-90k as a patent agent outside the patent office.  BTW, I doubt you'll get the same amount of vacation days in private industry.  I get 20 days/yr now and it goes to 26 days after 15 yrs of service, which is the same as the patent office.
 
3) Work at the patent office and go to law school at night.  It will take 4 yrs part-time and will most likely be a living hell on your social/family life.  Larger private firms start IP lawyers around $135k/yr.
 
The worst option would be to realize you simply don't enjoy the work in the patent field and decide to go back to engineering.  After a few years at the patent office I assume your (on the job) engineering skills will be rusty, assuming you weren't hired straight out of college.  I'm sure you could find an engineering job but there would be some explaining to do at the interview.  
 
People that actually work for the patent office can feel free to correct my information.Smiley
IP Logged
guest
Guest
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #711 on: Oct 19th, 2006, 7:17pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

Daven, that is a fairly accurate summary. The only thing i would correct is the second paragraph about promotions. I was hired at gs9/10 and promoted to a gs11/7 but it took a little longer than 6 months (although not a year). Most people are hired as a 7 and a few at a 5 (low gpa).  
 
Also, you do get the 6-month promotions during the 8 month training.  
IP Logged
int'l
Guest
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #712 on: Oct 20th, 2006, 6:58am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

Is going to law school part-time really that much of a nightmare?  Is it worth it?  Would it be better just to full time and suck up the cost?
IP Logged
accel promo
Guest
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #713 on: Oct 20th, 2006, 12:54pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

So does the "accelerated promotion" USPTO recruiters talk about really only pertain to the first 6 months?
IP Logged
daven
Junior Member
**




   


Posts: 75
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #714 on: Oct 20th, 2006, 4:05pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

How they can give promotions during training when you haven't shown them what you can do?  Are there tests and evals by the instructors?
 
I assume the patent office gives "special" promotions the first year (or so) because they have to follow the same general guidelines as any other federal employer, like mine.  I don't believe federal guidelines allow for anything other than the first accelerated promotion.  I doubt you would want too many quick promotions anyway.. because the quota might rise faster than you can learn to be more efficient.
 
I haven't taken a law class.  I took engineering classes at night for a few years after getting out of the military.  After working all day, you are dead tired and staying in class until 8 or 9 pm a few nights a week will wear you down.  
 
I went full time the last two years and the difference was like night and day!  I got to school by 7-7:30am every morning, studied an hour at a time, and didn't leave until 5pm (or after my last class).  I never felt overwhelmed and ended up with 3.6 gpa.  I went to the library every Saturday morning for a few hours but never studied in the evenings.  
 
I'm not saying going part time is impossible.  If you don't have obligations it would be much easier overall to go full time.  Heck, the student loans I had to take out the last two years are currently being paid by my employer at a rate of $450/mo.Smiley
 
I doubt many students realize it but much of your working income will be used simply for living.  You'll buy a nice car and get a nice place.. and the next thing you know you're working just to pay those bills.  In my opinion, if you really want to go to law school and your situation allows for it, go full time.  Either that, or work hard for 2-3 yrs, save your money (and live cheap), then go full time.  Then again, everyone's situation is different.
 
I would love to work at the patent office but I'm still not convinced I could stand living in northern VA.  We stayed at the Marriott at Tysons corner last week to take a look at the area.  Traffic is very rough up there!
« Last Edit: Oct 20th, 2006, 4:13pm by daven » IP Logged
Pages: 1 ... 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149  ...  252 Reply Reply Send Topic Send Topic Print Print

« Previous topic | Next topic »
Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.3.2!
Forum software copyright © 2000-2004 Yet another Bulletin Board