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   Anyone get a job at the USPTO recently?
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   Author  Topic: Anyone get a job at the USPTO recently?  (Read 2593 times)
Re: Anyone get a job at the USPTO recently?
« Reply #5 on: May 1st, 2007, 7:31pm »
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2. The PTO "dangles a carrot", in other words, full law school tuition or some sort of tuition reimbursement,  in front of your face before you commit because the retention rate in the past few years have been somewhere around 40-60%. Don’t quote me on the percentage, but that is what I hear.
3. Incentives, such as law school tuition, Masters tuition, PHD tuition, flexible hours (you can come and go as you please while being an examiner), job stability, retirement plan, etc. are given to examiners because of the 40-60 % retention rate. With that said, PTO NEEDS to figure out a way to maintain the speed of patent examination but ALSO a way to KEEP their examiners from resigning, such as the previous incentives mentioned.
4. At the interview, the interviewer FAILS to notify you about the tax you have to pay yourself for either the law school tuition, Masters tuition, or PHD tuition.  
5. 2 year probation period for new examiners, meaning they can terminate you when ever they feel that you are not meeting your quota, but most supervisors will not terminate you for this reason, instead they will give you multiple chances, but this doesn’t apply for all supervisors.
6. Quota/Production will be always on your mind. The first 2 years of your career will be the most intensive, most pressure, most stressful period in your life. You will feel this because you have not developed a full pipe line of cases. People say it gets easier once you have a full pipe line, but I have seen many examiners and primary examiners there till very late at night.
7. Have you ever searched for a needle in a haystack? Well, patent examination is just that, you are trying to find a piece of reference that you can use to reject your patent application, and it can get frustrating when you cant find the reference suitable for rejecting the patent application claims.
8. The average new examiner would have to do 3 new application one bi-week and 4 new application the next bi-week. This situation is not so bad, but when amendments come back, the pressure increases dramatically. This is the time when examiners quit the most because of the stress and pressure of juggling applications and amendments.
9. The law school tuition deal PTO is offering is currently looked down upon by management and PTO employees holding high positions at the Office. The reason it is looked down upon is because it is evident that PTO examiners obtaining a law degree WILL eventually leave the patent Office to pursue a higher paying salary at law firms. What’s the reason of getting a law degree if you’re not going to work in a law firm? Therefore, the tuition of law school reimbursement Could be taken away in the future.
10. Having to pay back 2 and a 1/2 years of your life to PTO because they paid for law school. The math is calculated as such:
2yrs (must work at PTO before PTO pays for law school)
4yrs+ (to finish law school part time while working at PTO full time)
3yrs (pay back PTO for paying for law school)
2yrs + 4yrs + 3yrs = appx. 9yrs of service to PTO
Do you think you can handle the apparent stress and pressure at PTO and law school at the same time? If you can, go for it, and good for you for being strong and ambitious.
There are negatives working for PTO and there should be EXTENSIVE consideration before you take the position as an examiner. Trust me on this. Good luck with your decision.
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