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(Message started by: chasmebuddoor on Apr 25th, 2007, 9:30pm)

Title: Is PTO farming out?
Post by chasmebuddoor on Apr 25th, 2007, 9:30pm
Is the PTO farming out searching and examination of select applications and to whom?

Does anyone know the reputation of such firms-what is to say they are capable of paying your paycheck-what if the PTO pulls out of the contract?

What terms and conditions should you emphasize in your contract with such firms?


Title: Re: Is PTO farming out?
Post by formerexaminerdude on Apr 26th, 2007, 10:12am
The PTO are in a pilot program to farm out PCT search reports and written opinions.  The firms that are participating in the program are IP Landon (Alexandria, VA) and Cardinal Law (Chicago, ILL).  

In terms of paychecks, this is just like any other private sector gig - engineering or law - it all depends on contracts with customers, so if there's no business / no contract ---- that means no paycheck & job.

Title: Re: Is PTO farming out?
Post by chasmebuddoor on Apr 26th, 2007, 4:13pm
Thanks for your response.  Are you aware of anyone with experience working for Cardinal Law? Googling I located a "shady" offer letter from cardinal.  Would you care to comment?  Have you seen anything like it?

Pasted below is the letter-

We would like to welcome you to Cardinal Law Group. This letter serves to co
nfirm your offer of employment, to provide some details of the offer, and to
explain a bit of the upcoming process.

As discussed, your salary will be variable based on production. Your primary
role will be to provide search/opinions in accordance with our PTO contract
, but we anticipate opportunities in the coming year for you also to work on
applications for other clients. For example, based on an average production
of 23 PCT search/opinions completed per

month for 12 months, you would receive annual salary of $82,800. The amount
of each paycheck will be determined based on production during the previous
pay period.

Health, dental, and profit sharing benefits will also be provided based on a
minimum

production threshold. The initial minimum production threshold is ten search
/opinions per month, but this threshold may be adjusted on a semi-annual bas
is. You will receive

written notification of any adjustments to this threshold.

Training materials will be available by email and in our online help section
.

A few further details well be contacting you about: setting up your VPN co
nnection, personal and family information form, Cardinal Law Group NDA and P
TO Oath. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any ti
me. We all look forward to working with you.

Thanks,

Title: Re: Is PTO farming out?
Post by Jonathan on Apr 26th, 2007, 5:52pm
So if you catch the flu and can't work for a week you won't be paid?

That would suck.

Title: Re: Is PTO farming out?
Post by stillstudying on Apr 26th, 2007, 8:09pm

on 04/26/07 at 17:52:17, Jonathan wrote:
So if you catch the flu and can't work for a week you won't be paid?

That would suck.

Same as any other contract job, you get paid by how much you work.  That's fine if the estimates are honest.  The first job I held after graduation was with a company that paid hourly and gave an estimated "salary" based on 2200 billable hours per year;  the assignments I got only resulted in about 1800 billable hours.  Hourly is lousy if you work fast;  piecework is lousy if they saddle you with impossible tasks/clients.

Title: Re: Is PTO farming out?
Post by formerexaminerdude on Apr 26th, 2007, 11:31pm
I do know MANY examiners that are moving over to Landon IP.  It's a pretty well-established search firm.  They don't do prosecution.  They are located right across the street from the PTO, and are considered a top search firm in the country.  I  don't know if the examiners I know that moved over there like it more or not, however, I do know that the benefits are actually better than the PTO, and the pay is substantially equivalent.  They are hiring all across the board.  

I know examiners that have moved over to Cardinal as well.   The pay is fair, from the letter you provided.  Where did you find it??  I tried to google it, and couldn't locate the site.  

Yes, so if you do get sick, it appears that you would be pretty much screwed.  

Also, the best thing about the job from what I've heard is that you get to search ALL KINDS of applications, from electrical to business methods to mechanical to medical devices.  That kind of experience is rare.  At the PTO, you get pigeon-holed into learning a narrow subject matter, such as gaskets, or valves, and nothing else.  If you wish to move on to a law firm or corporation, you're minimally versatile in terms of knowledge of "art"

Hope this helps!  Good thing I had a lot of friends at the PTO that jumped ship!  :-)


Title: Re: Is PTO farming out?
Post by formerexaminerdude on Apr 26th, 2007, 11:37pm
hey sorry guys, my browser was being crazy, and was reposting and posting when I wasn't aware.  

Title: Re: Is PTO farming out?
Post by AgentG on May 2nd, 2007, 3:25pm
I am also considering a work at home job offer with Cardinal Law Group.  I did confirm that they have received the contract from the PTO.  Judging from the RFP documents, a large volume of work is available.

CLG is offering $300 per written opinion.  Depending on your speed and technical knowledge, this work could be handsomely profitable.  The question is, how much are they making off this??

Also, I am not sure if there are some long-term issues.  What happens if the contract is revoked?

Title: Re: Is PTO farming out?
Post by Johnnypatent on May 4th, 2007, 4:51pm
I too am thinking about signing with Cardinal. I did not get a letter like the one posted by chasmebuddoor. I received a letter from the Human Resources Director that was an offer, much different, from what is posted here. I talked with a few of the current search staff at Cardinal, they seemed very happy and spoke highly of their work and direction the company is moving in.  Also, the HR Director pointed me to this site which gave me a clearer view of the company: cardinal-ip   add the com, sorry the blog wont let me post a url.

Ill probably decide next week.

Title: Re: Is PTO farming out?
Post by ideaman on May 4th, 2007, 8:50pm
AgentG, I work for a small search firm and have been looking to move to Cardinal. I've wondered about the profit ratio where I currently work and what Cardinal offers. My current situation pays me less than Cardinal is offering and the overhead and management is less than appealing, just one reason I want out of my current situation. Cardinal seems to be on a roll and is investing into infrastructure which appeals to my resume. I can knock out searches with ease, so I think this rate would be very profitable for me and given Cardinal has a constant flow of cases this seems to be good gig. My current situation is like hanging on day to day waiting for a case. It also seems that Cardinal has many other accounts besides the PTO.

Title: Re: Is PTO farming out?
Post by examiner on May 9th, 2007, 1:47pm
I know some coworkers of mine who had applied there. They were gs-13's earning in the mid 90's. They didnt get financially competitive offers and passed. I think beginning examiner's with 1 or 2 years under their belts would probably get paid fairly.

They do sell themselves as a lifestyle company. That very well maybe a good benefit if things are really easy going there. The pto is a stressful place. However, pto  benefits are better. IP Landon offers 10 days of vacation, no sick leave. Not sure about their retirement plan.  Pto offers 16 days vacation, 10 days of sick leave, fed holidays, dollar for dollar matching retirement up to 6% union protection and guaranteed work. You never know with these federal contracts. I've know plenty of cases where the govt can decide to cancel a contract just because.


on 04/26/07 at 23:31:59, formerexaminerdude wrote:
I do know MANY examiners that are moving over to Landon IP.  It's a pretty well-established search firm.  They don't do prosecution.  They are located right across the street from the PTO, and are considered a top search firm in the country.  I  don't know if the examiners I know that moved over there like it more or not, however, I do know that the benefits are actually better than the PTO, and the pay is substantially equivalent.  They are hiring all across the board.  

I know examiners that have moved over to Cardinal as well.   The pay is fair, from the letter you provided.  Where did you find it??  I tried to google it, and couldn't locate the site.  

Yes, so if you do get sick, it appears that you would be pretty much screwed.  

Also, the best thing about the job from what I've heard is that you get to search ALL KINDS of applications, from electrical to business methods to mechanical to medical devices.  That kind of experience is rare.  At the PTO, you get pigeon-holed into learning a narrow subject matter, such as gaskets, or valves, and nothing else.  If you wish to move on to a law firm or corporation, you're minimally versatile in terms of knowledge of "art"

Hope this helps!  Good thing I had a lot of friends at the PTO that jumped ship!  :-)


Title: Re: Is PTO farming out?
Post by Marky Mark on Aug 17th, 2007, 1:05pm
Can anyone tell me what a typical time might be for a searcher to conduct a search? I am not looking for anything other than rough estimate.

Title: Re: Is PTO farming out?
Post by Jack_2007 on Aug 26th, 2007, 12:35pm
experience, u tech background vs. patent, number of dependent and independent claims of the patent, and skill of the patent agent/attorney on drafting the patent, you attitude toward the job, and goal in your search collectively decided how long it took to search for a patent. It can range from 1 day to 7 days, so progressively label according to the various factors.



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