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Author Topic: Working for the USPTO  (Read 2863401 times)

JTripodo

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Working for the USPTO
« on: 01-31-05 at 03:02 pm »

Just wondering if any patent examiners from the USPTO out there can give any indication of what its like to work for the USPTO as an examiner and how difficult it is to get hired.

I'm going to one of their Job Fair's this weekend and hope that I've got a shot at getting hired!

Thanks,
John
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Guest

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #1 on: 02-01-05 at 07:20 am »

It depends on what your background is and how you stand out from the rest of the crowd.

It is very competitive because everyone wants to work there. I hear there are stacks of resumes from all over the country.
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JTripodo

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #2 on: 02-01-05 at 07:51 am »

I have a BS in Physics and have worked as a Software Developer for the past 12 years. I have had experience as an electrical design engineer designing microelectronic (hybrid) circuits.

Also, not sure if it helps, I spent 4 years in the Air Force as an Aircraft Electrician.
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Pat Grant

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #3 on: 02-01-05 at 09:06 am »

Quote
It depends on what your background is and how you stand out from the rest of the crowd.

It is very competitive because everyone wants to work there. I hear there are stacks of resumes from all over the country.


I find this very hard to believe.  I think someone is pulling your leg John.  If you have an eng degree, speak at least a bit of English, and breathe oxygen you'll probably get an offer.
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Pat Grant

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #4 on: 02-01-05 at 09:11 am »

By the way, my post above isn't intended to be a knock on the USPTO or the people who work there.  Rather, it just seems that they always have a long list of job openings:
<A HREF="http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ahrpa/ohr/jobs/jobs.htm"> USPTO Job Board</A>

I've checked this list periodically over the years and it's always long.
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Guest

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #5 on: 02-01-05 at 09:47 am »

I am sure experience and background varies for the different technologies.
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Guest

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6 on: 02-01-05 at 10:01 am »

The second post above was a statement by the contact people in regard to the postings at the web address given by Pat Grant.  

Take from it what you may.

Pat Grant seems to have an axe to grind.
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JTripodo

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7 on: 02-01-05 at 10:02 am »

Thanks for the input.
Guess I'll find out this weekend! ;)
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Pat Grant

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #8 on: 02-01-05 at 03:00 pm »

Axe to grind? LOL  No, no axe to grind.  Just an observation based on years of experience and grumblings out of the PTO.  Like I said, nothing against the PTO or the good folks there, they just seem to have a problem competing with private sector jobs that pay much better.

Some people are so sensitive, geez!   ;D

Best of luck to you John, I think you've got a good shot at landing a job there.
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Jonathan

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #9 on: 02-01-05 at 03:23 pm »

The Patent Office Professional Organization's website offers an insider's view on Examiner work issues.

The website claims that  "POPA represents more than 3,900 employees, the vast majority of whom are patent examiners", in a quote from 2003. I don't know if their viewpoints are commonplace in the examining corps, however.

http://www.popa.org/
« Last Edit: 02-02-05 at 08:04 am by jkudla »
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Anon

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #10 on: 02-01-05 at 06:11 pm »

Quote
...nothing against the PTO or the good folks there, they just seem to have a problem competing with private sector jobs that pay much better.


When I applied in '97 for a position as a biotech examiner, over 1,000 applications had been submitted for 14 positions.   Of the 14 hired, 12 were PhDs.

Sure, the PTO has high turnover.  But that doesn't change the fact that, although many will apply, few will receive an offer.
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dandoe123

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #11 on: 02-01-05 at 11:22 pm »

Quote

When I applied in '97 for a position as a biotech examiner, over 1,000 applications had been submitted for 14 positions.   Of the 14 hired, 12 were PhDs.

Sure, the PTO has high turnover.  But that doesn't change the fact that, although many will apply, few will receive an offer.


considering the highly competitive nature of the positions, how does one better "prepare" himself for seeking such position?  

i'll be graduating with a PhD in immunology.  besides my publicationo record, recommendation, and interview... what exactly can i do to have a "better" chance?

thanks
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eric stasik

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #12 on: 02-02-05 at 01:53 am »

Quote
the PTO...  have a problem competing with private sector jobs that pay much better.

But because there is no better way to get those high paying private sector jobs than with USPTO/EPO experience they should have no shortage of qualified applicants.

You can't simply compare salaries, but you have to take into account the considerable value of the intangible benefits of this work experience.

Good luck JTripodo.

regards,

eric stasik
« Last Edit: 02-02-05 at 01:54 am by eric_stasik »
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eric stasik
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Anon

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #13 on: 02-02-05 at 03:55 am »

Quote
i'll be graduating with a PhD in immunology.  besides my publicationo record, recommendation, and interview... what exactly can i do to have a "better" chance?


I was one of the 14 to be hired as a biotech examiner in '97.  How did I get the job?   I don't have the slightest idea.   Nonetheless, here are a few pointers you might want to consider:

Although there is no shortage of new applicants, the PTO has a problem retaining experienced Examiners.  Once examiners get their training, they often leave for higher paying (or equally paying, but less stressful) jobs.  In fact, many leave leave after just 1 year, and the majority leave within 2 or 3 years.  So without being too overt about it, present yourself as someone who will be around for longer than that.  (But don't over do it by claiming that you plan to become a career examiner. The interviewer will think you are lying or aren't very ambitious.)  And before you interview, you should also do considerable homework as to what an examiner actually does.  You'll need to explain why you want to leave the lab to do this sort of work.  You might even want to learn a little patent law so you can "talk the talk" during your interview.  If you haven't already done so, have a look at the MPEP.  You might even want to read chapters 700 and 2100 (or parts thereof) just to get a feel for it.  Have a look here...

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/indext.htm

Hope the above helps.
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eric stasik

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #14 on: 02-02-05 at 07:11 am »

Quote
Although there is no shortage of new applicants, the PTO has a problem retaining experienced Examiners.  Once examiners get their training, they often leave for higher paying (or equally paying, but less stressful) jobs.


looking at the USPTO as a public agency i actually don't see this as negative. the infusion of former USPTO examiners into the pool of agents and attorneys keeps professional standards high in the private sector. of course it presents a difficulty for the USPTO as an employer, but i see their role of trainer/educator as equally important.

that being said, a core of long term competent employees is crucial to ANY organisation so the USPTO has to balance the turnover with a policy to provide truly competitive options for those who make a career of it.

/eric stasik



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eric stasik
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