Intellectual Property Forum The Intellectual Property Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  


We are looking for moderators.  Message the admin if interested.

Author Topic: Passing the Patent Bar Exam and Working for the USPTO  (Read 3177 times)

Vanilla Ice

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
    • View Profile
    • Email

As some of us are waiting for the PTO to start hiring again, it seems like a good idea to study for the patent bar exam prior to applying for the PTO as an examiner. My question is, how does passing the patent bar exam affect the hiring/working for the PTO? Would you start as a GS-9 after passing the patent bar with a PhD or a GS-11? Would you have a better chance of getting the job as a patent examiner? Would they be worried you wouldn't stick around long enough (since you could land a job in the private sector after the experience and passing the patent bar)?


  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Re: Passing the Patent Bar Exam and Working for the USPTO
« Reply #1 on: 07-13-11 at 12:36 pm »

If you passed the patent bar before joining the PTO, it would definitely help your work, but probably not help much in getting you to the higher GS level.

1 bit of secret is that you might not want to be GS-11.  Generally, even if you get offered GS-11, they would start you off at very low pay step level, probably step 2 for GS-11.  Whereas if you get offered GS-9 with the same experience, they would probably start you off at high pay step end, probably step 7 or 8 for GS9.  It's almost always better to take the GS9, because it will actually pay more, with less production requirement.  The only benefit in taking GS11 instead of GS9 offer is that you will have less time in training, and less time to get to GS12, when you can telework.

But even if you pass the patent bar, trust me, without some experience in doing patent pros, you will need the training time to get used to the MPEP.  The PTO has shortened training time for new examiners now.  It used to be 8 months for all new examiners, but now new GS11 examiners get only 1 month of training, and new GS9 and below get 4 months of training.  If you are new to patent law, you will need every minute of training you can get!

Besides that, the hiring SPE's always consider whether you might not want to stay, but I don't think they would hold your patent bar against you.  In the last year,


  • Lead Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 967
    • View Profile
Re: Passing the Patent Bar Exam and Working for the USPTO
« Reply #2 on: 07-13-11 at 12:55 pm »

It is a very good idea to get the patent bar out of the way, IMHO. If nothing else, you will be able to "see more" of what is going on when you get hired and start working. Also, I think you need to take half the exam if you want to hotel, so passing the exam will (I think) get that out of the way early. I would say that if an SPE sees someone has passed the exam, they might consider the person a high risk hire. Obviously, someone who takes it is not doing so for their health. But all SPE's are different. If they hold it against you, they will probably hold other things against you as well (like having a law degree). Everyone knows the PTO is often a pit stop on the way to a career as an attorney, or they would not (in good times) pay for law school tuition. So I would just take it. To be fair, from an SPE's pov, who would want to spend the effort to train someone if they are just going to leave in 2 or 3 years?


Terms of Use
Feel free to contact us:
Sorry, spam is killing us.

iKnight Technologies Inc.

Page created in 0.084 seconds with 20 queries.