Intellectual Property Forum The Intellectual Property Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

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

Author Topic: Working for the USPTO  (Read 2274652 times)

abc123

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6915 on: 10-01-17 at 05:40 am »

If the Office couldn't fill those 5G examining seats, you'd have a point. I am unaware of any recruiting shortfalls...

I have to disagree. The communication arts have a long learning curve. Just look at a patent like #9667330 and tell me somebody with a degree from Chico State University working in an ME art could understand that in 3 months, let alone make an obviousness determination on it.
« Last Edit: 10-01-17 at 03:58 pm by abc123 »
Logged

snapshot

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 214
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6916 on: 10-01-17 at 07:11 pm »

Considering that patent was first action issued, I doubt that is the best option to make your point.

Also, no, some examiners should not be paid more than others simply because they work in a more "demanding" or "cutting edge" field.  The demands on examiners are different throughout the office.  The only rightful differences in pay should be based on GS level and time in grade, nothing more.
Logged

snapshot

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 214
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6917 on: 10-01-17 at 07:13 pm »

To be honest I think the office hired too many people during its last hiring binge.  I know a few areas that are hurting due to too many examiners and not enough new filings to keep up solid docket levels.
The didn't so much "overhire" as attrition has been non-existent.  As examiner work their way up the ranks, they do more and more examining per examiner.  So the Office is getting older, and examiners are doing ~50% more per examiner when they go from new GS-7 to Primary GS-14. 


Yeah, this is true.  I just checked the USPTO's numbers, and most TCs now have an average GS level of 13.  That wasn't the case just a couple years ago.
Logged

ExaminerBob

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6918 on: 10-01-17 at 08:35 pm »

If the Office couldn't fill those 5G examining seats, you'd have a point. I am unaware of any recruiting shortfalls...

I have to disagree. The communication arts have a long learning curve. Just look at a patent like #9667330 and tell me somebody with a degree from Chico State University working in an ME art could understand that in 3 months, let alone make an obviousness determination on it.

I'm honestly not sure how sincere you are. I'm confident that the median mechanical engineering graduate from my alma mater could understand that application in three months, and I went to a okayish StateU.

I am not suggesting that a the median StateU MechE grad could examine it well. But the examining pool is already somewhat selected for examining ability. I do not think that application looks beyond what a top quintile 3600 or 1600 examiner could handle with some time to get up to speed.

Anyways, do YOU know of a recruiting shortfall? Do you know of some SPEs desperate for people to transfer in? Or is the supply of 5G-capable examiners sufficient at the current compensation levels?
Logged

abc123

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6919 on: 10-02-17 at 08:55 am »


I'm honestly not sure how sincere you are. I'm confident that the median mechanical engineering graduate from my alma mater could understand that application in three months, and I went to a okayish StateU.


?

Bob, out of curiosity, do you examine in a communications art? I consider Massive Mimo to be a fairly advanced topic even for a good graduate EE program.

Also, I don't keep track of the current hiring situation at the PTO, but I was an examiner in one of the communication art units for more years than I wish to either admit or remember, and we were always hard pressed for competent people.
« Last Edit: 10-02-17 at 09:13 am by abc123 »
Logged

Peacefulness

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6920 on: 10-02-17 at 12:02 pm »

Bob, out of curiosity, do you examine in a communications art? I consider Massive Mimo to be a fairly advanced topic even for a good graduate EE program.

Also, I don't keep track of the current hiring situation at the PTO, but I was an examiner in one of the communication art units for more years than I wish to either admit or remember, and we were always hard pressed for competent people.

I can't speak for Bob, but I'm an examiner in the communication arts.  Sure, Massive MIMO is one of the more advanced topics, but after examining for 3 months (6 biweeks), you're expected to work through a bunch of cases, and if you decide to focus on a specific topic like Massive MIMO and are decently smart, you're sure to pick up the technology and understand it by then.  After all, part of the job description is to read all the customer's specifications.  The Office obviously would not try to hire ME's for the communication arts, but I think the importance is to find examiners who know the basic technology and have an aptitude for learning.  No college course or college degrees is going to fully prepare any examiner for the cutting edge technology that comes across the examiner's office.
Logged

ThomasPaine

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 730
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6921 on: 10-02-17 at 03:14 pm »

"Not to mention the fact that a person examining this technology has undergone a more rigorous training, and has forgone a higher opportunity cost by not getting paid more working in industry drafting the applications instead of examining them."

There's usually a reason, or reasons, they're examining them and not drafting them. 
Logged

abc123

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6922 on: 10-02-17 at 09:13 pm »

Bob, out of curiosity, do you examine in a communications art? I consider Massive Mimo to be a fairly advanced topic even for a good graduate EE program.

Also, I don't keep track of the current hiring situation at the PTO, but I was an examiner in one of the communication art units for more years than I wish to either admit or remember, and we were always hard pressed for competent people.

I can't speak for Bob, but I'm an examiner in the communication arts.  Sure, Massive MIMO is one of the more advanced topics, but after examining for 3 months (6 biweeks), you're expected to work through a bunch of cases, and if you decide to focus on a specific topic like Massive MIMO and are decently smart, you're sure to pick up the technology and understand it by then.  After all, part of the job description is to read all the customer's specifications.  The Office obviously would not try to hire ME's for the communication arts, but I think the importance is to find examiners who know the basic technology and have an aptitude for learning.  No college course or college degrees is going to fully prepare any examiner for the cutting edge technology that comes across the examiner's office.

I sort of agree. This is why you see lots of examiner backgrounds in the communication arts, including things like physics, mathematics, and geophysics. Like you said, the importance is to find people with an aptitude for learning. More importantly, today's cutting edge technology is tomorrow's dodo bird. Just look at what happened to the much-hyped atm system.

However, when I worked there, you would not assign someone to work specifically on massive mimo systems, and it would be a bad idea if you did.

Also, I stand by what I said about the average ME student not being able to properly understand the specification of that patent in 3 months. In my opinion, no way. If they were a pretty sharp student who was part way through a graduate EE program, willing to spend a lot of time on the case, and settle for less than perfect understanding of what is going on (typically the case, even for experienced examiners, and nothing wrong with that - you cannot be expected to know everything), then maybe.
Logged

Peacefulness

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6923 on: 10-03-17 at 01:11 pm »

However, when I worked there, you would not assign someone to work specifically on massive mimo systems, and it would be a bad idea if you did.

Also, I stand by what I said about the average ME student not being able to properly understand the specification of that patent in 3 months. In my opinion, no way. If they were a pretty sharp student who was part way through a graduate EE program, willing to spend a lot of time on the case, and settle for less than perfect understanding of what is going on (typically the case, even for experienced examiners, and nothing wrong with that - you cannot be expected to know everything), then maybe.

True, they wouldn't be assigned by the office to work specifically on that technology, but at the same time an examiner is free to request cases that are related to one technology within their art, such as massive mimo systems.  If they were to do that, they would learn that technology better and in the process likely be able to find themselves with easier counts each time they see related applications, because they understand it better and can conduct better searches.

As I understand it, placement at the Office is initially based on need where they need to have more examiners for a particular area, which is based on anticipated number of applications and any backlog.  If the ME or any examiner fails to keep up their production over 3 months, they will find themselves starting to be pushed out of the Office.  So, out of need that examiner even if they are ME doing a communications case will have to find a way to do it fast and efficiently in 3 months.  If they are smart enough, then yes they will be able to find a way to do it.  No one goes for perfect understanding of the application.  Just like examiners always are to conduct a complete search, but that does not mean it's a perfect search as such a search would take forever.
Logged

anonym314159

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6924 on: 10-03-17 at 03:03 pm »

Hi, I recently applied to be an examiner at the PTO. Does anyone know what background the PTO is looking for in candidates? I have 2+ years of work experience with PCT and just want to gauge my chance of getting this job. I mean like are they mostly engineers with X years of work experience, patent professionals such as myself or recent college grads? I applied to Denver and Alexandria offices and prefer to work in Denver.
« Last Edit: 10-03-17 at 03:11 pm by anonym314159 »
Logged

fewyearsin

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 268
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6925 on: 10-03-17 at 03:48 pm »

Hi, I recently applied to be an examiner at the PTO. Does anyone know what background the PTO is looking for in candidates? I have 2+ years of work experience with PCT and just want to gauge my chance of getting this job. I mean like are they mostly engineers with X years of work experience, patent professionals such as myself or recent college grads? I applied to Denver and Alexandria offices and prefer to work in Denver.
In my experience, EE is most in demand, followed by CS.  Chem and Bio hire very rarely.  ME is kind of in the middle.

As far as what background they are looking for . . . I don't think it matters.  They hire a lot of new grads, but also hire experience patent attorneys, researchers with PhD and years of experience, and everything in between.  I think the biggest thing is taking what experience you have, and selling yourself as a good fit for the office in the interview.

On that note, make sure to look online for the kinds of questions they will ask you during the interview.  From what I've heard, the interview questions haven't changed in the last 15 years.  I'd post a link, but don't have time right now . . . here's some on glassdoor: https://www.glassdoor.com/Interview/US-Patent-and-Trademark-Office-Patent-Examiner-Interview-Questions-EI_IE41351.0,30_KO31,46.htm
Logged

midnightsun

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6926 on: 10-03-17 at 04:21 pm »

 :'(
PTO is hiring patent examiners as of 9-11-2017, see USAJOBS.  I'm pretty sure there was a hiring freeze, so this is the first opening for examiners in about a year, if anyone is interested.

https://www.usajobs.gov/Search/?k=patent%20examiner


Thanks for the heads up! Any near-term changes in view? Is hoteling after year 2 still the norm?
Logged

bluerogue

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 212
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6927 on: 10-04-17 at 05:41 pm »

Thanks for the heads up! Any near-term changes in view? Is hoteling after year 2 still the norm?

Hoteling after 2 years is still common.  TEAPP is going away, but hoteling is under a different authorization that isn't affected by TEAPP's sunset.
Logged
The views expressed are my own and do not represent those of the USPTO. I am also not your lawyer nor providing legal advice.

midnightsun

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6928 on: 10-06-17 at 01:03 pm »

Thank you! Do you know if an applicant is still eligible for an examiner position if patents they've written (but are not the inventor of) are pending before the USPTO?
Logged

fewyearsin

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 268
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6929 on: 10-06-17 at 02:23 pm »

Thank you! Do you know if an applicant is still eligible for an examiner position if patents they've written (but are not the inventor of) are pending before the USPTO?
You are still "eligible," but if hired, you may have to assign away your interest, or otherwise handle any potential conflict (I don't remember the exact rules).  I have known several examiners who came from industry that had to sell substantial amounts of company stock (typically part of their pay package was company stock).  You have to report if you own more than a certain amount of specific company stocks (broad/diversified funds are fine, but individual stocks are a problem). Again, not a problem with being hired, but a concern to be aware of once you are hired.
Logged
 



Footer

www.intelproplaw.com

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

iKnight Technologies Inc.

www.intelproplaw.com

Page created in 0.115 seconds with 21 queries.