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 2634847 times)

fewyearsin

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 382
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6990 on: 12-04-17 at 02:44 pm »

I'd echo his advice about the work you're putting in as well.  Do what you need to.  We're not given enough time to do a great job.  We're given time to do a reasonable job.
This.  It can be hard for some people to not do a perfect job every action.  Some people are idealists or perfectionists.  But the reality is that if you only get 12 hours credit for doing a first action, you can't consistently take 20 hours.  And really you should be getting some cases done in 8 hours to balance out those few that do need to take 20 hours.
Logged
This comment: does not represent the opinion or position of the PTO or any law firm; is not legal advice; and represents only a few quick thoughts from the author, not a well-researched treatise.  Seek out the advice of a competent patent attorney for answers to specific questions you may have.

ex-aminer?

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 60
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6991 on: 12-04-17 at 07:38 pm »

Being a perfectionist is probably the worst trait an examiner can have.  I use the "inverted pyramid" when searching: first I pull up a similar case or two and import the art.  Then Ill text search the best sub-classes.  If you understand your art well, you will find the best art early on this way.  This prob has 90% of citable art.  If I have a solid 102 or 103 on the entire invention in this narrow field, im done searching. If I don't have solid art ill expand to browsing the entire best few subclasses.  After this, you looked at 99%.  Examiners who fruitlessly search even broader and less relevant stuff to cover that 1% of misclassified art are wasting their time.  Searching under every obscure rock is the perfectionism that will sink you.

The next killer is I actually had some old-timers in my academy who would type one finger at. time.  Learning to type quickly is a skill worth investing some time in.

If your art is good, and it should be if its cited, you dont need to explain every detail.  Patent Attys are smart and have had even more time understanding the art than the examiners.  Point out everything, but good art is pretty self-evident.  If you're writing a novel, you are probably weaving bs.

I completely agree with what someone said above, you get the job or you don't.  The people who got promoted right away amd hit the ground running are almost inevitably the ones who get Primary quickly and are lacking stress and time-crunch.
Logged

abc123

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 126
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6992 on: 12-04-17 at 08:58 pm »

There was a time in the distant past when examiners would only cite the combination of references on a note card, which would get mailed to the applicant. I don't know why they eliminated it, but I think it is a good idea, and is pretty close to what many if not most expert examiners do, if they still exist. I think this, and a required reasons for allowance, would be a great combination.

Don't underestimate the value of getting a search from one of the experienced examiners. It may seem like a waste of time, but it used to help me a lot, because they would often not only give me classes to search, but other useful information as well, like how to deal with the case. Also, it is a good way to get to know people in the office, especially outside your art unit, and will give you a better view of what is going on in the office, and maybe where there are potential positions to transfer to if you want. With work at home, this is unfortunately less of a viable option.
« Last Edit: 12-04-17 at 09:22 pm by abc123 »
Logged

steelie

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 192
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6993 on: 12-05-17 at 07:37 am »

Hi all, I am one of the new Examiners still on probationary period from the hiring of 1/17/2017. As I'm approaching the one year mark the more concerned I grow about my future as while I am meeting my production as a GS-7 I feel like I am working way too hard at it and I've seen some similar opinions as the one this post is quoting. Still being new, is this a big problem or will it eventually click for me as some of my other colleges have suggested happens? What was the catalyst that helped the job "click" for you? If the overwhelming advice is still to get out, what are my options? With limited engineering experience before coming to the office and now with my time at the office how do I even market myself?
Any help/advice is appreciated.

It took me about eight years before the job really "clicked".

That's probably 500 Office actions, so maybe after 500 times doing it .... it finally sunk into my thick skull.  :D

About "getting out" ...I think if you're willing to keep working hard at it ... they will keep you ... however, the question to ask yourself is ... can you really make it 30-40 years grinding out mindless work on a computer screen?
Logged

fewyearsin

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 382
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6994 on: 12-05-17 at 11:46 am »

the question to ask yourself is ... can you really make it 30-40 years grinding out mindless work on a computer screen?
This is big.  I've noticed my circle of friends shrinking while my few remaining social contacts have their circle of friends and professional networks expanding at other jobs.  Basically I feel like this job (examining) is slowly sucking the life from me.  It is truly fantastic the flexibility and predictability and work from home.  But that's where the "pro" column ends, and the "con" column seems to be ever-growing.
Logged
This comment: does not represent the opinion or position of the PTO or any law firm; is not legal advice; and represents only a few quick thoughts from the author, not a well-researched treatise.  Seek out the advice of a competent patent attorney for answers to specific questions you may have.

abc123

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 126
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6995 on: 12-05-17 at 12:48 pm »


About "getting out" ...I think if you're willing to keep working hard at it ... they will keep you ...

Or, just become one of the "they's"

If you have a law degree, your options are much greater.

Otherwise, aside from the benchers and the people who support the claims adjusters (ie, secretaries and IT personnel) there really is not much.
Logged

openpatent

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 41
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6996 on: 12-07-17 at 07:00 pm »


About "getting out" ...I think if you're willing to keep working hard at it ... they will keep you ...

Or, just become one of the "they's"

If you have a law degree, your options are much greater.

Otherwise, aside from the benchers and the people who support the claims adjusters (ie, secretaries and IT personnel) there really is not much.

Um, 80% of the SPEs in my division don't have JDs.
Logged

Tobmapsatonmi

  • Lead Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 997
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6997 on: 12-07-17 at 07:15 pm »


Um, 80% of the SPEs in my division don't have JDs.


Yes, I believe "those" are the "theys" to which ABC123 refers.   :D
Logged

steelie

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 192
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6998 on: 12-07-17 at 09:05 pm »

the question to ask yourself is ... can you really make it 30-40 years grinding out mindless work on a computer screen?
This is big.  I've noticed my circle of friends shrinking while my few remaining social contacts have their circle of friends and professional networks expanding at other jobs.  Basically I feel like this job (examining) is slowly sucking the life from me.  It is truly fantastic the flexibility and predictability and work from home.  But that's where the "pro" column ends, and the "con" column seems to be ever-growing.

Yeah, at the "Path Training" I was amazed at how many are gone.

In my area, maybe 12-14 years experience generally makes you the senior examiner.

I don't believe I have *ever* met a 20+ year examiner that still examines.

When I first started I was told that many mid-range employees have a "life event" that disrupts their production, and they're permitted to resign. Funny thing, the same thing happened to the primary that told me that. He left at about 16 years after his parents were both near death, and he blew off the job to take care of them. I was told that PTO "lets you resign", so you can seek alternate federal employment.

I have known some that have a youthful, ambitious attitude where they feel like they have to keep "moving up", so they quit to "advance". They seem placated for a long time in the GS table/promotion
opportunities, eventually, though, they hit a "career rut" of being an examiner for life.
Logged

Tobmapsatonmi

  • Lead Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 997
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #6999 on: 12-07-17 at 09:14 pm »

the question to ask yourself is ... can you really make it 30-40 years grinding out mindless work on a computer screen?
This is big.  I've noticed my circle of friends shrinking while my few remaining social contacts have their circle of friends and professional networks expanding at other jobs.  Basically I feel like this job (examining) is slowly sucking the life from me.  It is truly fantastic the flexibility and predictability and work from home.  But that's where the "pro" column ends, and the "con" column seems to be ever-growing.

Yeah, at the "Path Training" I was amazed at how many are gone.

In my area, maybe 12-14 years experience generally makes you the senior examiner.

I don't believe I have *ever* met a 20+ year examiner that still examines.

When I first started I was told that many mid-range employees have a "life event" that disrupts their production, and they're permitted to resign. Funny thing, the same thing happened to the primary that told me that. He left at about 16 years after his parents were both near death, and he blew off the job to take care of them. I was told that PTO "lets you resign", so you can seek alternate federal employment.

I have known some that have a youthful, ambitious attitude where they feel like they have to keep "moving up", so they quit to "advance". They seem placated for a long time in the GS table/promotion
opportunities, eventually, though, they hit a "career rut" of being an examiner for life.


Weird.  Many of the examiners I deal with are over 20, over 30 years experience.  One I deal with most often is pushing 40 years since his first examined patent issued, and that was almost 5000 patents ago.
Logged

Feta Cheese

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 227
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7000 on: 12-07-17 at 09:37 pm »

Weird.  Many of the examiners I deal with are over 20, over 30 years experience.  One I deal with most often is pushing 40 years since his first examined patent issued, and that was almost 5000 patents ago.

survivorship bias?
Logged

Tobmapsatonmi

  • Lead Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 997
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7001 on: 12-07-17 at 09:58 pm »

Weird.  Many of the examiners I deal with are over 20, over 30 years experience.  One I deal with most often is pushing 40 years since his first examined patent issued, and that was almost 5000 patents ago.

survivorship bias?


Not sure how the concept of survivor bias can be applicable here.  Just commenting on my day-to-day experience, which includes for my office actions a large number of examiners at +20 years.
Logged

abc123

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 126
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7002 on: 12-07-17 at 11:10 pm »


About "getting out" ...I think if you're willing to keep working hard at it ... they will keep you ...

Or, just become one of the "they's"

If you have a law degree, your options are much greater.

Otherwise, aside from the benchers and the people who support the claims adjusters (ie, secretaries and IT personnel) there really is not much.

Um, 80% of the SPEs in my division don't have JDs.

Sorry if I was unclear. I did not mean to connect SPE's with JD's, but no matter. What you said is interesting though, since 20 percent of the examiners have law degrees. At least that is how it used to be. Having a law degree will open up lots of transfer options when you get tired of examining.

« Last Edit: 12-07-17 at 11:49 pm by abc123 »
Logged

steelie

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 192
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7003 on: 12-08-17 at 01:40 am »

There's probably some statistical truth that examiners in "easy" allowance units are more likely to hang on.
Logged

fewyearsin

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 382
    • View Profile
Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7004 on: 12-08-17 at 10:31 am »

There's probably some statistical truth that examiners in "easy" allowance units are more likely to hang on.
Definitely.  Or at least art units with reasonable or generous BD (hours per count) have lower attrition.  The example in the comment above of the examiner with 40 years and 5000 allowances is one of those.  I am in a pretty fair BD art unit with an average allowance rate, and IF I stayed 40 years, I'd have ~2500 allowances.  If I could allow twice as many cases, I'd have no problem ever meeting my hours.  As is, I still can get my work done in less than 50 hours a week, which is reasonable to me.

To the comment about JD examiners having lots of exit options within the PTO - I'm not seeing that anymore.  The Office is now flooded with well qualified (on paper at least) JD examiners, so any opening is flooded with applications.  As far as I can tell, they all go to the senior-most examiners.  I'm not hanging out at the Office for 30 years just for a chance at one of those positions.
Logged
This comment: does not represent the opinion or position of the PTO or any law firm; is not legal advice; and represents only a few quick thoughts from the author, not a well-researched treatise.  Seek out the advice of a competent patent attorney for answers to specific questions you may have.
 



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 0.1 seconds with 21 queries.