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Author Topic: Working for the USPTO  (Read 2631301 times)

WTF

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7440 on: 07-05-18 at 12:27 am »

Itís not on the intranetís detail page.  Makes me wonder if they are targeting specific examiners and being on USAJOBS is just a formality.

Iíll ask around tomorrow and see if itís CRU.  USAJOBS talks about litigation.  A remote possibility it is with PTAB, but that doesnít really make sense.  The PTO has been known to create individual art units for special cases. 

Probably a good detail for career advancement. But I have no doubt it will not always be enjoyable.
« Last Edit: 07-05-18 at 12:38 pm by WTF »
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lazyexaminer

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7441 on: 07-05-18 at 09:40 am »

That's interesting. The job listing (assuming I am seeing the same one) says it will be filled "in one of the Technology Centers" so that rules out PTAB. I haven't heard of this job and the CRU hasn't had a need to hire in what, 6 years(?) so I doubt it is there, but you never know. The listing does read almost exactly like a CRU listing and I think even uses similar language as they used to. Again, it seems like an interesting job, but I would agree with the cautionary notes mentioned above.

Really, it all depends on who is in charge and what they want out of this position. If they hire good people who do good work and let them do their thing it could be a nice gig. The CRU succeeded IMO because the people originally in charge decided that they hired experienced people who knew what they were doing and the whole point was to do better than typical work, so they let the examiners take the time that was necessary to come to the right decision. They also were aware of the fact noted above, that being outside the normal production system the bonuses were now very subjective, and they didn't want to penalize good examiners for taking this job (also preventing good examiners from applying in the future) by making bonuses hard to get.

So if it's run like that it could be good--more GS-15 jobs are always nice and this is more like examining than most of them. If the point of this job is they just want you to work like a dog rejecting applications in a similar time frame as regular examining it could be terrible.
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two banks of four

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7442 on: 07-05-18 at 11:51 am »

you know, what's ironic is that they are also hiring a chief economist at the same time, presumably to help determine what fees should be.  I'm hoping that whomever they hire would have at least some experience with psychology and economic choice, as there are things that Madison could do to incentive a better approach to examining.  As mentioned repeatedly elsewhere, I think Madison is most of the time completely off the mark when it comes to incentives and their effects.
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ConfusedIP

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7443 on: 07-05-18 at 12:39 pm »

Quote
Probably a good detail for career advancement. But I have no doubt it will not be enjoyable.

Sadly, things that are good for you are rarely enjoyable. This position sounds like an equivalent of running 5K every morning.  Maybe after 2 years of rejecting really hard applications, you'll become a SuperExaminerTM
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WTF

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7444 on: 07-05-18 at 02:35 pm »

Okay, I remember this detail.   It comes up every few years.  Itís not CRU.

2 year detail, GS-15.  Sounds like there may be a bonus and possible OT.  I think you lose your docket (itís not 80/20). 

There is no production, per se, but expect to work really, really hard. 

On this detail, you will learn a lot about the details of patent prosecution. 

The examiners Iíve talked to wouldnít do this detail. 

But, it looks like it can be a good career move.

« Last Edit: 07-05-18 at 03:23 pm by WTF »
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abc123

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7445 on: 07-05-18 at 05:41 pm »

I recall that you cannot do very many details within a reasonable period of time, so unless this is pretty darn good, I would pass and wait for the really good ones that can make for a good or great career transition, like details at the board, the solicitors office, or what I think used to be called the office of legislative and international affairs. Decide for yourself about working at the board, but the last two offices used to be pretty darn good places to work. This gig just sounds like another variation on the examiner merry-go-round, with just a different set of horses and Wurlitzer tunes. But in the end, it is always just one monotonous search after another.
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WTF

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7446 on: 07-05-18 at 06:11 pm »

Yes, preference is given to people with no details and to those with the least amount of details in a 4 year period. 

However, if you are the most qualified, you will get the detail.  I know someone who is working on their third detail in three years.  They were the most qualified for each of them.

From what I understand about it, the USA JOBS announcement is for a position that will place you in shouting distance to the director suite and possibly the commissioners office (not literally).  If you do a really good job, I bet you would be fast-tracked for a SPE position after 2 years - all else being equal. 

If you love patent prosecution, and get really giddy with the details of it, this may be the one for you.  But from what I hear, it wonít be an easy position, and there is no guarantee you will be placed back into your original workgroup when the position is over.
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Everything I post is my own personal opinion, and does not represent the opinion of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  Moreover, anything I post should not be considered legal advice.  I do not speak on behalf of or for the USPTO, or any other government agency.

two banks of four

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7447 on: 07-05-18 at 11:47 pm »

Yes, preference is given to people with no details and to those with the least amount of details in a 4 year period. 

However, if you are the most qualified, you will get the detail.  I know someone who is working on their third detail in three years.  They were the most qualified for each of them.

From what I understand about it, the USA JOBS announcement is for a position that will place you in shouting distance to the director suite and possibly the commissioners office (not literally).  If you do a really good job, I bet you would be fast-tracked for a SPE position after 2 years - all else being equal. 

If you love patent prosecution, and get really giddy with the details of it, this may be the one for you.  But from what I hear, it wonít be an easy position, and there is no guarantee you will be placed back into your original workgroup when the position is over.

that to me would be the biggest deal-breaker.  Unless, of course, one gets short tracked to move-on-up to another permanent GS-15 position

seriously, they ought to think over the incentives...
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WTF

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7448 on: 07-05-18 at 11:54 pm »

Yep, that issue of the possibility of not going back to original workgroup is a deal breaker for most.  Still not even sure how that even came up or was decided. Ah, working for the government. 
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Everything I post is my own personal opinion, and does not represent the opinion of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  Moreover, anything I post should not be considered legal advice.  I do not speak on behalf of or for the USPTO, or any other government agency.

lazyexaminer

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7449 on: 07-06-18 at 08:58 am »

Yep, that issue of the possibility of not going back to original workgroup is a deal breaker for most.  Still not even sure how that even came up or was decided. Ah, working for the government. 

That is annoying. I believe the CRU had a guarantee for like 6-8 years that you could go back to where you came from, at the very least I know someone who did it after around 8 years. Definitely no guarantee anymore though since the spot became permanent. They are probably just covering their butt so they aren't forced to send you back if that group is suddenly short of cases when it's time. I would hope they would work with you if that isn't the case. I guess it all depends on the director and the SPE though, and it's annoying when these choices are in somebody else's hands.


However, if you are the most qualified, you will get the detail.  I know someone who is working on their third detail in three years.  They were the most qualified for each of them.

I agree, I also know someone who I feel like is always on details, several different ones in several years. They will hire who they want...the no-recent-detail preference is likely just a small tiebreaker.
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fewyearsin

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7450 on: 07-06-18 at 11:00 am »

Re: the "only 1 detail every 4 years" thing . . .

I'm pretty sure that is just an HR bluff.  Like they have to put it in there, but no one actually follows it. 

Remember, most of the details are opened because there is a need.  Not a need for a warm body, but a need for something to actually get done.  The person hiring for the detail wants the most qualified and reliable person, not the person who has the fewest details under their belt.  At one of the "lunch-n-learns," some of the hiring people basically said this.  Like for the trainer details, the hiring guy said that the best qualification you can have to get hired as a trainer is the training assistant detail.  As in, you're MORE likely to get the trainer detail if you've had the training assistant detail recently, not LESS likely.

And yeah, in my limited experience, the details seem to go to the same people over and over.  Part of it might be the way that a bunch of details all open up at the start of the fiscal year (October), and lots of them also hire for the next 2 years, so you might not have had a detail in the past 4 years, and then get selected for 3 or 4 at the same time (spread out over the next 2 years).  So you didn't lie on your application, but by the time you start your 3rd detail, it may be your 3rd that year.

Anyway, on a side/related note, I've found that details are one of the things that make examining bearable, because they're a break from examining.  I highly recommend details to any examiner who wants to maintain their sanity and open up exit options within the PTO.  (Except that encouraging more people will make it harder for me, so on second thought, don't apply :)
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ex-aminer?

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7451 on: 07-08-18 at 05:17 pm »

You are absolutely correct about production being king. 

Here is a hypothetical conversation I know without a doubt will happen sometime in the future......

PTO Investigator:
Hello sir,
I am here to inform you that one of your primary examiners was walking down the 8th floor hallway of the Knox building when he suddenly dropped his pants and took a shit on the floor.  Apparently he was angry about being questioned why he didnít sign into his computer at all last bi-week, even though his WebTA says he was working.  We called the the police and they took him to the hospital for a 72 hour phyc. hold.   We want to further inform you that he said when he gets out of the hospital, heíll come right back and shit on every floor in the Knox building.  In fact, he said when he gets out of the hospital, he will take a shit on your desk.  He further said he will smear the shit all over the walls in your office.  Do you have any questions for us?

PTO boss:
Do you know what his production is?

lol
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two banks of four

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7452 on: 07-08-18 at 06:09 pm »

Re: the "only 1 detail every 4 years" thing . . .

I'm pretty sure that is just an HR bluff.  Like they have to put it in there, but no one actually follows it. 

Remember, most of the details are opened because there is a need.  Not a need for a warm body, but a need for something to actually get done.  The person hiring for the detail wants the most qualified and reliable person, not the person who has the fewest details under their belt.  At one of the "lunch-n-learns," some of the hiring people basically said this.  Like for the trainer details, the hiring guy said that the best qualification you can have to get hired as a trainer is the training assistant detail.  As in, you're MORE likely to get the trainer detail if you've had the training assistant detail recently, not LESS likely.

And yeah, in my limited experience, the details seem to go to the same people over and over.  Part of it might be the way that a bunch of details all open up at the start of the fiscal year (October), and lots of them also hire for the next 2 years, so you might not have had a detail in the past 4 years, and then get selected for 3 or 4 at the same time (spread out over the next 2 years).  So you didn't lie on your application, but by the time you start your 3rd detail, it may be your 3rd that year.

Anyway, on a side/related note, I've found that details are one of the things that make examining bearable, because they're a break from examining.  I highly recommend details to any examiner who wants to maintain their sanity and open up exit options within the PTO.  (Except that encouraging more people will make it harder for me, so on second thought, don't apply :)

but doesn't the fact that many of the detail positions require on-site work prevent most from applying in the first place?
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fewyearsin

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Re: Working for the USPTO
« Reply #7453 on: 07-08-18 at 08:53 pm »

but doesn't the fact that many of the detail positions require on-site work prevent most from applying in the first place?
It used to, but in the last few years the Office has made a real effort to open up details to full-time hotellers.  I'd say more than 1/2 of details are now available to full-time hotellers.  Although I'm pretty sure that some that say they can be done from home might still give precedence to people physically in the office.  I've done at least one detail in the office, and one at home.  They both were just fine.  It did help that the detail I did from home was with someone I'd met and worked with before.  But, again referencing a lunch-n-learn with people hiring for details, the number of people applying to details has exploded as they opened up to hotellers.  The real frustrating part is that many of the details that are now available for hotellers only lead to jobs that require you to be in the office.  Hopefully that catches up, too.
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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.
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