Intellectual Property

Patent Examiner Profession

Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:12 pm
Comments: 84 Views: 5306

General starting salary for qualified candidates is $67,589/yr (GS-7, Step-10). As a patent examiner, you are eligible to work flexible hours of your choosing, part-time if you have a very young child and several years of service, and as a full-time or part-time employee of a certain GS level, you are also eligible to apply to "hotel", meaning you can work at home all but 1 hour per week.  In return for these benefits, you accept the responsibility of being accountable for high production quotas (in terms of applications processed) per bi-week, per fiscal quarter and per fiscal year. The high production quotas often require unpaid overtime work on weekends, evenings, etc. As a result of the demanding quotas of work required, turnover among patent examiners is quite high. However, the generous pay and flexibility of hours work to offset the sheer amount of work involved in the job.

*Due to the current economic situation, at this time, the PTO is only hiring those people who have previously worked as a patent examiner.


 For those of you who have questions about the application or hiring process, please contact Human Resources at or 1-800-786-9757.  I, personally, am not involved in any hiring decisions whatsoever at the PTO and I do not represent the PTO in any official capacity. All opinions given here are strictly my own and not those of the PTO.

How to Study for the Patent Bar Exam

Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:01 am
Comments: 3 Views: 1101
As someone who successfully passed the Patent Bar Exam in 2003, I can only say what worked for me. I started studying 4 months before the exam by printing out any and all questions that I could find from previous exams. This is invaluable; as many of the questions on my exam were almost verbatim from previous exams. I did not buy any on-line "study guides", as the exam is expensive enough by itself. Also, when studying previous exams, I found that it was especially helpful to study not just which answer is the right answer, but WHY that answer is the right answer-as I found variations on previous exam questions that I could answer easily by memorizing the reasoning behind the answers to the questions. Studying the MPEP (Manual of Patent Examining Procedure) is nice if you happen to have the ability to memorize thousands of pages of rules and regulations. But what is much more useful, in my opinion, is to study where to find info in the MPEP, as you are provided a copy of the MPEP to use during the test. For example, know where to find the MPEP discussion of Rule 35 U.S.C. 103(c); know where to find the rules for the requirements of an IDS (information disclosure statement) under 37 C.F.R. 1.97, etc.

USPTO/ Career Fair

Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:38 pm
Comments: 0 Views: 160

On February 10, the USPTO will host two virtual booths at the Engineering Virtual Career Fair (VCF) online, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Candidates can visit the USPTO virtual “Entry Level” or “Electrical Engineering” booth to learn about USPTO and obtain key agency information such as patent examiner vacancy announcements, employee benefits, and incentives.  Candidates may also participate in live chat sessions with recruiters to obtain more detailed information about patent examiner job opportunities.

All USPTO employees are urged to help spread the word to friends and family members who may be qualified applicants.  Click here to register to participate in the Virtual Career Fair.

For more information, contact Patricia Mendoza in the Office of Human Resources at (571) 272-2813.

The "Production" System

Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:16 am
Comments: 0 Views: 332

 A patent examiner is responsible for examining a certain quota of applications every bi-week. The quota of applications that an examiner is required to examine depends upon their GS level and which class of applications they are examining.  For example, an examiner who is a GS-7 may have a quota of 5.25 "counts" required per bi-week, while an examiner who examines in the same class and is a GS-11 would have a quota of 6.75 counts and a GS-13 would have a quota of 8.25 counts. The quota production system is a large reason why many examiners quit within their first couple years at the PTO. To be sure, it is stressful to constantly be under the gun, so to speak. Some people find a way to cope with this system and become extremely successful at managing their applications. Other people despise the constant pressure and resign. This story in the Washington Post discusses this part of the patent examiner profession:


National Trademark Expo

Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:23 pm
Comments: 0 Views: 191
  • National Trademark Expo

    April 10-12

    U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
    600 Dulany Street
    Alexandria , VA 22314 571/272-8400

    Themed displays, booths and costumed characters are used to showcase the value of protecting brand names, fighting counterfeit goods and the important role trademarks play in our economy. Participating companies include Burberrry, Callaway Golf Company, Caterpillar, Microsoft and NASCAR. Anson Wiliams, best known as "Potsie" on the TV series "Happy Days," brings his new line of make-up, Starmaker, to the expo.



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