Dear Patent Attorney and Patent Agent: Consider Joining to the PTO

The following letter has been sent to many patent attorneys and patent agents asking them to consider joining the USPTO examiner corps.

* * * * *

February 5, 2010

Dear ______

Deputy Under Secretary Sharon Barner and I wanted to contact you directly to let you know about an exciting opportunity for a career as a USPTO patent examiner. The USPTO has recently announced a targeted hiring initiative for experienced IP professionals. We ask that you consider applying for these openings at the USPTO to become a patent examiner.

A career as a patent examiner is both challenging and rewarding. As you consider this opportunity, you should know that USPTO management has undertaken a myriad of initiatives to make the USPTO an outstanding professional work environment. In addition, our modern campus in Alexandria, Virginia, has world-class facilities, including a gym, child-care center, excellent dining and recreational activities nearby. We also have extensive Hoteling programs, where qualified examiners may telework from home.

If you are interested in being considered as a patent examiner, we encourage you to apply to the open USPTO vacancy announcement at http://tiny.cc/ls8j7. Or if you know someone who is interested, please let them know about our open opportunities. If you have questions, please call (800) 786-9757, or send an e-mail to Recruitment@uspto.gov. We hope that you will give serious consideration to applying for our open vacancies. There has never been a more important or promising time to work at the USPTO.

Sincerely,

PatentLawPic927

David J. Kappos

* * * * *

[File Attachment: KapposRecruitingLetter.pdf (33 KB)]

Note: The text above is created by my OCR software which created some errors.

132 thoughts on “Dear Patent Attorney and Patent Agent: Consider Joining to the PTO

  1. 132

    What are the odds of attracting stealth applicants whose sole purpose is to hit their quotas and avoid termination long enough to get some serious dirt of the PTO, then file a qui tam action? Any ideas where to look for dirt or is the PTO sterile?

  2. 131

    Think twice before accepting a position as a patent examiner. PTO management has a habit of burning out its examiners and not listening to what they say they need to do the job. There’s a reason it’s so easy to become an examiner compared to nearly any other job in the federal government.

  3. 130

    Maybe the addition of numerous new hires will help reduce some of the embarrassing snafus that have issued recently from the USPTO. Anything that helps make patent litigation easier is all right, in my book…

  4. 129

    Well despite what people may say about working with the PTO, I really want this job… I was one of the ones who got a letter (got my patent registration number back in September, live in Pittsburgh). I’ve been dying for any patent related job, and nothing has been going my way, likely because my undergrad degree was in biology. Should I just call/email any random SPE and ask for a job? Perhaps somebody out there knows a friendly SPE I should try to contact?

  5. 128

    Whatever happened to the notion of regional examination centers? It will be a hard sell to get an IP attorney to relocate (no relocation expenses paid) to the east coast, take a pay cut, and raise the cost of living and commute time. Yes, please sign me up!

  6. 124

    “[F]or the experienced attorney with a reg. number, wouldn’t a mid-career stint as a patent examiner be career suicide?”

    Yes, it would be career suicide. Don’t bother applying.

  7. 122

    Outsource these positions – already in the works – see Kappos notes on prosecution efficiency

    Outsource prosecution – likewise already done to the point possible – those BIS regulations make it impossible to outsource initial application drafting, since no export license is possible until after the non-provisional application submission.

  8. 121

    Club RP! That place was in my neighborhood (at the time). My buddy used to drag me there to party with the embassy staff people who made up 90% of the patrons. I believe I was an examiner in those days.

  9. 120

    Why don’t they just outsource these positions to India like other US corporations ?

    And then companies could outsource their patent prosecution services to India. That way, counsel would be best placed to attend in-person interviews and oral hearings on appeal.

  10. 119

    Why don’t they just outsource these positions to India like other US corporations ? Then, you can speak with “Brad” or “Mary” the Examiner in Bangalore, as you do now when you call a Customer Support service.

  11. 118

    The interesting thing about the state of communication in America is that there may be only a small number of letters actually sent out to practitioners from the PTO. You only need 1. 1 guy sends it to Dennis Crouch. Dennis Crouch sends it to 19,000 people the next morning.

    Everybody who is in this business and young enough to use a computer is now magically informed.

  12. 117

    Ha

    CCR… what’s so special about that place ?

    I highly recommend Royal Palace at Connecticut & Florida ave.

    I went there right after comical (and expensive for me) PTO interview and had great pleasure watching some hot brazilian chick’s fully nude dancing and buying her a couple of drinks afterwords…

    What a hell… I dropped more than 20K on apparantly worthless patent, why not drop another hundred and actually enjoy it ?

  13. 116

    Ha, at CCR, you pay the strippers to put their clothes back on

    Examiners must really need a break from looking at preferred embodiments.

  14. 115

    “On the contrary, I’ll probably put it up when I make it in a law firm :)”

    Unless your attitude in real life is 100% different than it is on here, you have less than a snowball’s chance in he11 of even getting hired in a law firm. What’s funny is that you don’t get it.

  15. 112

    “some hot young snatch is being thrust enthusiactically in his face”

    Ha, at CCR, you pay the strippers to put their clothes back on

  16. 111

    I was just told by a coworker that the PTO is having some sort of informational webinar for interested parties next Friday.

  17. 110

    “To think of having to share a table with my unattractive, overweight, middle-aged boss and watch him drool as some hot young snatch is being thrust enthusiactically in his face…”

    You’ve never been to CCR, have you?

  18. 109

    “Way back in the day when I was a cub examiner, my SPE would express thanks to his (all male) art unit after an especially productive quarter by taking us to CCR after work for a round of beers. And none of us thought the practice at at all odd or “improper.””

    To think of having to share a table with my unattractive, overweight, middle-aged boss and watch him drool as some hot young snatch is being thrust enthusiactically in his face is, quite frankly, nauseating.

  19. 106

    I just received the *former examiner* version of this letter (got the agent one last week) – so two (2!) versions of the “please come for work the PTO” letter are out there…

  20. 103

    Attorneys are hurt if the PTO doesn’t want their patent apps, and they’re hurt that the PTO doesn’t want them. Imma lol.

  21. 102

    “I expect 6 will be putting up his own brass plaque soon when he realizes that he won’t make it in a law firm. ”

    On the contrary, I’ll probably put it up when I make it in a law firm :)

    Nice new name btw NAL.

  22. 100

    “An old examiner I knew had a brass plaque with his name on it by the stage of the CCR.”

    Now THAT is the kind of “famoosity” I would not want. I expect 6 will be putting up his own brass plaque soon when he realizes that he won’t make it in a law firm.

    As for the CCR being “no longer next to” the PTO, I think there are still some art units in Crystal Park. Am I wrong?

  23. 99

    6 wrote:
    “…but we have an entire library about subjects such as that here at the office that examiners can peruse at their leisure”

    Kiddo,

    you can peruse Playboy or Penthouse at your “leisure”, but not some current textbook on communications theory or statistical framework for automatic speech recognition

    I suggest that you run for higher post and leave PTO alone

  24. 96

    Something just occured to me. All this guessing of peoples’ positions leads me to believe that the one doing the guessing is the one that is doubtful about their own position. You won’t find the answer in anybody else. Look within, then you will know. Funny enough this comes up on this thread, maybe these letters have got people questioning themselves – evidenced by the very first comment on the thread? I’m guessing some firms would benefit by practicing a little more respect.

  25. 95

    “My keen ear seems to have a problem hearing about how you are new here, but not an examiner.”

    Yes. Because the PTO is the only entity in the DC area authorized to visit CCR.

  26. 93

    “Applicants are already required to do most of the Examiner’s job, especially the rejection part.”

    …and if the illegal Claims Continuations Rules hadn’t been defeated, applicants would have had to do the Examiner’s job AND pay for doing that job.

    “…and I would have succeeded if it weren’t for those meddlesome kids and their dog.”

  27. 92

    If I get a job as an Examiner can I examine the application I filed three years ago and which still hasn’t had a FOAM?

    Applicants are already required to do most of the Examiner’s job, especially the rejection part.

    This way I would get paid for it.

  28. 91

    Way back in the day when I was a cub examiner, my SPE would express thanks to his (all male) art unit after an especially productive quarter by taking us to CCR after work for a round of beers. And none of us thought the practice at at all odd or “improper.” This SPE was very popular with his examiners, and was highly regarded by all who knew him as a stand-up guy. His art unit was a model of productivity and examination quality.

    He stopped doing this when the first female examiners joined the art unit (he wisely switched to treating us to lunch in Chinatown).

  29. 90

    JD is like the jilted ex of the PTO who just can’t stand the thought of the PTO being happier without him. Sorry, JD, the PTO has moved on. (notice that you did not get a letter from Kappos)

  30. 89

    Jules,

    Didn’t too long ago you assert that you were not an examiner? My keen ear seems to have a problem hearing about how you are new here, but not an examiner.

    What’s up with that?

  31. 86

    Crystal City Restaurant actually being some sort of strip club, although I’m guessing it serves food as well.

  32. 81

    “whateverbitches”

    No, I don’t. The bio/chem areas are probably the exception to what I said. For most, if not all, of the electrical & mechanical areas, it is usually a negative and not a positive in determining what is or is not “known” or obvious.

    MVS

  33. 79

    The Patent Office is no longer next to CCR, but funny anyway.

    I wonder how many people on here know what that is?

  34. 78

    MVS said: “The LAST thing you guys should want are PHDs . . .”

    I take it you don’t work in TC1600.

  35. 77

    “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_value_decomposition
    No mysticism requiring a PhD. Most EE’s non-grads have extensive mathematics background, some with a double EE-mathematics BS. More than enough to understand these things well enough for examination purposes. ”

    Also ‘well enough for examination purposes’ may not actually even require understanding anything. I worked on one case where applicant claimed calculating a pseudoinverse using a variety techniques one of which was SVD. I rejected a dependent claim with a passage of a reference that just talked about using SVD to calculate a pseudoinverse.

  36. 75

    fatalist this might come as a suprise to you but we have an entire library about subjects such as that here at the office that examiners can peruse at their leisure.

    That sounds like a far more pragmatic approach than fatalist’s plan to only hire examiners who each have PhDs in everything and 20 years of experience.

  37. 74

    “…that examiners can peruse at their leisure”

    Yeah, why don’t you try it sometime 6, instead of spending all of your time on PatentlyO or at CCR.

  38. 73

    fatalist this might come as a suprise to you but we have an entire library about subjects such as that here at the office that examiners can peruse at their leisure.

  39. 72

    Do you know what those acronyms like FFT or HHT or SVD really mean ?

    Not really, Your Honor…
    But I did a lot of wikipedia reading while staying at Holiday Inn Express last night

    Get real, guys

  40. 71

    It’s a start fatal guy. You assume a PhD has knowledge of everything that can come his/her way? You get real dude.

  41. 69

    Uh-oh, the Hilbert-Huang article uses the word “algorithm.” Doesn’t that mean that any claim that uses the term is therefore unpatentable, per se?

  42. 68

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    No mysticism requiring a PhD. Most EE’s non-grads have extensive mathematics background, some with a double EE-mathematics BS. More than enough to understand these things well enough for examination purposes.

  43. 66

    “More importantly, if a patent application requires a PhD to understand it, then it was poorly written. Of course, you probably think that most jurors (and judges) have PhDs as well, right?”

    Yeah, right…
    don’t be ridiculous

    a “singular value decomposition” or “hilbert-huang transform” should be real easy to understand for judges and jurors in EDT

    the reality is this: most judges and jurors in this country don’t understand a single paragraph in some of those patent apps and there is nothign that can be done short of selecting jurors from the pool of available PhDs in math or physics-related fields
    it comes down to expert testimonies at the end.
    courts can appoint their special masters too, usually some PhD from university faculty who is active in the field

  44. 65

    I agree Tazistanjen. It is a lot better than what we had. About the same thing I’d say about Obama vs. Bush. Seems like we have an honest person trying to make things better.

  45. 64

    I am really impressed with Kappos. I think it is a great idea to hire some patent attorneys as Examiners. I like him gathering ideas for how to write the next MPEP. I love that he is encouraging Examiners to work with the applicants to find the patentable subjects matter. Way to go, Kappos.

  46. 63

    As an EE I have worked on everything from mechanical, to materials to battery chemistry. The areas I have not worked in are pure molecular chemistry such as pharmaceuticals, and plant patents.

  47. 62

    I have seen a bit of interest from biotech/chemistry people in EE/CS as the biotech/chemistry stuff becomes more information processing intensive. Typically, questions like how do you write a claim to, and will this get by Bilski.

    Frankly, I’ve seen some things that are remarkably like computer science in chemistry.

    What are others experience?

  48. 61

    I don’t see much biotech/chemical mix between mechanical/EE. A bit. I’ve helped someone with a master’s degree in chemistry write an EE application, but it is very rare.

  49. 60

    To what extent does a big law firm in the USA expect its patent attorneys to be able to handle all subject matter? Here in Europe, it is well understood that EE’s don’t do biotech, and vice versa. Chemists can’t write good claims to devices, and engineers can’t write good claims to an invention that is a “molecule X”.

    I don’t know of a single US practitioner with a background in say ME that would try and write claims towards a chemical compound. But I do see practitioners work closely to, but outside of, their technical expertise all of the time and usually they are more than competent to do so. Sometimes you see some practitioners that shouldn’t be working outside of their technical expertise (and in some cases, probably shouldn’t be practicing law), but I consider this the exception.

  50. 59

    A comical situation arises when you get your first office action and it looks like a fresh-hire examiner examined completely different application: not a shred of understanding the subject matter

    Sometimes that happens because the agent doesn’t understand the claims he drafted. The examiner will tend to cite the first reference he finds that invalidates his interpretation of the claim. If it’s not the interpretation the agent had in mind, it can definitely seem a bit unusual.

    Still, if your claim really does admit of the examiner’s interpretation, you should try to stop laughing long enough to amend it.

    More importantly, if a patent application requires a PhD to understand it, then it was poorly written. Of course, you probably think that most jurors (and judges) have PhDs as well, right?

    That’s an excellent point. Even if the law only requires you to write for a PhD with 20 years of field experience, you should still be writing with a judge and jury in mind if you want your patent to hold its value.

  51. 58

    “Over the last several years, they have been making it a little too easy to get reg numbers”

    Not sure about this – I think the pass rate on the exam has been in a fairly consistent 60% range for the better part of the last ten years.

  52. 57

    “What they need are seasoned PhDs with years of industry experience who can grasp the essence of new ideas presented to them by patent applicants (who are also PhDs for the most part)”

    Inventors in most art units are NOT PhDs, they are engineers with a BS or maybe an MS degree. More importantly, if a patent application requires a PhD to understand it, then it was poorly written. Of course, you probably think that most jurors (and judges) have PhDs as well, right?

  53. 56

    “wouldn’t a mid-career stint as a patent examiner be career suicide?”

    Yes.

    But perhaps some have not found traction in, for example, the BigLaw environment as newly minted attorney with a reg number.

    Over the last several years, they have been making it a little too easy to get reg numbers, and thus have created a bit of a glut at the low end of attorneys who have no training and little in the way of real claim drafting skills or even analytical skills.

    I remember one new guy that I trained had a real problem with analyzing and responding to rejections. He would spend all day reading the references. It takes certain skill sets that not everyone possesses to be good at this work. A stint at the PTO might be a good choice for someone who lacks the fundamental skills to excel at patent law.

  54. 55

    “Further, in real world cutting edge areas like telecom protocols and biotech, how far away from a PhD is the notional PHOSITA? Not a million miles, I imagine.”

    Good point, Max

    The present reality at the USPTO is this: a large percentage of all high-tech patent apps are made by highly-specialized PhD level researchers (most of them workign for large corporations like IBM, Intel, MShit, Google etc but some independents too) but examined by fresh-hire examiners who just got their BS EE or CS degrees
    A comical situation arises when you get your first office action and it looks like a fresh-hire examiner examined completely different application: not a shred of understanding the subject matter

    Yes, guys, modern high-tech can be very complex and math-intensive subject
    YOu need more than basic knowledge of IP (and a crappy EE/CS BS degree) to examine patents in those fields
    Much much more

    As far as I know many EPO examiners do have PhD degrees in their respective fields

  55. 54

    Oh, and I am talking about technical and not legal experience, before you jump on that.

    MVS

  56. 53

    fatalist,

    The LAST thing you guys should want are PHDs, or even long-term industry people & the like. Most of them, though there are a few exceptions, know the material so well that they think just about EVERYTHING is obvious or “out there somewhere”.

    People just out of school tend to have a more open mind, in general, and don’t think that they know it all. And, when actually given a chance, are usually willing to learn how to properly do things rather than wanting to do it “their way”.

    Most of the worst examiners I have had to train over the years have been those that worked in industry 10-20 years.

    MVS

  57. 51

    I can well appreciate that working as an Examiner beats collecting unemployment compensation, but for the experienced attorney with a reg. number, wouldn’t a mid-career stint as a patent examiner be career suicide? I don’t see why any experienced person with options would choose to do this.

  58. 50

    Congrats to Kappos for doing what John Doll refused to do (“We can’t hire our way out of the backlog”). In the past, the USPTO couldn’t retain good examiners but now the job market is so bad that examiners are making more than some associates. There are plenty of qualified applicants on the job market and they may as well work for the USPTO.

  59. 49

    No, he really means “joining to the PTO”, perhaps with some sort of adhesive.

  60. 48

    Dennis, while we’re paying attention to detail, perhaps you should reconsider the title and the first sentence, where you say “joining to the PTO”. I believe you’re using “joining” in one of the transitive senses of the verb join – it therefore should take “PTO” as its direct object, rather than “to the PTO” as an adverbial phrase.

  61. 47

    The “rn” error was created by my Adobe Acrobat OCR software. On my read-through of the text, I caught the software’s mistake with Sharon Barner (it thought her name was Bamer), but I did not catch that modern had been transformed into modem.

  62. 46

    It is not an r and n run together.
    Compare Barner in line 1.
    Attention to detail?

    You guys are talking about two different things. Dennis’s post includes a reproduction of the letter, which appears to include OCR’ed text. In that reproduction, it’s unquestionably an “m”. However, Dennis’s post includes a link to a scan of the actual letter – check that out and you’ll see that it’s an “rn” in the original.

    Attention to detail?

  63. 41

    I’m curious. To what extent does a big law firm in the USA expect its patent attorneys to be able to handle all subject matter? Here in Europe, it is well understood that EE’s don’t do biotech, and vice versa. Chemists can’t write good claims to devices, and engineers can’t write good claims to an invention that is a “molecule X”. Why, even the qualifying examination for European patent attorneys has one Paper for the chemists and a different one for the engineers.

    Am I to suppose, however, that the USPTO will require a newby to examine outside the technical field in which (s)he is qualified to operate? My hunch is that they need EE’s but will get only nondescript others.

    Further, in real world cutting edge areas like telecom protocols and biotech, how far away from a PhD is the notional PHOSITA? Not a million miles, I imagine.

  64. 40

    What is a modem campus (I enlarged the font and this is clearly an “m” and not “r and n” run together).

    It looks like “modeRN” to me, but at the resolution of Dennis’ PDF it’s difficult to tell, and it looks like Dennis’ OCR read it the same way as you.

  65. 39

    A typo in the letter?

    What is a modem campus (I enlarged the font and this is clearly an “m” and not “r and n” run together). Admittedly an easy mistake to miss.

    Perhaps they envisage telecommuting by dial up modem?

  66. 38

    PHOSITA – does not call for a PHD level.

    fatalist, gotta love your passion as misdirected in patent law as it gets.

  67. 37

    Just how being an “experienced IP professional” helps you to understand complex technical ideas and math involved in some of the most important fields (high-tech, software, electronics, semiconductors etc.)

    Some experienced IP professionals practice in those fields. Where do you think examiners get their work in those fields from?

    patent applicants (who are also PhDs for the most part)

    [citation needed]

    Until they start hiring real PhDs to examine compex technical applications the PTO will continue to do crappy work.

    There’s nothing magical about a PhD. The focus of a PhD is about as narrow as you could imagine, and earning one gives you far less insight into a broader technical field than spending the time as a patent agent or working in the field. Especially when you consider how well those PhDs understood their field already before even beginning their PhD program.

  68. 36

    This is just another BS initiative

    Experienced IP professionals ???

    YOu gotta be kidding

    Just how being an “experienced IP professional” helps you to understand complex technical ideas and math involved in some of the most important fields (high-tech, software, electronics, semiconductors etc.)

    What they need are seasoned PhDs with years of industry experience who can grasp the essence of new ideas presented to them by patent applicants (who are also PhDs for the most part)

    Until they start hiring real PhDs to examine compex technical applications the PTO will continue to do crappy work.
    Period.

  69. 35

    TCs never call you back? This might have other uses. I spent weeks trying to call an attorney once who never called back. Then I told the switchboard that I was a potential new client, and he was back within 5 minutes.

    (Also from England. We do care what happens over there! We don’t want to go the same way.)

  70. 34

    I was curious as to *why* I’d received this letter, since I’m a former examiner and now an agent. I got a similar letter after leaving the Office almost 4 years ago (when the “hiring surge” was happening) – but for that I was targeted since a former examiner. Looks like this time my # is what triggered the invitation (& I am on the East Coast, too – for what that’s worth)…

  71. 33

    The posting from Cheshire solicitor at 06.06am is interesting. How is it that a malpractice lawyer in Liverpool England is not only reading this thread but also motivated to contribute to it?

    Fines, why is it “strange” that the PTO is targeting young flesh? You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, and furthermore (to borrow from that most famous of all lawyer jokes) there are some things that even lawyers won’t do (at least, once they have a bit of experience).

    Actually, Prosecutor, I should have thought that the searching bit would actually be the only part of the Examiner’s daily grind that’s rewarding, in that it’s not totally desiccated by BS and boilerplate.

  72. 31

    Having spent the last week performing a bunch of patent searches, I feel an examiner’s pain. Can’t say I’d want to do that for a living.

  73. 28

    John Darling said: “I would clean urinals before going back there.”

    blah blah blah, I’m too good for government work, blah blah blah – – we’ve heard it all before John Darling

  74. 27

    You see someguy, the people with greater experience, that is, those with greater than three measly years out, would be screwed!

    I know those guys well. They are looking for suckers to throw at the worst, most neglected and abused parts of the office.

    I would clean urinals before going back there.

  75. 26

    Hey, I got a letter too (I just returned home).

    Mine states:

    The USPTO is looking for highly qualified and experienced intellectual property (IP) professionals with strong examining skills to return to the USPTO to examine patent applications!

    We are committed to our goal of providing timely, quality patents to help spur innovation and economic growth. To accomplish this, we need suckers like you who would blindly welcome the challenges our management cannot handle and certainly wants no part.

    Since your departure from the USPTO, we have been floundering and beg that you return to help right our ship. Mr. Kappos is in charge now and is directing efforts to help reduce pendancy of unexamined applications. We have implemented reforms in the patent examiner count system that will improve the examination process. This effort will help s meet mission-critical goals to promote the efficiency of the agency’s business activities while accommodating the challenges, as well as the scurvy that has confronted our examiners for years.

    RC, please join us if you are interested in being considered for reinstatement as a patent examiner. I encourage you to apply to one of the vacancy announcements at http://www.USAJobs.gov. To apply, click on “Run Search”; select “Status” and type “Patent Examiner” in the keyword search.

    If your separation date was three years or more ago, your reinstatement eligibility will need to be reconfirmed prior to consideration and appointment to the position. In other words, you would be screwed!

    Sincerely,

  76. 25

    I have a friend with a ~65k reg number and she got the letter. My reg number is ~59k and I got the letter. Another friend had a ~51k reg number and he did not get the letter. All of these are East Coast practitioners.

  77. 24

    “I got the letter less than two months after getting my registration number, and before prosecuting any applications.”

    Well considering that the average beginning examiner has absolutely ZERO IP experience – you are, in fact, an “experienced IP professional,” relatively speaking.

  78. 23

    I had to laugh at the “experienced IP professionals” language. I got the letter less than two months after getting my registration number, and before prosecuting any applications.

  79. 22

    Examiner pay at GS-15 step 7 and higher (same max level for SPE’s) is capped at level IV of the executive pay schedule, or 155,000 + bonuses.

    A GS-14 examiner which is typical earns 146500 as the max step, step 10. It takes a long time to get to step 10 though.

    Directors are capped at level II or level III of the executive pay schedule or currently 165,300/179,900.

  80. 21

    Isn’t the Examiner pay scale capped out already though at the top end? Meaning, the examiner can’t make more in a year than people in the Senior Executive Service? Hard to compete with other opportunities when the pay scale is capped out and for the cap to be raised, the SES needs to also have their scale bumped up.

    Correct me if I’m wrong on that…

  81. 20

    Not one mention of good pay. To me, that is one of the major problems with the USPTO – low pay for Examiners. Too many good Examiners leave to do something more lucrative.

  82. 18

    It’ll take several months if you go through HR. In fact, I never heard back from HR at all when I applied through them online even though I called to check the status several times. I had to go speak to a SPE before hiring got anywhere. One of my old officemate went through HR and went to one of the job fairs. He got hired through the job fair after waiting several months for a response from HR and several months after he was hired through the job fair and was working, HR called him and told him they wanted to interview him for a job.

    “…and start you out at a paltry GS-11 position.”

    I know one guy who is an examiner who left the office to work at a law firm as an attorney until he was laid off. He was able to come back as a GS-13 even though it had probably been about 3 years since he first left.

  83. 17

    It only took three weeks after I applied before I was offered a job. This is extremely unusual for the government hiring process, but it does happen depending on how motivated the office is. There are no other steps you need to do once you’ve applied and please ignore the person who said to skip the usual HR route — even if a TC director loves you, you have to submit the application.

    Hoteling is telecommuting full-time, for which you have to have been at the PTO for over 2 years, be a GS-12 and taken the certification exam. Certain other people are authorized to telecommute one day per week, but that’s different from hoteling.

    Good luck.

  84. 16

    Znutar, it appears they need to hire more HR people to reduce the backlog of job applications. But, there is a huge problem in retaining good HR people.

  85. 15

    “Does anyone have any clue as to the other steps/length of the application process?”

    In about 14 months, maybe more, your employment application will be rejected by HR. You’ll have 3 months to request reconsideration. If your application is accepted, a second set of eyes will review your application anew, your job offer will be withdrawn, and the person that gave you the offer will be fired. Job application fees will be initiated,then raised.

  86. 14

    “I’m curious about the demographics of the recipients of these letters. I am a relatively young patent attorney and I got one, but none of the more “mature” attorneys in my office has (yet).”

    Ditto. Doramjan, do you work in the DC area? Anyone on the left coast get these letters or only DC area people? If the PTO were serious about attracting patent attorneys, they might start with some sort of LS tuition reimbursement or modified salary structure/bonuses above that paid to “regular” (non-J.D. examiners).

  87. 13

    Dear Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit,

    I’m bored. Please issue the opinion in Ariad so that I may have some lolz in my life. K?

    Thanks and goodbye,
    6

    P.S. You guys are better than comedy central around this time of night, you should make your own show.

    CC
    Michel et al.

  88. 12

    SS: Yes, that’s right. Pick up the phone and have a conversation.

    Since when did directors start returning phone calls?

  89. 11

    Hoteling = telecommuting, but working at the USPTO one day out of every two weeks. Some SPEs allow you to work two days at the Office back-to-back in the middle of four weeks.

    “I applied to the USPTO about a week ago”

    Skip the usual HR route. Each TC makes its own hiring decisions. Determine which TC is best for you then call the director. Yes, that’s right. Pick up the phone and have a conversation.

  90. 9

    I’d go back if they made me a director. I would even examine half time! What a deal. But no, I bet anything that they would throw you in the poorly classified business method art, and start you out at a paltry GS-11 position. Ha ha ha ha

    Think this one through PTO. We know more than you, and are more valuable than a stinkin SPE.

  91. 6

    I’m curious about the demographics of the recipients of these letters. I am a relatively young patent attorney and I got one, but none of the more “mature” attorneys in my office has (yet).

  92. 5

    Wanna-be,

    Historically, there has been a fairly long delay between applying to the pto and recieving an offer. In my case which was a couple of years back, it took 7 months to recieve my job offer after applying, and i don’t believe that was a unique experience. However, I only had a B.S. degree when I applied, and the pto was still in the middle of a massive hiring surge, so there is a reasonable chance that HR will move more quickly for recent hires. It will be interesting to see if management is able to expedite that process.

    Regarding other steps, I don’t believe there is anything else you should worry about until the offer comes, if memory serves.

  93. 3

    >>Hoteling programs”?

    I am not completely certain, but I do know that MM would say that they should not be eligible for patentability.

  94. 1

    As a young patent attorney who wouldn’t mind a change of pace and could really use a change of scenery, I applied to the USPTO about a week ago. Does anyone have any clue as to the other steps/length of the application process? Just curious. Thanks.

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