US Patent and Trademark Office

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US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews in Virginia

Updated November 3, 2014
Updated November 3, 2014
173 Reviews
3.6
173 Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros
  • it's good, great flexibility, work from home, freedom to sign own work (in 27 reviews)

  • Flexible work schedule and workload (in 19 reviews)


Cons
  • Has to meet production requirement (in 8 reviews)

  • Challenging production requirements (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

18 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    A great job if you can cut corners and not have it bother you

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time

    Pros

    Great money (for government). The pay is great. Gym, childcare etc. A lot of perks along with a great salary and advancement opportunities.

    Cons

    Quantity is the number one objective ... but they also do not want "glaring" errors ... so it is a hard balance to strike.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reform the whole system. The patent attorneys complain all the time about the "quality" of the office actions, bu they cannot say much because they are at the mercy of the USPTO.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    A HORRIBLE PLACE FOR IT CONTRACTORS

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time

    Pros

    If i was a govt employee, i would be giving wonderful praises for the suppose to be number 1 place to work at in the agency. But I am IT contractor employee.

    Cons

    If you are thinking of working here and a IT contractor employee. Listen to my warning. I had different options of jobs to take and i decided to take this job because I saw the number 1 place to work. I was thrilled and excited to be working for this agency. Well, I was told and saw that this does not apply to IT contractors. I was absolutely amazed on how the contractors are treated. And its absolutely an accepted fact. I have been doing govt contracting for over 20 years and this is the first place, where i am shocked on how some of the contractors are yelled at, treated by emails, spoke down to like little kids, and other stuff i see on a daily basis. I do not know how long I will be here but the turnover is awful and the negativity energy is not good. I will stay here until i find something else. The grass is not greener on the other side at all. This is the worse agency for IT contractors and i thought previous agencies i worked for was worse.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat everyone with respect and dignity which includes contractors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    It is a white collar sweat shop.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Junior Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Junior Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The tech side of it is interesting

    Cons

    all that matters is "count Monday"

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Watch Out for The 10th Floor!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - OPEA Team Member in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - OPEA Team Member in Alexandria, VA

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Support staff and infrastructure are fantastic. Very helpful, kind and hard working.

    Cons

    Senior Level Management -- on the executive floor in particular. Major Diva-like behavior, favoritism, alcoholism, spineless, smarthy senior "leader" who don't lead anything but the "yes" party.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Actually talk to your staff. People are miserable and you all walk around like everything is rosy. Tell the BUs to stop being so deceitful in cahoots with HR. People are not stupid.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Modern Slavery

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Richmond, VA

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The time flexibility and Salary is great...

    Cons

    You will grow to hate your daily life, because the pressure is just too high. People work there only for the money, however it seem 95% people who works there grow to dislike what they do..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    its ok, as long as you have a good SP

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    "The Rejection Office"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule and workload.

    Cons

    Every examiner will find out quickly that the unofficial Golden Rule at USPTO is "Whatever your SPE says" [that's what you're gonna have to do, regardless]. SPE = supervisory patent examiner ("the boss of your life", at work). Every examiner is pressured to reject, reject, reject patent applications, for any reason and any pretext.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overhaul the whole system and the Agency culture of rejection and obstruction. The Rotten Thing is not in Denmark.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    You will either hate or love this job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You have a ton of flexibility. Just make your counts and you can work as little or as much as you want. The environment's super casual and you can wear whatever you want (I saw plenty of sweatpants). While I was there, they offered law school tuition reimbursement (but that may have not survived the sequester). They also have special government pay, so you get a higher starting salary in addition the government benefits. Eventually, you can work remotely from wherever you want (provided you're willing to travel to the office at your own expense periodically).

    Cons

    Don't be fooled by all the rosy recruiting materials. There's a huge reason there's 50% turnover in the job. It's not for everyone. I was miserable. You're a paper pusher essentially and spend all day doing pretty monotonous solo work. Your performance is based on quotas (and the mechanical areas in particular are pretty notorious for volume, volume, volume) and your manager will look at little else when evaluating your performance. Additionally, your ability to meet quota depends entirely on the permissiveness of your SPE/primary manager (i.e., your manager) when signing cases. Some will sign anything and some will send cases back for multiple revisions, making it hard to meet quota.

    If you want to do "hands-on" engineering work, this really isn't it. You'll need the educational background to understand what you're examining, but you won't really do any design work or anything that requires engineering judgement. I'd say the work is more legal in nature.

    If you can handle the specific work environment, it's really not a bad gig. But just go into it with your eyes open.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More time for cases.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    It is not that rosy as the videos and the survey indicates

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    provides good training and resources for searching and reviewing prior art.

    Cons

    no team work and monotonous and tedious clerical work. crazy or mentally ill examiners who do not want to talk to you. spes are the top dogs and control your life. They need to whipped.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    try to make it like a place to work and not like a slavery or serfdom

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Not bad unless you get sick

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Best pay rate in the US government. Good telework options after a couple years of service.

    Cons

    Production is everything. As long as you send enough out, quality doesn't seem to matter. If you start getting behind they will make your life rough.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand that things happen that are out of the employee's control. Life happens and sometimes it has a negative effect on work, but remember you've invested a lot in an employee through the training and the years of service. The knowledge is not so easy to replace. Neither is an overachiever.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Unrealistic quotas and isolating work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The job has flexible hours where you need to account for 80 hours every 2 weeks. The job has government benefits, including a 401k-like account (TSP). You can telework from anywhere in the continental US. And depending on your drive, current economics, and Congressional budgets, there is Law school reimbursment.

    Cons

    The job is very solitary for some. The production quotas where created in 1976, when some modern technologies where in their infancy. The job duties are more legal than scientific or technical.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make the job more of a team effort.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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