US Patent and Trademark Office
3.4 of 5 125 reviews
www.uspto.gov Alexandria, VA 5000+ Employees

US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews in Virginia

Updated Feb 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 92 reviews

                             

89% Approve of the CEO

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Teresa Stanek Rea

(9 ratings)

59% of employees recommend this company to a friend
26 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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4 people found this helpful  

It was great.

Examiner (Former Employee)
Alexandria, VA

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

ProsThe pros are the full-time telework and the enhanced GS pay scale. You can live anywhere and not have to report to work.

ConsWhen you are junior your work is reviewed. If the person reviewing your work doesn't know what they are doing, you are in trouble. They will constantly return your work and tell you to redo it for ridiculous reasons and you won't be able to make the quota and you will either work 100 hours a week or get fired.

Advice to Senior ManagementBe more selective on who you hire into management.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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6 people found this helpful  

Production Counts are what Counts

Patent Examiner (Former Employee)
Alexandria, VA

I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time for less than a year

ProsFor me it was fun to understand the inventions in the patent applications and to try to find prior art (work/invention) which was the same as the invention in the patent application; or to alternatively find aspects of the invention in multiple pieces of prior art and to make an argument why it would've been obvious to combine those aspects. It's challenging and you're learning everyday.

ConsEven during your first year when theoretically you're not evaluated based on your production level, you are expected to be at a 60%, 80% and 100% production levels by 6, 8 and 11 months respectively. That's understandable as the USPTO is financed by the fees generated by production and therefore they only want to keep people they know can produce at the expected level. But it does make for a stressful job if you're having difficulty meeting production expectations.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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3 people found this helpful  

Huge perks, super flexible, incredibly stressful and full of minutiae

Patent Examiner (Former Employee)
Alexandria, VA

I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office part-time

Pros-The salary is fantastic for an entry level job
-The scheduling is very flexible. You could easily work 4 day weeks within your first year
-A great inside look at a very specific industry
-Very transparent job requirements and evaluations
-Lots of different possible career paths

Cons-Tight deadlines on multiple fronts, very stressful
-An almost absurd attention to detail in documents
-Thousands of grammatically inconsistent technical legal documents to search through daily

Advice to Senior ManagementProvide one on one training, some sort of shadowing program for new hires to learn the subtleties of the job that can't be explained well.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Satisfying work with great flexibility

Patent Examiner (Current Employee)
Alexandria, VA

I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time for more than 5 years

ProsFlexibility with workable hours and time off.

ConsProduction and stress of continually keeping up with changes in requirements.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Overall a good long term job

Primary Patent Examiner (Current Employee)
Alexandria, VA

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

ProsJob stability is the best in this economy.

ConsThe way your work is reviewed and counted can be stressful.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great benefits, low stress work environment

Mechanical Engineering Patent Examiner (Current Employee)
Alexandria, VA

I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time for less than a year

ProsFlexible work schedule
Great benefits
Low stress work environment
Promotion is based on individual performance

ConsRepetitive work, but not too boring

Advice to Senior ManagementI have no qualms with upper management

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Good place to work if you don't mind not doing real 'engineering'

Extern (Former Employee)
Alexandria, VA

I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office as an intern for less than a year

Pros-Flexible with hours
-Good starting pay with lots of room to move up the ranks
-Benefits are great (naturally, seeing as how this is a government job)
-In regards to above, the benefits will almost surely outweigh all the cons
-Nice on-location gym (if you are into that)

Cons-Very very very repetitive
-Not 'real' engineering (this may not matter to some)
-From what I have heard, a lot can depend on how strict your SPE is. Depending on this you may or may not have a better time.
-If you do not know what you are doing, the workload can pile up and you may find yourself not meeting deadlines.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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4 people found this helpful  

A very different type of job

Junior Patent Examiner (Former Employee)
Alexandria, VA

I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time for more than a year

ProsVery Flexible, you have a lot of flexibility to not live your life consumed by your job. Once you get into a rhythm of a positive work habits, its a job where you can feel like your own boss.

ConsVery isolated. Not much interaction with other examiners. The higher the grade level the more work you are expected to produce which can lead to greater stress and anxiety. I have used the term "intellectual sweatshop" which gives a vivid idea of the production requirements they expect from you. But its all about maintaining good production work habits.
Some supervisors are very old school in their methods and will frustrate you to no end with their nit picking, while others understand that it is a production based job and there is not enough time to cross ever T and dot ever I.
If you get stuck with a crappy SPE (Supervisory Patent Examiner) your pretty much doomed.

Advice to Senior ManagementGive new examiners more information and awareness of their options in their working environment (Art Units). Create a 360 degree of review such that as supervisors review the progress of new hires, new hires are able to review the ability of the supervisor since until one becomes a SPE or a Primary Examiner, they are at the will of the SPE.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Great benefits, including flexible schedule. But stressful.

Patent Examiner (Current Employee)
Alexandria, VA

I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time for more than 3 years

ProsFlexible schedule. Good pay with opportunity to increase salary rapidly. Great atmosphere. Relaxed dress code. Overtime usually available. Lots of resources to help with job.

ConsYour work is based on production, and you are rated quarterly. If you have trouble making production, this will be a stressful job for you. You will be working late nights, weekends, and holidays to try to keep up. If you are one of those people who can get a case done in 6 hours, then you'll love this job. If it takes you a while to complete a case, the production will kill you because you'll be puitting in way more than 40 hours per week, with no compensation. Also, your supervisor will m,ake or break you. Mine was very difficult and I spent way more time on cases than I needed to because his standards were so high. Most supervisors are very easy-going and that makes getting cases done alot easier.

Advice to Senior ManagementEnsure SPEs are fair. If an examiner has trouble getting cases through his/her SPE, he should have the option of getting a secondary review from another primary or SPE.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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overall good experience

Extern (Current Employee)
Alexandria, VA

I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office as an intern for less than a year

Prosflexible- Can decide your work hours. There is more emphasis on your work productivity.

Consstressful - Since it is a production based job there is great emphasis on getting your work done in a timely manner. But this can be difficulty when first starting out since the field of patent law is complex and would need guidance from a great Supervisor if assigned to one.

Advice to Senior ManagementHelp new examiners deal with the steep learning curve at the start of their jobs by getting them connected with fellow examiners so they know who to go for questions and advice.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at US Patent and Trademark Office reviews and ratings in Virginia — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for US Patent and Trademark Office CEO Teresa Stanek Rea. All 26 reviews posted anonymously by US Patent and Trademark Office employees.