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150 Reviews
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Teresa Stanek Rea
18 Ratings

    Veteran Intern Patent Examiner

    • 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 as an intern (less than an year)


    USPTO is one of the few Federal agencies I have seen that runs fairly smoothly. Everyone I have encountered there is professional, helpful and personable (in the way that Engineers and Scientist can be), and very relaxed atmosphere. They have a very generous flexible schedule where you can work just about whenever you want as long as you make 80hrs every bi-wk and your numbers are good; when I say work whenever, I mean whenever (4-10hr days no problem; every other Friday off same deal..ect). The Academy they send you through is through and they definitely teach you the way to conduct Patent business. The Veterans program is very robust and right now they are in a hiring spree. Other benefits include onsite gym, a Patent social club and other various forms of perking up the work-life balance. Once you hit GS-12 (which can theoretically take about 1.5-2 yrs) you can work anywhere CONUS and never have to come into the office again.


    The work itself. You need to realize that there is absolutely NO engineering work involved. The work is monotonous but it is a steady gig. I would probably not recommend USPTO for those just coming from college as the technical skills picked up in school will be lost. I can understand why those from industry would come to the PTO as it offers a major change of pace to how corporations conduct business. Another Con would be that everyone, due to the nature of the job itself, tends to stay in their offices so there is not a whole lot of social interactions. One final Con is the way the production system is setup. What the work comes down to is the numbers...and that is what you will be graded on constantly. I understand why they do production numbers, but I feel its a double edge sword. The nature of the work is tough and there is a learning curve, so the pressure is to constantly get applications reviewed and adjudicated as fast as possible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management, at least whom I have encountered have been nothing but supportive and helpful. Make sure applicants know that there is no engineering work involved.

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