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US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews

182 Reviews
182 Reviews
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Teresa Stanek Rea
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    Rated as one of the best places to work in the federal government.

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Primary Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Primary Examiner in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (more than 10 years)


    I am a primary examiner and have been working at the US PTO for over 12 years.
    The common comments I see are "stressful job", "monotonous", "production oriented", etc. Well, one has to realize that this is a job that requires a lot of reading and comprehending, as well as analytical skills. The material can be drab. Often times patent applications are translations from foreign languages. A significant number of references are in foreign languages and the translations available are machine translations with their own limitations. New and novel ideas are scarce. Most applications have subject that has small, incremental changes from the state of the art. The examiner's challenge is to determine the minute difference from the state of the art that makes an application patentable. An examiner has to work through all these difficulties. Therefore, this is not a job for everyone. It requires a special kind of skill to succeed as a patent examiner.
    To me, this is my dream job. I love it. I would recommend it to anyone, who has the attitude and the inclination to do this type of work.
    The pay is good. The benefits are excellent. Flexible work schedule. Allowed to work from anywhere in the country, where a good broadband internet service is allowable. Great and continued work related training as well as financial and retirement training and various other social and developmental help. Job security.
    This is also one of the most independent jobs one could find. Other than occasional quality audits, the primary examiner is independent in his/her work. No supervising. No approvals.
    Job promotions and other activities are available without any discrimination.
    I joined the PTO after several years of industrial experience, and I found the job to be a welcome change.
    Irrespective of the position one held, one has to start at a lower level and then get trained on the job. However, please do not consider this as a deterrent. I took more than 50% pay cut when I joined as a Junior examiner but in a few of years, I started getting comparable or better salaries than what I had in the industry.
    I say, if you are up to this challenge, then join the PTO.


    This job is not for everyone. In requires patience, good ability to read and comprehend, and analytical skills. It is a desk job. Most work is online. Irrespective of what experience and qualifications, one gets only a lower level position and must get rigorous training before one becomes a primary. But then, that is why a primary examiner is paid a good salary and all that great benefits.

    Positive Outlook
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US Patent and Trademark Office Interviews

Updated Jan 20, 2015
Updated Jan 20, 2015

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Interview Experience


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Getting an Interview


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Interview Difficulty




    Patent Examiner Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    I applied online and got a response like in 1 month. I received an email asking for a phone interview. I did an awesome interview because all the questions are the same. She asked me about my resume etc. All the questions are here in the site.

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    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

US Patent and Trademark Office Awards & Accolades

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Best Places to Work in the Federal Government (Agency Subcomponents) (#1), Best Places to Work, 2013
Top Entry Level Employers, CollegeGrad, 2009
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Additional Info

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Headquarters Alexandria, VA
Size 5000+ Employees
Founded 1952
Type Government
Industry Government
Revenue Unknown / Non-Applicable per year
Competitors Unknown

You didn't make a copy of that new software program for your friend, did you? The US Patent and Trademark Office certainly hopes you didn't. For some 200 years, the agency has protected US inventions and intellectual property by issuing trademarks and patents in conjunction with its mission to foster an entrepreneurial spirit and see that US inventions and intellectual property contribute to a strong economy. Its primary function is receiving and processing patent and trademark applications and publishing information regarding the system. It is funded by the fees it... More

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