US Patent and Trademark Office

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US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews

Updated February 20, 2015
Updated February 20, 2015
186 Reviews
3.6
186 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Teresa Stanek Rea
28 Ratings

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

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great!

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Very flexible hours. The pay is competitive, although the cost of living in the area is high.

    Cons

    Some SPEs or senior level people can be hard to work with. Much of your success as a new examiner is based on the willingness of the people you report to to help you.

  2.  

    IT Pro

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - IT Specialist in Alexandria, VA

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

    Pros

    Pay
    Benefits
    Gym on campus
    On site cafe'

    Cons

    Very introverted workforce
    Politics get in the way of getting things done
    When something goes wrong, it is all finger pointing and no one takes ownership due to fear of management
    Lacking vision of future goals and projects

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Rated as one of the best places to work in the federal government.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • 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)

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    The best part of USPTO is job flexibility; the ability to telework at least two days per week.

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

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

    Pros

    Work-life balance, job security, training opportunities

    Cons

    Senior Leadership is lacking in the qualities and/or values that one would consider best in class.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Walk the talk.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Good work experience as an extern

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

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

    Pros

    Good training, immediate work after training alongside a current patent examiner. Easy access to many restaurants, transit, employee gym, farmers market on site, and cafeteria on site.

    Cons

    The more you move up as an examiner, the more work you are expected to output AKA you are expected to review more patent applications per pay period. Some people may like this, some may view it as too stressful.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    I have enjoy working for the US Patent & Trademark Office

    • 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 (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    What I like about working at the US Patent and Trademark Office is the flexibility that the job offers.

    Cons

    What I dis-like about working at the US Patent and Trademark Office is that there is not much employee interaction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I believe that management has good job fulfilling the needs of the Patent Examiner's

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Patent Examiner

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

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

    Pros

    -Benefits
    -Vacation
    -Government job
    -If you like research then this is good

    Cons

    USPTO especially the technology department electrical and computer is full of chinese. SPEs are chinese and they do not want indian- asian to get ahead nor become SPEs. These chinese SPE on purpose advance chinese patent examiner making them SPEs but demote and devalue asian indians due to their race, origin, ethinicity and skin color. The chinese SPEs discriminate, make fun of asian-indian and alot of times even though asian-indians are more qualified to work chinese SPEs will not hire them. The mentality is that chinese help chinese in the USPTO, demote or devalue other races as much as possible and the director or anyone else in higher power do not do anything to stop this.

    I recently went to USPTO open house to get back in and all SPEs are chinese. They told me why don't you look eleswhere and outright told me that asian-indians are not wanted. I noticed that chinese SPEs were more then willing to talk to their own types and welcome giving them advice. This is discrimination against minority.!!!

    I have given one star due to this reason. Chinese discrimnation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider this, why are most SPEs in technology deapartment i.e. electrical and computer chinese? It is not that all other races can be SPE. Chinese SPE discrimnate against asian-indians and are corrupted on purpose demote, devalue other races but their own. To directors above these chineses SPE consider enforcing diversity of SPE in electrical and computer department.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Examiner of Patents

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

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office

    Pros

    The ability to choose your own hours, good pay, learning about new technology before it comes to the public. Great health benefits and retirement plan. Protecting inventors rights and moving technology forward.

    Cons

    Staring at a screen all day gets tedious. Not much communication aside from over email and the phone. Hard to move up in the company after starting hoteling.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    More cons than pros, please reconsider other offers before accepting USPTO's offer...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Junior Patent Examiner
    Current Employee - Junior Patent Examiner

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

    Pros

    The best reason to work here is the very flexible schedule. You set your own schedule. After 2 years you can work from home. The public transportation in Alexandria is the best I have seen, and your public transportation cost is subsidized, so it ends up being free.

    Cons

    I don't like the euphemistic term "challenges," these are not "challenges," these are PROBLEMS.
    The training is the absolute worst! Four months of 1, 2 or 3 hour lectures, with people who do not know how to teach. You are not allowed to take the study material home because that is considered "voluntary overtime" which is against the law. You are constantly reminded that this is a "production environment," in other words you have to crank out and type 10, 20 or 30 page legal actions every 3 or 4 days. The job will isolate you and it is boring, repetitive and monotonous.
    In this place, there is only negative reinforcement, you are only told when you make a mistake.
    Although you will have a hard time finding this information, but try to find out about the crazy turnover rate for new employees who have been here less than two years. I read several online articles and one article calculated it at around 30% to 50%, other were a little bit more conservative and placed it only at around 20%. The numbers are calculated based on the definition on why an employee left.
    The cost of living in Alexandria is exorbitantly expensive! I am paying $1600/month rent for a 1b/1b apartment, about 5 miles away from the USPTO including a parking space. If I did not have a car I would pay less.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    For examiners, the flexibility is the biggest perk here

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office

    Pros

    Flexibility
    Ability to work from home
    Salary is competitive with other federal agencies

    Cons

    Work can become mundane over time. Difficult to transition after the PTO to a non-legal field

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Things seem to be swinging more towards the applicant's favor. Give examiners more time to do cases

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