US Patent and Trademark Office

  www.uspto.gov
  www.uspto.gov

US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews

Updated October 29, 2014
Updated October 29, 2014
157 Reviews
3.6
157 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • it's good, great flexibility, work from home, freedom to sign own work (in 26 reviews)

  • flexible work schedule allows for family friendly atmosphere, working from home is great (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  

    Supervisor Patent Examiner

    • 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 full-time

    Pros

    Very Flexible, Good pay for work, sometimes interesting work

    Cons

    Hard to find tools to motivate employees

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great flexibility

    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    The ability to work from home and basically whenever you want is great, along with clear expectations as to how much work you need to do.

    Cons

    The work is very challenging in a way that is not particularly interesting, at least it is not interesting to me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep increasing the flexibility of the office, as you have already been doing.

  3. 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
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    "It's as good as you make it"

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

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

    Pros

    - Collegial work environment (not without conflict, but conflicts are minor)
    - Work at home 2 days a week (examining attorneys may work at home full time after 2 years)
    - Flexible work schedules (not quite as flexible as the schedules of examining attorneys)
    - Completely electronic environment
    - Good office space
    - Management decisions regarding finances and and staffing consistently sound
    - Consistently seeks to improve regarding the mission of the Agency, which means problems encountered by staff are often addressed if it gets in the way of the mission

    Cons

    - Annual performance evaluation is largely determined by the success of your work unit as opposed to being based on one's own individual efforts (as opposed to examining attorney whose evaluation is determined almost entirely on the efforts of the individual)
    - Electronic environment creates huge dependence on the IT support, and the IT support is not what is should be or what it has been in the past
    - Risk adverse

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 9 people found this helpful  

    Management Courses should be a requirement.

    • 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

    I'll echo some of the comments others have left that the atmosphere is laid back, great benefits, decent pay, etc. But so is every other federal agency. The all have the same pay and benefits. Patent Office might pay just slightly higher. Work/life balance is second to none because of the hotelling program. Again, it is not unique to the Patent Office.

    Cons

    If you get stuck with a shitty manager, which happens often, good luck to you. You will feel like a helpless little kid. Adults should not be treated that way in a workplace. They are all a bunch of fat, stubborn bureaucrats; typical government agency. Typical manager has absolutely no idea how to communicate. Most are unapproachable. Extremely subjective and very stubborn. Advancement is non-competitive which requires no special skills or education thus reducing the quality of the "Applicant" to senior management. Managers and Directors come from the same stock. No management training, and most never managed a single person throughout their entire careers which could be as long as 20 years before becoming managers. Their presentation skills are worse than those of a high school student. Other than that, job is extremely boring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get some management classes. It should be a requirement to go through training or have an MBA. Training that the Patent office "suggests' is not enough. It does not require to do homework, work on projects, presentations, There are no classes on culture and leadership communication. It does not teach how to deal with subordinates. Most Managers have absolutely no clue how to deal with a subordinate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    I had an average time as an extern for the Patent Office.

    Former Employee - Patent Examiner Extern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner Extern in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    The work place is very laid back, no strict dress code.

    Cons

    The externship was unpaid and kind of boring.

  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not for Me

    • 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

    Most of the staff directly involved in the training program were great and eager to help. Contractors brought in to demonstrate the use of various programs were excellent and their training was very structured.

    Cons

    Trainers did not necessarily have any knowledge in your particular subject area, which caused them to lead you astray from time to time. Supervisors and others with signatory authority did not participate enough in the training efforts and, in some cases, were even detrimental by leading the trainee on wild goose chases. Often, different answers were given to the same questions. This is to be expected in gray areas, but not on questions of policy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Insure your supervisors are required to meet with the trainees at the scheduled times or, if not possible, to establish an alternate time to be noted on the trainees schedule so that no trainee is left without meeting their supervisor during the entire 4 month program. Make it a punishable offense to provide misinformation (such as providing incorrect job search categories when the trainee is not specific in their request - even though their trainer told them they only needed to give the application # with no additional information). This misinformation leads to a waste of time by the trainee, trainer, supervisor, and any others involved. Any inefficiencies ultimately cost the customer as they are reflected in the patent filing costs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    From a Non-Patent Examiner

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

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

    Pros

    A very creative work environment

    Cons

    If you are in a non-examining position and not in a bargaining unit, good luck. The biggest mistake this private sector agency disguised as government makes is how they hire their leaders. The agency is run by people who have very impressive resumes, but no experience with actually managing groups of people, they are not willing to resolve conflicts, only care about themselves, demonstrate lots of favoritism, and have no idea about how government operates.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you hire leaders, start paying more attention to their experience with supervising diverse groups of people. Just because someone has a political background and a fancy resume, doesn't make them a leader.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Former Extern

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office

    Pros

    If you like both engineering and law, good experience

    Cons

    If you don't, sorry. Also, unpaid externship.

  11. 4 people found this helpful  

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

    • 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 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 ManagementAdvice

    Provide 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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