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 Apr 5, 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
92 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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3 people found this helpful  

This is a great place to work because one gets paid to stay current in one's scientific discipline.

Patent Examiner (Current Employee)
Alexandria, VA

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

ProsTotal flex time, work at home, self-paced, and lots of smart people to work with. And the pay is great.

ConsCounts...the PTO loves to quantify production. This is accomplished by assigning a "count" for certain bits of work (Office Actions). It never ends until retirement. Also, docket management is quantified...don't get behind in your work.

Advice to Senior ManagementDo away with the count system and let front line managers actually manage their employees.

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

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4 people found this helpful  

Unrealistic quotas and isolating work

Patent Examiner (Current Employee)
Alexandria, VA

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

ProsThe job has flexible hours where you need to account for 80 hours every 2 weeks. The job has government benefits, including a 401k-like account (TSP). You can telework from anywhere in the continental US. And depending on your drive, current economics, and Congressional budgets, there is Law school reimbursment.

ConsThe job is very solitary for some. The production quotas where created in 1976, when some modern technologies where in their infancy. The job duties are more legal than scientific or technical.

Advice to Senior ManagementMake the job more of a team effort.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Awesome!

Patent Examiner (Current Employee)
Alexandria, VA

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

ProsIt is very flexible, and relaxed.

ConsSometimes it is too flexible, and relaxed.

Advice to Senior ManagementN/A.

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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Loved working at the USPTO

Patent Examiner (Former Employee)
Alexandria, VA

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

ProsFreedom, schedule, people, training, salary

ConsHonestly I can't think of anything. Maybe for some people the work can get routine. It never did for me. Some people think the workload is heavy.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep it up!

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  

Contractor beware

Computer (Former Employee)
Alexandria, VA

I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office as a contractor for more than a year

ProsYou are allowed to sit inside and sometimes chair is not broken You have long table to share in a dark room. You are allowed to have lunch and use restroom as long as it doesn't interfere with your duties & meetings.

ConsNo work-life balance. Employees are people, but we are slaves and have no free desires. NOT working mother friendly. Meeting often schedule from 5:30-6:30 pm at last minute. Not urgent too. Very angry if contractors taking off day to have sick child. Must bring own pens, notepads, and anything else to work; these pencil are for 'employee" not "contractor". You don't deserve.

 Many fail project should tell you something.- atmosphere is great nervousness and disconent. People leave for other jobs very fast, or they forced out. If you come here, little chance to succeed. Mostly to be mis-treated. Not a good place.

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat contractor like human being. Not so angry all time too.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great learning experience and a wonderful government job.

Patent Examiner (Former Employee)
Alexandria, VA

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

Prosflexible hours and fantastic working environment. get to see the cutting edge technology.

Consbe prepared to read through hundreds of patents daily.

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

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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 92 reviews posted anonymously by US Patent and Trademark Office employees.