US Patent and Trademark Office

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US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews in Virginia

Updated August 26, 2014
Updated August 26, 2014
152 Reviews

3.8
152 Reviews
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Teresa Stanek Rea
14 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • it's good, great flexibility, work from home, freedom to sign own work (in 25 reviews)

  • flexible work schedule allows for family friendly atmosphere, working from home is great (in 17 reviews)


Cons
  • A good supervisor makes your life easy, but a micro-managing supervisor can make it more difficult to meet production requirements on time (in 10 reviews)

  • I have used the term "intellectual sweatshop" which gives a vivid idea of the production requirements they expect from you (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

115 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Loved working at the USPTO

    • 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 for less than a year

    Pros

    Freedom, schedule, people, training, salary

    Cons

    Honestly 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 ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good place to work if you don't mind not doing real 'engineering'

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Extern  in  Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Extern in 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Contractor beware

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

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

    Pros

    You 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.

    Cons

    No 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 ManagementAdvice

    Treat contractor like human being. Not so angry all time too.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great learning experience and a wonderful government job.

    • 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 as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

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

    Cons

    be prepared to read through hundreds of patents daily.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    A very different type of job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Junior Patent Examiner  in  Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Junior Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA

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

    Pros

    Very 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.

    Cons

    Very 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 ManagementAdvice

    Give 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    This job is perfect for those who are naturally meticulous.

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

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

    Pros

    -Work whenever you want from anywhere in the US
    -The pay
    -Freedom to manage all of your own work (as a Primary)
    -Easy to do 40 hours of work per week in less than 25 hours per week (its all about being meticulous)
    -The pay
    -Your own window office (as a Primary)
    -Overtime and bonus pay

    Cons

    -Repetitive and boring at times
    -You really have to love your technology area or your life will become extremely miserable
    -Pesky lawyers
    -The job can suck for junior examiners (depends on who your SPE is trying to impress)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The only way to improve the PTO is by making SPE's examine patent applications at least part time. Most SPE's get by without reading a word of a claim for months on end.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great benefits, including flexible schedule. But stressful.

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Flexible schedule. Good pay with opportunity to increase salary rapidly. Great atmosphere. Relaxed dress code. Overtime usually available. Lots of resources to help with job.

    Cons

    Your 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 ManagementAdvice

    Ensure 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    overall good experience

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

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

    Pros

    flexible- Can decide your work hours. There is more emphasis on your work productivity.

    Cons

    stressful - 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 ManagementAdvice

    Help 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Work Experince

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    potential to grow quickly both level wise and financially

    Cons

    a total sweatshop!!! Involuntary overtime is a must to survive the year of probation - a year of hell

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire people and keep them.

    Doesn't Recommend

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