US Patent and Trademark Office
3.4 of 5 133 reviews
www.uspto.gov Alexandria, VA 5000+ Employees

US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated Jun 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 98 reviews

                             

91% Approve of the CEO

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Teresa Stanek Rea

(11 ratings)

60% of employees recommend this company to a friend
98 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Loved working at the USPTO

    Patent Examiner (Former Employee)
    Alexandria, VA

    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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    2 people found this helpful  

    Contractor beware

    Computer (Former Employee)
    Alexandria, VA

    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

    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

    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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    5 people found this helpful  

    This job is perfect for those who are naturally meticulous.

    Primary Patent Examiner (Current Employee)
    Alexandria, VA

    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 Senior ManagementThe 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.

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

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    Great benefits, including flexible schedule. But stressful.

    Patent Examiner (Current Employee)
    Alexandria, VA

    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

    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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    1 person found this helpful  

    Work Experince

    Patent Examiner (Former Employee)
    Alexandria, VA

    Prospotential to grow quickly both level wise and financially

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

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire people and keep them.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Good place to work if you have a family

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Alexandria, VA

    ProsGood work life balance
    Good for parents
    Laid-back environment

    ConsLeadership isn't top notch. Promotion opportunities seem political

    Advice to Senior ManagementTap in to your talent more

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    PTO Attorneys

    Examining Attorney (Current Employee)
    Alexandria, VA

    ProsWork from home full time after 2 years of employment; work from anywhere in the continental US full time after working from home for a period (maintaining a rating of at least "fully successful" required for both).

    ConsProduction, production, production... The production requirements (equivalent to law firm billables) are as demanding as billing at a large firm -- only you don't get the large firm compensation for it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAdjust production requirements so that a rating of "outstanding" is attainable within an 80 hour pay-period. Unpaid OT should not be required to achieve rating goals.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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