US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews | Glassdoor

US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews

Updated September 12, 2017
56 reviews

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Michelle Lee
7 Ratings

56 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Two strong issues stand out: your ability to succeed it based on your own merits but also is seated in your ability to meet production requirements (in 28 reviews)

  • Might need to sacrifice some extra time to meet production goals (just like most corporate positions) (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Former Patent Examiner, hoteler"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Decent salary, great health insurance benefits

    Cons

    While you are on maternity leave, your amended docket of cases continues to accumulate. There is no getting over that backlog when it comes to production expectancies, especially if you have any other emergency follow having a baby that requires you to take time off of work. You are a hamster in a wheel expected to produce, produce, produce! There is zero job satisfaction.

    Advice to Management

    Transfer cases to other examiners when longer periods of leave are taken.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Good starter experience but not for the long term"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great experience to start
    Very interesting work

    Cons

    Work gets tedious
    Very little interaction
    Not the right fit for extroverted people
    Very little growth unless you want to stay in the patent field.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Don't let the talk of flexibility obscure the negatives here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexible Schedule and ability to work from home

    Cons

    Solo work--I'm on campus and find that there are days where I don't see a single person other than the security guards and people in the elevators. All doors on my floor are permanently shut. Everyone has their own counts to get done so its hard to get assistance.
    SPEs are more like paper pushers than managers. I talk to my SPE on average once a month. Shes not around and has made it clear shes not interested in helping unless the case is about to be an issue for her (i.e. its an appeal).
    There is no ladder to climb. Getting an examiner's job is easy...getting out, impossible.

    Advice to Management

    Restructure the AU / TC system so that there are more opportunities for supervisors and actually have SPEs involved in examination. Paying a GS-15 to approve time-sheets is a waste of money


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Used to be a good place to work but going downhill fast..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Job security, ability to work remotely, challenging work that is interesting, pay is good (depends somewhat on area your in), retirement system is pretty good (is mix of half pension system and half 401k which is good balance of risk)

    Cons

    IT systems are horrific, and your still expected to get things done even if system isn't working... Your life depends on your boss and you have no control over who that is and are powerless to change if they aren't a good fit... expectations are ridiculously high on the amount of work you are supposed to get done (in certain # of hours), the hours have stayed they same but they have added so much more stuff your supposed to do. Even interesting work starts to get tedious but they don't allow you to switch it up much

    Advice to Management

    Need to fix IT issues! Also Inconsistency is a huge problem, some examiners following rules/expectations much more than others which isn't fair since the time is the same, particularly an issue with primaries.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Outdated Organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Quality of life - schedule flexibility, benefits, etc
    Hotelling program
    Self-sufficient work (if you have a supervisor that allows you to be)

    Cons

    Job is HIGHLY dependent on your supervisor. If you don't happen to see eye-to-eye with him/her, you will struggle. Additionally, you have little control of who your supervisor is and how you may interact with them
    Hardly room for any career growth - complacency may settle in. Exit options are extremely limited after a few years
    Boring, monotonous work. Outdated and sometimes difficult production system turns you into a paper pusher - often leading to reduced quality of examination

    Advice to Management

    SPEs could be picked more carefully - some have extremely limited management or personal skills


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Patent Office Too Demanding"

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

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time

    Pros

    Bonuses and prestige. Higher GS Scale

    Cons

    I had a boss change from someone with a background not near to the art office. He set me back a month and management said mistakes were made. Forced me to work 12 hour days 7 days a week. No one can live like that


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Toxic CIO"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time

    Pros

    A lot of good people who try hard to do what's right

    Cons

    Toxic leadership, especially in CIO

    Advice to Management

    Get a CIO who truly believes in people instead of only himself

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Love or Hate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Salary is amazing since living in VA, DC or MD could be really expensive. Pension is good. TSP is alright since they only match 5%. Health Benefits are not that great since it is expensive for the area. Flexible hours, telework and hoteling available after reaching GS-9 for TW and GS-12 for hoteling.

    Cons

    Make sure that you like the job since after 3 or more years it is going to be really hard to find a job in the private sector or moving to a different agency. You will have to take a crazy pay-cut and start from zero somewhere else. Production could be tedious and hard depending on your supervisor. You have people that don't understand the job that well but they sign their own stuff so nobody can say anything about it. No technical skills will be added to your resume other than dealing with attorneys and IP.

    Advice to Management

    Standarization for all the managers


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Patent Examiner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time

    Pros

    Flexible schedule. Workload is reasonable if you have a helpful supervisor, which is very unlikely these days.

    Cons

    Job highly depends on your supervisor. Luckily I got a new supervisor and now I'm able to produce 2 times more with the new supervisor with same or less effort.

    Advice to Management

    If an examiner has a hard time meeting the production, you have to acknowledge that examiner's supervisor might be the cause.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Patent Examiner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule
    Work on your own

    Cons

    production
    pure disregard for law to make production


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