US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews | Glassdoor

US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews

Updated December 11, 2017
407 reviews

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407 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Interesting work and a very good group of people to work with; excellent benefits with an amazing work/life balance; very good work from home program (in 65 reviews)

  • Flexible work schedule is a pro (in 48 reviews)

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)

  • Lots of stress to meet production (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Patent Examiner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time

    Pros

    Flexible schedule and lots of freedom.

    Cons

    Production system. Lots of stress to meet production

    Advice to Management

    re-do production system to get more examining hours.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Flexible Production Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible schedule

    Working from home (huge huge HUGE bonus). You can choose your own work time within reason.

    Little co-worker interaction. You can work without having to be bothered by others for the most part.

    Great benefits. Health, Vision, Dental, you know the drill.

    Decent amount of leave time, especially if you stay a few years.

    If you are good at the job you can quickly advance in GS level.

    Cons

    Production system can be repetitive and boring.

    People with poor time management will find it's very easy to fall behind and not be able to catch up.

    Your ability to do the job is heavily influenced by your SPE (supervisor) and how much they feel like being cruel, overly critical, or unyielding. While the majority of SPEs are helpful, not all are, so it's luck-of-the-draw on that.

    People who crave "water cooler talk" will struggle with this job as it's production oriented and requires little interaction with other people. My advice to those people is find friends outside of work or join any of the many and varied clubs the PTO has.

    Some people never will take to the job, whether the time and production or just they can't write an action to save their life. Sadly it seems you can't really know if someone can do it til they try.

    Old guard examiners/SPEs put too much weight in seniority. They will absolutely allow a newer examiner to fail and be fired/quit if it means a near-retirement primary/SPE can have an easier time.

    Advice to Management

    Revise BD times to be more in line with updated technology. Keep in mind that examiners now search significantly more prior art than examiner's did before computers.

  3. "Patent examiner"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Starts out well the first year or two until all the cases keep coming back amended and more complicated with a lot of arguments with the attorneys.

    Cons

    Like going to the casino the house always wins. Your SPE will make or break you. All the management needs a complete ovrerhall. Work/life balance is a lie. SPE doesn't follow the Union agreement. All your work is subjective, one person will says the work is good while another will say it's not. They also do not follow the law when it comes to leave, the clock on work will keep ticking and you are still responsible if you take annual leave. They have added additional pieces of work, 101 rejections, but have not changed the amount of work that you need to complete every bi-week. Stay at you're old government office, better that you just have to show up on time and just sit there. -14 years civil service

    Advice to Management

    Follow the law regarding the department of commerce leave policies which is annual leave relieves the employee of their job responsibilities during annual leave. Adjust the required work requirements regarding the new 101 type rejections. Fire the "old boy" SPE network, time for a shakedown. They have no values and just cover for each other like dirty cops. Union needs better negotiating skills.


  4. "Patent Examiner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work - Life concepts, Training academy is great,

    Cons

    Lots of work and sometimes working more than 40 hours a week for free to catch up and meet production

    Advice to Management

    Awesome Job!


  5. "Patent Examiner"

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

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

    Pros

    Job security and fast promotion.

    Cons

    Production system for a biweekly bases. Stressful and long hours.


  6. "Patent Examiner"

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

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time

    Pros

    Flexibility & Diversity are the two main keys about the job

    Cons

    It's not for everyone. Stressful!!!


  7. "Great place to work!"

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

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Teleworking, flexible schedules, good salaries, good management team. Nice offices, work campus. Lots of programs to engage employees and to provide important information such as retirement, financial etc.

    Cons

    Just working for the federal government, those types of concerns. Otherwise, no cons that I see working for the USPTO.

    Advice to Management

    Keep caring for your workers, you are on the right path!

  8. "Patent Examiner"

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

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

    Pros

    FLEXABILITY, high salary for a non-management position, ability to move within USPTO and/or continue education (Law or area of examination).

    Cons

    Stressful, Do not feel like you are contributing to anything important, numbers matter more than people


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Primary Examiner"

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

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

    Pros

    Telework & salary. After that, if you take your job seriously you’re going to have a bad time.

    Cons

    Attorneys constantly stoop to new lows to get a patent. Management cares not about whether the tools work or don’t, bottom line is you’re on the clock for better or for worse. Some upper level managers feel empowered to stifle your career advancement just because it’s Tuesday. Doesn’t matter if you gave them 5 years of outstanding service or not. It’s the Wild West here.

    Advice to Management

    Stop making up unspoken and unwritten rules. You know who you are. The law is above you and your technology center. The amount of apathy and corruption knows no bounds here.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Patent Examiner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Primary Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Primary Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Generous policy for annual leaves and medical leaves.

    Cons

    Positions are heavily Production oriented.


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