US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews | Glassdoor

US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews

Updated May 12, 2017
370 reviews

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370 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Meeting production requirements on a bi-weekly schedule may be difficult at times (in 21 reviews)

  • Not being able to allow cases on top of multiple returns by your supervisor can make it impossible to meet production which leads to termination (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Good Place to work if your SPE is a good manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    After passing the Patent Law Exam, work at home is available. Communication with management and peers facilitated by the latest conferencing products. All examining work is through proprietary programming. Good bonuses and Rapid advancement to GS14.

    Cons

    Lots of egotistical primary examiners and SPEs. My SPE trainer did not believe that anyone should be hired as a GS9 and strove to "weed out" the GS9s from his class. Deadlines and production on a bi-week basis. Training is moderately effective.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to manage and empower rather than judge and be unavailable or unwilling to see ALL sides of an issue. The empowerment was preached but not practiced by the succession of SPEs over my Art Unit.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Patent Examiner"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    Work from home after 2 years on campus; flextime

    Cons

    Meeting production (quota) on a bi-weekly schedule is difficult sometimes


  3. Helpful (12)

    "Worst employer ever"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office full-time

    Pros

    Not sure if there are any.

    Cons

    Assembly line type work with assembly type culture. At least for your first few years, you are not treated as a human being; there is no trust of your integrity or valuing of your intelligence. There is constant monitoring of your presence with Lync. Constant threats of firing you for not meeting production.

    Offices have no cell phone service or wifi and they don't allow you to forward your personal calls to your desk phone or stream music on your work computer.

    Since the supervisors are all on the east coast, they most likely will require you to come in early (6am - 8am) even though the PTO advertise a flexible work schedule.

    Even when people resign, they threaten to withhold your pay unless you "keep up your production".

    10% of the junior examiners resign from this office every 2 months. This should tell you how this employer is compared to other employers in the area.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Great Job In Theory"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Detroit, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    They allow you to be very flexible with your work schedule.
    Good experience to see prosecution from the USPTO's perspective, will greatly help when going back into private practice.
    If you can stick it out for 5+ years, it will look great on a resume.

    Cons

    The demands placed on the examiners makes it VERY difficult to hit your numbers. Not given enough time, and find myself having to work a significant amount of voluntary OT.

    Advice to Management

    Reevaluate the Balance Disposal numbers, particularly is the older Art Units


  6. "DESKTOP SUPPORT"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Tier II DESKTOP SUPPORT SPECIALIST in Hyattsville, MD
    Former Employee - Tier II DESKTOP SUPPORT SPECIALIST in Hyattsville, MD

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to work friendly team members

    Cons

    great place to work we cover over 6 buildings


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Employee engagement is a priority"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Senior leadership from the Director to the heads of the business units are sincerely focused on ensuring the USPTO is one of the best places to work in the federal government, by engaging with and listening to employees, and acting on feedback.

    Cons

    The location is in a relatively sleepy part of Alexandria, VA, to the west and south of Old Town, with few restaurants or other diversions.


  8. "fair and great benefits"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    flexible schedule, merit dependent bonuses, truly an equal opportunity employer unlike many companies who allege they are, merit-based non-competitive annual promotions or step increases, benefits are great, have a patent examiners union which works with management to make for "fair" working conditions.

    Cons

    constant pressure to make production (application quota), so you must be extremely disciplined.

    Advice to Management

    try to examine cases under the same condituons that examiners currently do before making policy changes... perspective is key.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Patent Examiner"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in North Potomac, MD
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in North Potomac, MD

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

    Pros

    flexible working hours, plenty of opportunities to change career if qualified.

    Cons

    health insurance is not comparable with private industries, promoting supervisors to none related arts, with none corresponding examining experience.


  10. "Software Quality Assurance Test Engineer, Senior"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Quality Assurance Test Engineer in Woodbridge, VA
    Former Employee - Software Quality Assurance Test Engineer in Woodbridge, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    it's a nice place to work at

    Cons

    don't have any cons to say


  11. Helpful (5)

    "Agency under IG investigation for good reason"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule.

    Not anything else but the system required a minimum input.

    Cons

    Not a team environment. Not an engineering position (clerical/legal). Supervisors are incompetent. Union is a joke.

    Not a public service position where you actually help the public -- you are required to reject viable innovative concept applications and allow ridiculously verbose foreign language machine translated applications -- you do what your supervisor or whoever signs your legal report says -- many times they do not have time to review so it is an extreme disservice to the American (and foreign) public inventors.

    Government benefits are worse than most good private company benefits.

    Very stressful if you come from any ethically responsible organization (especially regulatory) -- either public or private.

    This agency is under internal (IG) investigation for good reason -- the investigative reasons that make the press are only the tip of the iceberg.

    Advice to Management

    I hope the IG investigation is able to provide you with helpful input so you can make this a public service organization that applies ethical principles to promote innovation.


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