US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews in Virginia | Glassdoor

US Patent and Trademark Office Virginia Reviews

Updated December 10, 2017
48 reviews

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Virginia

3.0
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Michelle Lee
4 Ratings

48 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 66 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 29 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "Not for everyone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    Hoteling, Telework, Flexibility, Promotions are based on performance and is not competitive with others, retirement benefits -- but sometimes i feel the PROS are not worth the stress.

    Cons

    BORING because it is isolated work with rarely any interaction even in the hallway. Highly stressful work to beat the "quota". Crap SPES . The newly implemented badge-in badge-out micromanager tool/leash. they started to track every minute of your day.

    Advice to Management

    Some SPES really need to be weeded out. You lose qualified and competent examiners because of the crap SPES you always get complaints about but do nothing about. Stop treating us like we are children with the new record sharing platform tool...dumb idea really. We put in a lot of voluntary overtime each biweek, but you want to track us because we took 15 minutes too long on our break?


  2. Helpful (5)

    "10 year 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 10 years)

    Pros

    flexible schedule, ability to telework full time via hotelling program (PHP), lots of flexible options.

    Cons

    With each new commissioner, big court decision, or management change the culture and functioning of the office changes. This career is all about your manager (SPE). The mechanics of this job are easy enough to grasp. The reviewing of your work is quite subjective. If you change supervisors frequently, what got you great ratings with one supervisor will get you errors or flags with a new supervisor. When court decisions come out, the office changes examination practices. You will get brief vague training that you will then be responsible for interpreting the cryptic examples. Failure to do so to the liking of your supervisor will get you an error. Disagree with your SPE or make them angry, you will start getting errors for work that was previously satisfactory. The office seems to be getting rid of older examiners in favor of new hires. Its an unwritten unspoken rule. Michelle Lee was not helpful to the culture of the Office. Government work is not a private corporation or law firm. There are no billable hours.

    Advice to Management

    Make clear changes and interpretations for examination. For 101, Alice, DP, Bilski, etc. Two hours of a powerpoint training or one hour of broad, vague examples that are no where near the complexity of what we deal with on a regular basis as examiners is not acceptable. How can we be expected to adapt to an entirely different way of examining for years after four hours of training. Have realistic expectations.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Casual Dismissal"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Project Manager in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - IT Project Manager in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Vet friendly, good people to work with

    Cons

    Supervisors are not that component or good mentors

    Advice to Management

    trail of corrective action and appraisals prior to unilateral dismissal


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Patent Examiner"

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

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

    Pros

    Freedom from Commuting (if you hotel it). Job security - if you can hack it. A nice, regular, steady income that you can plan around. Job benefits the like of which the private sector seldom offers these days.

    Cons

    If you don't get along well with your immediate supervisor, and for any reason, you are hosed. Also, the job is both stressful at the higher grades and often quite boring. It literally never changes month to month or year to year, save that your workflow must increase.

    Advice to Management

    Rethink the number of hours allotted in each art. The present system is archaic.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "patent examiner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

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

    Pros

    Flexible work schedules and ability to work from home anywhere in the country.

    Cons

    Production based environment that is outdated. Isolating work. Not much opportunity to grow. Doesn't prepare for other opportunities outside IP.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Immediate Supervisor means everything ...which is well known in management to have negative consequences for the organiz"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Junior Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Junior Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I M M E D I A T E S U P E R V I S O R can make your life great......

    Cons

    I M M E D I A T E S U P E R V I S O R can completely destroy you entire life. They are scientists/engineers who know little if anything about management

    Advice to Management

    Unfair how one particular supervisor can destroy your life, but otherwise this is a very good job.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Golden Handcuffs"

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible

    Great Initial Experience

    Good pay with secure job

    Cons

    Promotions don't change role/responsibility. You just do more of the same work.

    Introverts dream job, extroverts nightmare since there is very little interaction with colleagues or clients.

    Experience is very niche and combined with flexibility and pay makes it difficult to leave and transition to a new career with more growth.

  8. Helpful (13)

    "Great benefits; not so much social interaction"

    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

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

    Pros

    Great flexibility. I was able to take the days I wanted off. Nice people.

    Cons

    My SPE was very nice. He tried to be helpful, but it wasn't the concrete help I really needed to work on office actions (document explaining to patent applicants whether this is or isn't patentable). He would tell me that the patent application isn't original so there's definitely prior art out there. And I would search and search endlessly trying to find that art. I would go back and tell him that I wasn't able to find anything good, but he would reassure me that there was and I need to search harder. Days I've spent digging through the database but end up with nothing. I felt the job wasn't for me so I left the job after 10 months. One day out of curiosity, I've looked up my old applications on Google Patents to see if they became patents. And a lot of them did with the same claims intact. My primary examiner was the one that allowed the applications. So that was pretty frustrating being told that they were not patents when they ended up being so. I believe having a good SPE and a good primary is key to this job.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "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
    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


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Meet your numbers"

    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

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

    Pros

    Good pay; you are in charge of your own promotions; flexible schedule; beautiful campus; telework opportunities; generally competent management; overtime opportunity

    Cons

    Production requirements can be bruising in some arts; inconsistent interpretation of rules and laws makes confidently learning the job challenging in some cases; boring unless you are assigned to and art you are passionate about

    Advice to Management

    Continually maintain and improve IT systems and classification to enable efficiency rather than inhibiting it.


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