US Patent and Trademark Office Reviews in Washington, DC | Glassdoor

US Patent and Trademark Office Washington DC Reviews

Updated April 23, 2017
257 reviews

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Washington, DC Area

3.1
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Michelle Lee
20 Ratings

257 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 (1)

    "Good place to work"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule, supportive management

    Cons

    Sometimes unpaid overtime is needed to meet production requirements


  2. "Primary examiner is a very independent position."

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

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

    Pros

    New technology.
    Good compensation.
    Flexible hours.
    Good working environment.

    Cons

    Lonely job without much interaction with other employees.
    Big dependency on the supervisor for first four years.
    The examiner is a critic not a creator.
    Production/quota system can be a problem for some examiners.

    Advice to Management

    Streamline numerous initiatives and clarify the rules for examination.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Casual Dismissal"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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


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  5. "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
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible Hours and Pay. Not strict on dress code. Teleworking programs. Lots of feedback to receive help.

    Cons

    Quota system. Working for free from time to time. Job gets redundant, and dry. No feel of job satisfaction after the week is over.

    Advice to Management

    provide constructive criticism on returned cases.


  6. "Patent Examiner"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  7. Helpful (2)

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

    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
    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


  8. "Great quality of life job"

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

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

    Pros

    Insanely good flexibility and hours, great working atmosphere, no surprises, absolute job security, and solid money. You can work from home anywhere in the US and you can work part-time if desired. Once you achieve signatory authority, you'd be hard pressed to find a much better job for overall freedom and quality of life.

    Cons

    Very little social interaction, work can sometimes be monotonous, achieving production can be stressful, and the process for achieving signatory authority is stressful and frustrating.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Outdated Organization"

    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
    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


  10. "Technical Writer & Editor"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Writer/Editor in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Technical Writer/Editor in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great work environment. Plenty of room for opportunity and learning. Great Benefits.

    Cons

    Not really many cons to working here.


  11. "Patent Examiner Basics"

    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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Once you are fully trained and up to speed, you are able to work on challenging materials with little micro-managing.

    Cons

    People sometimes thinks lesser of you or talk down to you as a government employee.

    Advice to Management

    Don't let minor public issues drastically change office practices.


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