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

US Patent and Trademark Office Washington DC Reviews

Updated September 23, 2016
69 reviews

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Washington, DC Area

4.0
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Michelle Lee
2 Ratings

69 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Meeting production requirements on a bi-weekly schedule may be difficult at times (in 26 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 19 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "clear expectations"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Patent Examiner in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    The job is production-based, so expectations are very clear. Reports are available constantly, so there are no surprises at review time. The telework program is a nice benefit.

    Cons

    It can be hard to be "the bad guy" all the time, and to have an adversarial relationship with applicants. The agency is very reactive, and seems to constantly have some new program or training, or requirement every few months. We've recently gotten a fair bit of bad press, which is a blow to morale. Some people need more management/guidance than what is available. For attorneys, the pay scale can be frustrating if compared to practice.

    Advice to Management

    Adjust the BD (production requirement, "quota") to accurately reflect the current state of the art. Do more "good PR" to educate people about how we work, and how much we accomplish with limited resources.


  2. "Summer Intern"

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

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

    Pros

    This a very friendly and fun place to intern. Everyone inner was super nice and helpful and always willing to take some time and discuss what you wanted and how to tailor the internship to your goals.

    Cons

    Sometimes the work could be a little slow especially if you end up with a department you are not familiar with. There is also a lot you need to learn quick (acronymns, different employee positions/duties, etc).

    Advice to Management

    Management could do a better job of being available. It can sometimes take a while to get to meet and talk to some of the upper level employees.


  3. "Patent Examiner Extern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner Intern in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Patent Examiner Intern in Fairfax, VA

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

    Pros

    Lots of freedom to do your own work at your own pace. You also work with a lot of nice people who are willing to help you

    Cons

    The externship is unpaid and the training program is too short for externs.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Jr Examiner"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    Flexible schedule 5:30 am- 10 pm
    Possibility of overtime and bonuses
    Telework and work from home options are available after one year of work
    Job details ar available

    Cons

    Meeting production is tricky and can be stressful. Unfortunately how successful or unsuccessful in this job is dependent upon who signs off on your work.


  6. 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.


  7. "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.


  8. "Great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Business Intelligence Architect in Alexandria, VA
    Former Contractor - Business Intelligence Architect in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at US Patent and Trademark Office as a contractor (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A lot of IT projects

    Cons

    Some of the decision making is too bureaucratic


  9. "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


  10. "PEEP - good for making connections inside the PTO"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Extern in Alexandria, VA
    Former Intern - Extern in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good place to learn how to be an examiner without the stress. Perfect for making connections on the inside. Exposure to abbreviated patent training academy, prior art searching, and drafting office actions.

    Cons

    The spring externship is not as structured as the summer externship. You will not learn everything in the short amount of time.

    Advice to Management

    If possible, management should assign externs to a primary examiner who is on location and not hoteling. The accessibility would enhance the experience.


  11. "sweet"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Alexandria, VA
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in Alexandria, VA

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

    Pros

    pretty cool stuff
    nice ppl
    get a long cool
    cool inventions
    flexible

    Cons

    metro
    everyone is to themselves
    not really interacting a lot



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