Patent and Trademark Office Senior Level Patent Attorney in Alexandria, Virginia
Summary This position is located in the Office of the Commissioner for Patents. The incumbent serves as the Editor of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) which is the principal guide for patent personnel on patent practices and procedures in the USPTO, and which benefits the patent bar, the public, and the Federal courts. The Senior Level Patent Attorney reports to the Assistant Commissioner for Patents- Legal (ACPL), in the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patents-Legal (DCPL). Responsibilities The physical worksite for this position is located in Alexandria, VA. However, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is currently under a maximum telework posture due to the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, this position is currently under a 100 percent telework schedule. The position's telework schedule will likely change in the future when USPTO moves away from its maximum telework posture. At that time, the incumbent may be expected to report to the physical work site in accordance with the updated status requirements of their supervisor. The nature and scope of future telework opportunities will be subject to the unit's telework policy, any applicable bargaining unit agreements, and supervisory approval. To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of the ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a Federal job announcement includes the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to E.O. 14043, that requirement does not currently apply. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine. The Senior Level Patent Attorney exercises a thorough knowledge of patent laws, examination guidelines and rules of practice and examining procedures; possesses an intimate knowledge of the views and goals of the DCPL and ACPL, and utilizes a good understanding of the total functions of the patent operations and administrative offices of the USPTO. The Senior Level Patent Attorney also performs the following duties: Ensures that revised policies and procedures are appropriately disseminated to USPTO personnel through revisions to the MPEP, Federal Register or Official Gazette notices, or other official announcements. Captures in precise terms and with clarity every detail of the intent of a policy change -one which perhaps affects differently each of the various technological disciplines found within the Patent Examining Corps and styling it for publication as an authoritative document, calling for appreciable breadth of technical knowledge, a thorough grounding in all facets of patent law and practice. Prepares statements for approval, as needed, of official USPTO practice in situations where the law is undecided, unclear, or ambiguous and has resulted in a diversity of opinion as to its application and in the development of inconsistent practices within the USPTO. Reviews problem cases, special requests for administrative relief, existing MPEP provisions, etc., and identifies issues on which there is a need for a statement of approved examining practice. Initiates and conducts legal research, develops alternative courses of action and makes recommendations based upon an analysis of alternative proposals in order to determine the consequences which might result in their adoption. Handles inquiries from the public requesting assistance in properly interpreting existing and proposed practices. Aids in the development of regulations to support new patent programs resulting from newly enacted patent legislation, usually under strict time deadlines. Provides staff assistance to the Commissioner for Patents, DCPL and ACPL in the research and development of legal position papers to facilitate solution of various complex patent practice problems as they arise. Serves as a key legal advisor and consultant at patentability conferences that the Commissioner for Patents, DCPL or ACPL conducts. Requirements Conditions of Employment Qualifications To meet the minimum requirements for this position, candidates must demonstrate their experience in their narrative responses to the Professional Technical Qualifications (PTQs) questions and all narrative responses must be fully supported within their resume. *Applicants must use the USA Jobs text boxes to submit their narrative responses to the PTQs. Do not write "see resume" or "see attached documents". Each PTQ has a 10,000-character limit (to include spaces) that must be adhered to. Uploaded documents addressing the PTQs will not be accepted. Experience must have been at a sufficiently high level of difficulty to clearly show that the candidate possesses the required professional/technical qualifications set forth below. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience. Professional Technical Qualifications: Applicants must clearly demonstrate in their application materials that they possess technical attributes in the Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs). Please provide your narrative responses to the Professional Technical Qualification (PTQs) questions - Do not write "see resume" or "see attached document". Uploaded documents addressing the PTQs will not be accepted. Applicants are required to input narrative responses to the Professional Technical Qualifications (PTQs) in the text boxes as prompted by USAJobs. Each PTQ has a 10,000-character limit (to include spaces) that must be adhered to. Applicants must use the USA Jobs text boxes for submitting their PTQs responses. The Professional Technical Qualifications (PTQs) for this position are: Knowledge of patent law, policy, practice and procedure, as well as appreciable breadth of knowledge in scientific and technical fields, both domestically and internationally. Knowledge of the rule making process, examination practice and procedure, examination guidelines, and Official Gazette Notices involving statements of the Office. Knowledge of patent law, procedure and practices as applied to the treatment of requests for administrative relief. Knowledge of legal writing and editing; this includes the ability to effectively prepare persuasive written materials using legal precedent and principles to represent parties in various venues or to clearly convey issues, options, and recommendations. Education The Incumbent must have a scientific or technical degree, or the equivalent. The Incumbent must have a professional legal degree from an accredited law school program. The Incumbent must be an active member of good standing in the bar of a state of the District of Columbia. Additional Information Probationary Period: You will be required to serve a one-year probationary period. If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System. If you are exempt from registration under Selective Service Law, you must provide appropriate proof of exemption. Please visit the Selective Service System website for more information. This is a Non-Bargaining Unit position. This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of 'High Risk'. Background Investigation: If selected for this position, you may be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306), which includes a fingerprint and credit check, to determine your suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. The USPTO participates in E-Verify. For more information on E-Verify, please visit http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1185221678150.shtm. All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choice. More than one selection may be made from this announcement if additional identical vacancies in the same title, series, grade, and unit occur within 90 days from the date the certificate was issued. The Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, requires senior officials in the executive, legislative and judicial branches to file public reports of their finances as well as other interests outside the Government. If selected for this position you will be required to file a Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 278).The OGE 278 is available to the public. The primary purpose of disclosure is to assist agencies in identifying potential conflicts of interest between a filer's official duties and the filer's private financial interests and affiliations. The United States Patent and Trademark Office is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors. If you believe that you have been discriminated against and would like to file an EEO complaint, you must do so within 45 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act. Claims of employment discrimination must be submitted to the attention of the USPTO's Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (571-272-8292).