Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

Does a Career at the USPTO Speak to You?

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on February 17, 2010


The USPTO has recently launched a targeted effort to recruit Examiners.  Per this announcement at the USPTO:

Work for the largest Intellectual Property Rights Firm in the United States – United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  Discover an exciting career with the USPTO as a Patent Examiner! A career as a Patent Examiner is filled with endless possibilities, where you can be a part of something that makes a difference for the country and the world.  It is a career that allows you to continue to contribute to a strong global economy and to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit for the 21st century.

A Patent Examiner reviews patent applications to determine if they comply with Federal law and regulations, in addition to scientific principle.  The incumbent would be responsible for scrutinizing patent applications, determining the scope of protection claimed by the inventor, researching relevant technologies, and communicating findings and decisions to patent practitioners and/or inventors.  The job is generally visually demanding in nature and almost all of a Patent Examiner’s work is performed using a computer.  The Patent Examiner is required to conduct an extensive review of a large body of technical information which regularly includes detailed drawings as represented in electrical schematic, 3-dimensional mechanical portrayed drawings or chemical manufacturing process diagrams.  The incumbent reviews patent applications and writes office actions, in a production oriented environment that requires the analytical ability to efficiently digest large volumes of scientific information and to use this in making timely decisions regarding the patentability of an application. 

The Patent Examiner position is located in the Patent Examining Corps of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, Virginia.

A letter (link here) has also recently been mailed to many patent attorneys and agents, recruiting them to join the Examiner corps.  The letter is signed by Director Kappos.  The text of the letter also follows, for the convenience of our readers.

Deputy Under Secretary Sharon Barner and I wanted to contact you directly to let you know about an exciting opportunity for a career as a USPTO patent examiner. The USPTO has recently announced a targeted hiring initiative for experienced IP professionals. We ask that you consider applying for these openings at the USPTO to become a patent examiner.

A career as a patent examiner is both challenging and rewarding. As you consider this opportunity, you should know that USPTO management has undertaken a myriad of initiatives to make the USPTO an outstanding professional work environment. In addition, our modern campus in Alexandria, Virginia, has world-class facilities, including a gym, child-care center, excellent dining and recreational activities nearby. We also have extensive Hoteling programs, where qualified examiners may telework from home.

If you are interested in being considered as a patent examiner, we encourage you to apply to the open USPTO vacancy announcement at Or if you know someone who is interested, please let them know about our open opportunities. If you have questions, please call (800) 786-9757, or send an e-mail to

We hope that you will give serious consideration to applying for our open vacancies. There has never been a more important or promising time to work at the USPTO.

2 Responses

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  1. Jagan N. Thupari said, on July 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Please forward information on patent examiner vacancy. Thank you.
    JNT/July 08:2010

  2. 6's mom said, on July 9, 2010 at 10:45 am

    If you have questions, please call (800) 786-9757, or send an e-mail to

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