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Patent Attorney

Company name
U.S Department of Commerce, Office Of The Secretary

Alexandria, VA

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Come work for the USPTO, we have been ranked as one of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been serving the economic interests of America for more than 200 years. We are responsible for granting US intellectual property rights for patents and trademarks. Our efforts have provided inventors exclusive rights over their discoveries. It's an effort that continues to contribute to a strong global economy, to encourage investment in innovation and to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit for the 21st century. The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and has over 12,000 employees, including engineers, scientists, attorneys, analysts, IT specialists, etc. all dedicated to accomplishing the USPTO’s mission, vision, strategic goals and guiding principles. For more information about the USPTO, please visit the

USPTO Careers Website

This position is located in the Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA), United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The incumbent of this position serves as an international and legislative expert in the field of intellectual property protection in the areas of patent, industrial design, and unfair competition law.

A two-year trial period may be required upon selection.


The duties of this position will include, but are not limited to:

Developing policy for the United States Government on matters pertaining to intellectual property that arise in international organizations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperations, the Organization of American States, etc.

Developing legislative proposals in the areas of patent, industrial design and unfair competition related issues.

Conducting thorough studies and analysis of potential international agreements to determine positions for the US Government and USPTO.

Negotiating international agreements with other intellectual property offices.

Representing USPTO at international meetings and diplomatic conferences.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Who May Apply

This job is open to…

Applications will be accepted from all United States Citizens and Nationals.

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

Job family (Series)

1222 Patent Attorney

Similar jobs




Conditions of Employment

You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.

Your resume must demonstrate the job-related KSAs.

You must meet the definition of professional and specialized experience.

You must possess a Law Degree and an active bar membership of any state.

Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.

Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (

Must have an active bar membership of any state.


You must meet the United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements (including specialized experience and/or educational requirements) for the advertised position. You must meet all eligibility and qualifications requirements by the closing date of the job announcement. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. It is available for your review on the

OPM Website

Specialized Experience

is experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the federal service.

Candidates for the


grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower


grade level in the Federal service.

Specialized experience for this position at the


level is defined as experience developing US and International Patent Policy; interacting with foreign and international intellectual property offices and/or organizations; and writing multiple types of legal documents including memorandums, speeches, legal memos, testimonies, legislative proposals, etc.

In addition to the specialized experience described above, applicants for the GS-14 level must have at least three (3) years of *professional law/legal experience.

Legal e

xperience may include patent examination and prosecution


Candidates for the


grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower


grade level in the Federal service.

Specialized experience for this position at the GS-15

level is defined as experience developing US and International Patent Policy; interacting with foreign and international intellectual property offices and/or organizations; and negotiating on behalf of clients or the U.S. government in an international setting, foreign forum or international tribunal.

In addition to the specialized experience described above, applicants for the GS-15 level must have at least four (4) years of *professional law/legal experience.

Legal experience

may include patent examination




*Professional law/legal experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position to be filled. This experience is characterized by breadth and depth of experience in rendering professional legal advice and services with respect to questions, regulations, practices, or other matters failing within the purview of a Federal government agency, private sector, law firm, or other organizations; preparing interpretive and administrative orders, rules, or regulations to give effect to the provisions of governing statutes or other requirements of law; drafting, negotiating, or examining contracts or other legal documents; drafting, preparing formal comments, or making substantive recommendations regarding proposed legislation; editing and preparing for publication statutes enacted by Congress and opinions or decisions of a court, commission, or board; drafting and reviewing decisions for consideration and adoption by an organization or official; conducting investigations to obtain facts; determining questions of law; and studying, analyzing and evaluating legal precedents, to present findings. Legal work is described as complex and difficult and requires a high order of original and creative legal endeavor in balancing conflicting interests, has broad or wide-scope impact on an economy, industry, private or public interests, and may involve directly or indirectly very large sums of money. Work may also involve acting as principal attorney in charge of the preparation and presentation of cases, recommending policies and developing procedures and regulations to implement new or amended legislation, and acting as legal, general, or senior counsel to a major firm or organization.

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.


Must meet the following education requirements: possess both (i) a technical degree in a scientific/engineering discipline from an accredited college or university; and (ii) a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or Master of Laws (L.L.M) degree from an American Bar Association accredited law school.

Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website –

US Department of Education

. Another listing of services that can perform this evaluation is available at the

National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES)

website. You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.

Additional information

Applicants applying for this position must be a United States Citizen.

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 bargaining unit position.

This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of “Secret”.

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 the

Department of Homeland Security Website

Probationary Period- If selected, you may be required to complete a two-year probationary period.

All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choice.

Relocation Expenses are not authorized and will not be paid.

CTAP and ICTAP candidates will be eligible for selection priority if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100. Information about CTAP and ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website at:

. CTAP/ICTAP documentation requirements are listed in the Required Documents section of this announcement.

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.

All application materials become the property of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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 (

) or phone (571-272-8292).

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your eligibility for consideration and qualifications for the position will be determined based upon a review of your detailed resume.

Your resume will be evaluated based on evidence of your ability to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) for this position and possession of any specialized experience. The following are the related knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies:

KSA 1 - Knowledge of domestic and foreign intellectual property laws, in particular laws concerning patents, industrial designs and unfair competition law. Mastery knowledge of international treaties and international organizations having jurisdiction over such intellectual property matters.

KSA 2 - Knowledge of the legislative processes from proposal to enactment, in the House and Senate of the United States Congress and demonstrated ability to: (1) interpret and analyze intellectual property legislative proposals (2) assess the impact on international treaty obligations and (3) perform legal and legislative history or historical research and analysis.

KSA 3 - Skill communicating orally and advising on complex, sensitive or controversial legal, legislative and executive matters in a clear, concise and logical manner.

KSA 4 - Skill communicating in writing on complex, sensitive or controversial matters in a clear, concise and logical manner; and developing legislative proposals, legislation, and policies concerning intellectual property matters with a particular focus on patent, industrial design, and unfair competition law.

Falsifying your background, education, and/or experience is cause for not hiring you

Please note that a complete application is required for consideration. (Please review the “Required Documents” section of this job announcement to see what must be included in a complete application).

To preview questions please

click here

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance


Required Documents

Required Documents

A complete application consists of:

1. A resume or any other written format you choose to describe your job-related qualifications; optional cover letter:

Your resume should indicate your citizenship and should list your educational and work experience including job titles, salary, employment dates, duties and accomplishments, experience and how it relates to the KSAs in the job announcement.

Please Note:

Responses to job questions that are not fully supported by the information in your resume may result in adjustments to your rating. Any experience claimed in a cover letter should be substantiated by information contained in your resume. A Human Resources representative will validate the qualifications of those candidates eligible to be referred to the hiring official.

2. Transcripts

: (for Individual Occupational Requirements and/or Substitution of Education for specialized experience) You


submit copies of your college transcripts for verification of the education requirements. Unofficial copies are acceptable, however, if selected you will be required to furnish official transcripts. It is your responsibility to provide adequate proof that you meet the above educational requirements. Inadequate or illegible information could result in non-qualification and loss of consideration.

3. Bar Membership Documentation:



submit documentation showing that you are an active member of the Bar in Good Standing of any State, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any Territorial Court under the U.S. Constitution. This letter and/or certificate should be

dated within the last six months

of the closing date of this job announcement. If you are unable to obtain this information by the closing date of this announcement, you must contact the HR Specialist listed on this announcement to make other arrangements prior to the closing date of the announcement.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility and qualification requirements for this position may be contacted within 7 business days of the closing date of this announcement to submit follow-up supporting documentation if applicable. Applicants claiming veterans’ preference entitlement who fail to submit supplemental documentation within 5 business days of receiving the request will not lose consideration for this position, however they will not be entitled to special or priority consideration.

Supporting documents

that may be requested of applicants after the closing date of this announcement are:

1. Writing Samples

- You will be asked to submit two writing samples. PLEASE NOTE: You may choose to upload these writing samples as supporting documents during the online application process. Should you choose to do so, you will not be contacted after the close of this announcement for writing samples.

2. Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50)

- For current and/or former Federal employees, your status eligibility and highest permanent grade/step/salary held in the Federal service will be validated with a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.

3. Veterans’ Preference Documentation:

If you are a veteran with preference eligibility, you will be asked to submit a copy of your DD-214. If you are a preference eligible claiming a service connected disability of 10 percent or more, you will be asked to submit documentation (i.e. a letter dated 1991 or later from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from a branch of the Armed Forces) certifying to the veteran’s present receipt of compensation. Veterans must include dates of military service within the automated application process, and submit a copy of each Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. For more information, please visit

Special Appointing Authorities for Veterans

. For excepted service positions, Veterans' Preference does not apply; however, Veteran's will receive positive consideration.


Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) documentation:

Applicants will be asked to submit:

(1) A copy of your specific RIF notice, written notice of your expected separation or other documentation of priority consideration status;

(2) A copy of your latest SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location;

(3) A copy of your last performance appraisal including your rating; and

(4) Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

You can choose


of the following methods to submit Supporting Documents:

1) You can upload your documents when you register or update your information on the Department of Commerce application site which you access through the USAJobs site.


2) You can fax your documents to 571-258-4254 using the system generated fax cover sheet.

Your application and all required documentation must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this job announcement.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from

schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.



A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

Benefits for federal employees

Healthcare insurance

Pay and leave

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement

Federal agencies, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. USPTO job applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should request accommodation(s) from the USPTO at

. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Review our benefits

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

Company info

U.S Department of Commerce, Office Of The Secretary
Website :

Company Profile

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