Patent Attorney (Law Clerk)

Alexandria, Virginia
Aug 17, 2022
Aug 25, 2022
Full Time

The physical worksite for this position is located in Alexandria, Virginia.This position is telework eligible. The nature and scope of telework opportunities will be subject to the unit's telework policy, any applicable bargaining unit agreements, and supervisory approval.

This position is located in the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB), Office of the Under Secretary & Director (U/DIR), United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). This position is a full-time, temporary appointment, with a one-year term that will typically start around 1 October 2023. The incumbent of this position will be a Patent Attorney serving as a Law Clerk.
This role is the ideal next career step for you if:
  • You want to learn what it is like to assist in adjudicating Inter Partes Review proceedings, Post-Grant Review proceedings, and Derivation proceedings; addressing appeals from adverse decisions of Examiners regarding patent applications, reissue applications, and reexamination requests; conducting interference proceedings; and participating in other projects critical to the Board's mission.
  • You're eager to engage in research and writing to assist the APJs in the disposition of cases from the various jurisdictions of the Board, including assisting in the preparation of decisions on appeal from adverse decisions of Examiners, and decisions in all types of trial cases, including decisions on institution in Inter Partes Review, Post-Grant Review, and Derivation proceedings, declarations of interference, orders, decisions on motions, final written decisions, and judgments.
  • You want to play a key role in reviewing and analyzing appeal briefs, answers, reply briefs, and evidence of record in ex parte appeals and in identifying all relevant factual and legal issues raised by patent applicants, patent owners, and/or third party requesters in route to ultimate adjudication of an ex parte appeal.
  • You want to hone your skills by researching statutes, legislative history, relevant case law, applicable USPTO rules, regulations, standards, and procedures, as needed to analyze issues and points of law for particular matters or germane to the Board's overall mission; preparing written work product including legal memoranda, bench briefs, orders, and decisions and assisting in proofreading orders and decisions, verifying citations, and ensuring procedural requirements; assisting with docket management, scheduling and conducting of conference calls, and scheduling of filing due dates and time periods with the parties; and assisting with other projects critical to the Board's mission.
  • You're passionate about researching and drafting memorandums for special projects and initiatives concerning patent laws, statutes, and USPTO policy at the direction of and under the supervision of the agency's management.


Conditions of Employment

  • Applicants will only be accepted from United States Citizens and Nationals.
  • You must meet the definition of specialized experience.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable ( Suitable for Federal employment.
  • If selected, you may be required to complete a one-year trial period.
  • You must meet all qualification requirements upon the closing date of this announcement.


The USPTO sets minimum qualifications for attorney clerk positions and sets forth these qualifications in each vacancy announcement. These qualifications include: (1) technical skills meeting the education requirements below; and (2) law degree prior to the start date.


To meet minimum eligibility requirements for this position, applicants must :

A. Possess a Bachelor's degree, Master's Degree, or Doctor of Philosophy Degree (referred to as "degree(s)") in a Recognized Technical Subject.

Applicant must establish possession of the necessary scientific and technical training by providing a transcript showing that a degree was awarded in one of the following subjects by an accredited U.S. college or university, or that the equivalent was awarded by a foreign university in one of the following subjects:

1. Engineering (Eng.) Physics 2.Environmental Eng. 3.Gen. Eng. 4.Genetic Eng. 5.Geological Eng. 6.Industrial Eng. 7. Marine Eng. 8. Materials Eng. 9. Mechanical Eng. 10.Metallurgical Eng. 11. Mining Eng. 12.Nuclear Eng. 13. Ocean Eng. 14. Petroleum Eng. 15.Textile Eng. 16. Biology 17. Biochemistry 18. Biological Science 19. Biophysics 20. Botany 21.Computer Science* 22. Electronics Technology 23. Food Technology 24. General Chemistry 25.Genetics 26. Marine Technology 27. Materials Science 28. Microbiology 29. Molecular Biology 30. Neuroscience 31. Organic Chemistry 32. Pharmacology 33. Physics 34. Textile Technology 35. Aerospace Eng. 36. Aeronautical Eng. 37. Agricultural Eng. 38. Bioengineering 39.Biomedical Eng. 40. Ceramic Eng. 41. Chemical Eng. 42. Civil Eng. 43. Computer Eng. 44.Electrical Eng. 45. Electrochemical Eng. 46. Electronics Eng.

*For more information regarding acceptable Computer Science degree visit .

Degrees In Other Subjects: Applicant with a degree in a subject not listed above, such as Pharmacy, Mechanical Technology, or a Computer Science degree from an institution that was not accredited by the CSAC of the CSAB or by the CAC of ABET on or before the date the degree was awarded must establish Applicant possesses the necessary scientific and technical training under either sections B or C below.


B. Possess a Degree in Another Subject other than degree listed in section A.

Applicant must establish possession of scientific and technical training equivalent to that received at an accredited U.S. college or university for a degree in one of the subjects listed in section A. To establish such equivalence, applicant can satisfy one of the following four options, other training, or other education listed below. Applicant must submit the necessary documentation and objective evidence showing satisfaction of one of the options or other means of qualifying.

Option 1: 24 semester hours in physics. Only physics courses for physics majors will be accepted.

Option 2: 32 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following: 8 semester hours in a combination of chemistry and physics, with at least one course including a lab, and 24 semester hours in biology, botany, microbiology, or molecular biology. Only courses for science or engineering majors will be accepted.

Option 3: 30 semester hours in chemistry. Only chemistry courses for chemistry majors will be accepted.

Option 4: 40 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following: 8 semester hours in a combination of chemistry, physics, and/or biology, with at least one course including a lab, and 32 semester hours of chemistry, physics, biology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology, or engineering. Only courses for science or engineering majors will be accepted. For Computer Science, see other "Other Acceptable Course Work".

All acceptable coursework for Options 2 and 4 must be for science or engineering majors.


Applicant relying on practical engineering or scientific experience or who does not qualify undersection A or B above may establish the required technical training by demonstrating applicant has passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test. Applicant attempting to qualify under this section must submit a transcript showing the award of a Bachelor's degree.


D. Provide evidence that applicant has successfully passed the USPTO registration exam.

Evidence includes a copy of the notice stating that you passed the examination from the USPTO.

Please refer to General Schedule Qualification Policy for more information. You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient.

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.

NOTE: Only education and experience acquired before the filing deadline will be considered. Report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Additional information

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of 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. The USPTO will 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.

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 "Moderate".

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 .

Trial Period - If selected, you may be required to complete a one-year trial 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.

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.

USPTO Job Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should request accommodation(s) from the USPTO at .

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).