Director of the Office of Patent Quality Assurance
This position is located in the Office of the Associate Commissioner for Patent Quality (ACPQ). The ACPQ serves as a key advisor to the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Quality (DCPQ), Commissioner for Patents, and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.
This position serves as the Director of the Office of Patent Quality Assurance (OPQA), Office of the ACPQ. The Director oversees a professional staff of Review Quality Assurance Specialists (RQAS), Supervisory Quality Assurance Specialists (SQAS), statisticians, program analysts, administrative staff and Technical Support Staff Quality Assurance Specialists. The RQAS and SQAS staff consists of experienced Primary Patent Examiners and former Supervisory Patent Examiners who have been delegated as generalists knowledgeable in a broad scope of art and examination activities due to demonstrated capacities superior to most experienced examiners.
Experience must have been at a sufficiently high level of difficulty to clearly show that the candidate possesses the required professional and technical qualifications and executive core 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.
You must be a U.S. citizen to qualify for this position. You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position. You may be required to serve on a one year probationary period. You will be required to submit a Financial Disclosure Report (SF-278) upon appointment.
Public Trust - Background Investigation
The Director of OPQA provides strategic vision, guidance, and direction to ensure that OPQA provides the monitoring, assessment, and recommendations necessary to instill confidence in patent examination work products among internal and external stakeholders. The Director makes managerial and technical decisions required for successful program development, administration, and management. The Director of OPQA performs the following duties:
- Provides oversight and managerial control of OPQA’s ISO 9001:2008-certified Quality Management System
- Supervises Supervisory Review Quality Assurance Specialists (SRQAS) who oversee review quality assurance specialists (RQAS) in their performance of work product reviews and provide staff assistance on special projects or studies as may be assigned by the Director of OPQA, the ACPQ, DCPQ, the Commissioner for Patents, and other business units
- Supervises statisticians and program analyst staff who administer surveys, conduct analyses, and generate reports on quality-related items
- Oversees work product review error resolution process and represents OPQA position in discussions of errors with Technology Center Directors
- Leads ad-hoc teams and studies assembled to explore quality-related impacts of USPTO policies and programs
- Assists in the development and recommendation of data-driven quality initiatives, including training, to be applied to patent examining corps
- Coordinates and recommends enhancements/updates to data collection tools such as IT systems, review forms and surveys
- Identifies and secures resources necessary to fulfill quality assurance activities and monitors services conducted by non-OPQA entities (contractors)
- Coordinates and oversees OPQA resources being used by Technology Centers for purposes of meeting TC-specific quality initiatives
- Assists the public with patent examination quality questions
- Assists in efforts to harmonize patent quality metrics and other international matters
- Oversees technical support staff quality review program
- Provides briefings to ACPQ, DCPQ, Commissioner for Patents, and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO on current examination quality metrics
- Provides briefings to internal/external stakeholders and foreign patent offices on topics related to quality measurement, ISO 9001 quality management systems, and quality assurance techniques
- Stays abreast of changes to patent rules and policy changes and recommends modifications in measurement/tracking protocols to properly evaluate quality impacts of any such changes in policy or rules
- Represents the USPTO and explains USPTO quality policies and procedures in letters, phone calls, lectures and other contacts with members of the public and the patent bar