Attorney Examiner (Administrative Trademark Judge)

Alexandria, Virginia
Jun 13, 2019
Jun 18, 2019
Full Time


The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a progressive organization at the forefront of intellectual property issues around the world, is seeking one or more high performing professionals to join the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board as an Administrative Trademark Judge.

Learn more about this agency


The judges of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) are responsible for hearing and deciding adversary proceedings involving oppositions to applications, petitions to cancel registrations, and concurrent use proceedings; and for hearing and deciding appeals from final refusals by trademark examiners to allow the registration of trademarks. Each appeal and adversary proceeding shall be heard and decided by at least three judges of the TTAB.

Judges of the TTAB:

- Exercise original jurisdiction in inter partes proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office arising under the Federal trademark registration statutes; for example, opposition to an application for registration, consideration of applications to register as lawful concurrent users, and petitions to cancel registrations. In these inter partes proceedings, judges serve in a capacity similar to that of a trial judge and work in conjunction with TTAB attorneys conducting interlocutory proceedings, for determining interlocutory motions, and with other Judges for issuing final decisions on the merits of cases, after briefing and, in some instances, oral arguments of adverse parties.

- Exercise appellate jurisdiction in adjudicating ex parte appeals from refusal of the examiner of trademarks to register a trademark. Such appeals are decided on records created during examination and on the briefs and, if requested by the applicant, oral arguments.

- Evaluate the evidence, arguments, and citations to authority, presented in the foregoing contested trademark cases and appeals, and render written decisions which explain the reasoning and conclusion of the Patent and Trademark Office. These decisions are rendered in accordance with the conclusions reached in conference by a majority of the judges sitting for each case, as a panel of the Board. A judge may decide to author a dissenting opinion when the judge is not in agreement with the majority opinion.

The proceedings must be conducted with imagination, discernment, and ingenuity for the purpose of detecting any improper practices or attempts to secure unjustified advantages and to preserve the legal, equitable, and procedural rights of the parties and ensure fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings and final determination on the merits. The proofs presented by the parties, as well as their briefs and oral arguments, may involve voluminous testimony, documentary and physical exhibits, and other evidentiary material which must be analyzed and appraised in accordance with the established rules of evidence, to ascertain admissibility, weight, sufficiency, and pertinence to the issues. The judges' findings in these particulars are incorporated into final decisions in accordance with sound legal principles and precepts. The preparation of such decisions requires outstanding skill in analytical techniques and in clear, comprehensive, and effective applications of legal logic; and a thorough knowledge of, and application of, the common law and statutory trademark laws, the rules of evidence, and general principles of related and ancillary legal subjects.

While serving in the capacity of judge, the incumbent must conduct herself/himself with deportment of the highest order to ensure and maintain the dignity of the TTAB. Board judges must command the respect of the practicing attorneys and others with whom they come in contact because of their positions on the TTAB. The decisions of the TTAB are final in the Executive Branch and are subject to review, through appeal, only by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or by civil action in a U.S. District Court.

Supervision and Guidance Received

The TTAB judges serve under the general administrative direction of the Chief and Deputy Chief Administrative Trademark Judges, TTAB. All adjudicatory functions are performed without supervisory review, although performed in concert with other assigned judges on each panel.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • Your resume and question responses must demonstrate the job-related PTQs
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • Law Degree and Member in good standing of a state, DC or Puerto Rico Bar
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check

You must submit one writing sample (up to 30 pages), involving a TTAB appeal or trial case, or federal court trademark litigation (the sample may be an excerpt from a longer document).


You must have significant, specialized experience at a level close to the work of this job that has given you the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform in the position. Typically we would find this experience in work within the Trademark field or general IP field with a significant Trademark component and would be acquired over an extended period in the private practice of IP law, in IP-related government positions, or similar legal work.

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.


Due to the complexity of the position, the Attorney Examiner (Administrative Trademark Judge) must possess a law degree. Additionally, the Attorney Examiner (Administrative Trademark Judge) must be a member in good standing of the Bar in any state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any territorial court under the Constitution.

Additional information

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. Visit the Selective Service System website for details.

This is a Non-Bargaining Unit position.

This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of "high." Background Investigation - If selected for this position, you may be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) to determine your suitability for Federal employment by authorizing fingerprinting, a credit check and a background investigation.

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

All Federal employees must receive salary payments by direct deposit.

Drug Testing - All applicants tentatively selected for this position may be required to submit to a drug test to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and, if appointed, the individual will be subjected to random drug testing procedures. All appointments are contingent upon a negative drug test result.

Relocation to Alexandria, Virginia required, but position is telework eligible. Relocation expenses will not be paid

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 USPTO participates in E-VERIFY. For more information on E-Verify, please visit here.

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.

Applicants must clearly demonstrate in their application materials that they possess technical attributes in the PTQs. Your resume or other application materials must demonstrate that you possess the required qualifications.

Professional Technical Qualifications: Applicants must provide a statement evidencing the following job related skills. Failure to demonstrate possession of each of these qualifications will adversely affect your rating.

1) Training and experience leading to a thorough knowledge of historical trademark law concepts, the Trademark Act, The Trademark Rules of Practice, The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, The Federal Rules of Evidence, trademark assignments and licensing, common law governing the acquisition of ownership rights of marks, and precedential decisions of the courts and the Board.

2) Experience demonstrating an ability to sift through pleadings, motions and exhibits thereto, testimony depositions and exhibits thereto, interrogatories and other discovery requests and responses thereto, documentary evidence filed by notice of reliance, and legal briefs, all to find the important facts in a case and to apply pertinent statutory and case law to those facts.

3) Demonstrated ability to write clearly, accurately and concisely; in particular the ability to state clearly the material facts in a case, the law to be applied and the reasons supporting the decision in a straightforward manner.

4) Demonstrated ability to manage multiple competing priorities, including assigned work and collaborative work with others, while meeting prescribed deadlines, productivity goals and quality standards.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

A complete application must be limited to 40 pages (including the writing sample) and will consist of: 1. A resume or any other written format you choose to use 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 PTQs 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. 2. A Writing Sample of no more than 30 pages that demonstrates the ability to analyze trademark matters in a concise and cogent manner. 3. Transcripts: You must submit copies of your law school transcripts for verification of the education requirements. Unofficial copies are acceptable, however, if selected you will be required to furnish official transcripts. 4. Proof of bar membership 5. 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".

You can choose one 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. OR 2) You can fax your documents to 571-258-4052 using the system generated fax cover sheet. Your application and all required documentation must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of this job announcement. Review your resume and responses carefully. Responses to job questions that are not fully supported by the information in your application package may result in adjustments to your rating. A Human Resources Representative will validate the qualifications of those candidates eligible to be referred to the hiring official. More than one position may be filled.

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.

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