Commissioner for Trademarks

Alexandria, Virginia
Aug 23, 2019
Aug 31, 2019
Full Time


The USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks oversees and has responsibility for all aspects of the Trademarks organization, including policy, operations, and budget relating to trademark examination, registration, and maintenance. The Commissioner also serves as the primary Agency Official for Trademarks and interacts on a regular basis with a wide array of stakeholders domestically and internationally.

Learn more about this agency


The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a premier organization on the cutting-edge of national and international intellectual property issues, is seeking a high-performing, innovative executive leader to join as the Commissioner for Trademarks (Commissioner). The Commissioner will serve as an on-site executive at the Alexandria, Virginia Headquarters, responsible for leading the USPTO in building its strategic plan and goals and furthering the objectives outlined by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, concerning the Trademark community in the United States and around the world. The Commissioner is appointed by the Secretary of Commerce for a five-year term with an option for extension.

The United States Patent and Trademark (USPTO) is looking for candidates with a passion for the mission of the agency and a deep level of experience in the practice and application of trademark law, policy, and procedure, to include experience with and/or understanding of the broader trademark ecosystems both here and abroad.

Of equal importance is significant experience in leading and managing large and diverse teams. As a fee-funded organization, the Trademarks unit operates like a private sector business unit within a larger organization, including issues such as revenue, expenditures, operational efficiency, quality, and customer service. The associated annual budget is approximately $350 million with leadership of over 1000 employees across the United States. Familiarity with the impact of information technology on business operations will also be helpful, as the Commissioner will be required to drive initiatives to modernize and stabilize the IT infrastructure and systems that support trademark filing and examination.

We are looking for a proven leader who can set a challenging vision and inspire action in others. As the senior USPTO trademark representative, the ability to effectively collaborate and communicate with a broad range of both internal and external organizations and stakeholder groups is of great importance. This individual needs to be a coalition-builder who can work on multiple levels with a wide variety of constituencies to implement programs and processes, and facilitate change.

Travel Required

25% or less - Occasional travel will be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

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.


Experience must have been at a sufficiently high level of difficulty to demonstrate that the candidate possesses the required professional and technical qualifications to execute the responsibilities noted above, and the following leadership core qualifications:

Leading Change - This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals.

Leading People - This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals.

Results Driven - This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations.

Business Acumen - This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial and information resources strategically.

Building Coalitions- This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

Note that 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.


The incumbent must be a graduate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be an active member in good standing of the Bar of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Incumbent must maintain membership of the Bar of a state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico to uphold this position.

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. Please visit the Selective Service System website for more information

This is a Non Bargaining Unit position.

This position requires an applicant to obtain a Top Secret level security clearance upon selection.

The incumbent will be required to submit to a drug test to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and, if appointed, the incumbent will be subjected to random drug testing procedures.

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

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

Relocation Expenses and Recruitment Incentives may be authorized.

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 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.

An Executive Review Panel will evaluate your cover letter, resume, and any other supporting materials. Upon completion of the review, you may be called for one or more interviews.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Top Secret

Drug test required

Required Documents

Please submit your tailored resume and cover letter that best demonstrates your experience.

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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