Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy

Alexandria, Virginia
Oct 01, 2020
Oct 08, 2020
Full Time


The USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks oversees and has responsibility for all aspects of the Trademark organization, including policy, operations, and budget relating to trademark examination, registration, and maintenance. The Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy (DC) directs and provides staff assistance in policy formulation and overall policy direction for the examining and service functions under the control of the Commissioner for Trademarks.

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The Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy (DC) manages and directs the Trademark Policy Office, Petitions Office, ID-Class Office, and the Office of Trademark Quality Review and Training, as well as the Trademark Assistance Center, the Trademark Law Library, the Trademark Customer Experience Administrator, the Trademark Workforce Effectiveness Advisor, and Trademark Outreach attorneys. The DC exercises a thorough knowledge of trademark laws, rules and examining practice and procedures used in trademark operations under the Commissioner for Trademarks.

The DC also has primary responsibility for the coordination of examining policy and practices in the Trademark Law Offices and Trademark Services including examining practices and policies related to implementing changes to the Trademark Act of 1946 and other related legislation, rules and regulations, treaties affecting trademarks, and changes in the national and global marketplace affecting trademarks and related areas of intellectual property.

Additional but not limited essential duties and responsibilities are as follows:
  • The incumbent has the authority to represent the views and desires of the Commissioner for Trademarks in these matters at all levels in the agency and in contacts with members of the public. The incumbent represents the USPTO in meetings of inter-governmental organizations, industry trade associations, and attorneys and industry representatives regarding trademark law, practice, and procedure.
  • The incumbent has staff responsibility for the implementation of new examination practices in all activities under the Commissioner for Trademarks. The incumbent also resolves problems related to the interpretation of case law, pertinent statutes, and the Code of Federal Regulations pertaining to Trademarks and related activities.
  • The incumbent oversees the work of the Petitions Office, which is responsible for the monitoring and review of various special programs and for the preparation of decisions on petitions to the Under Secretary and Commissioner relating to trademark applications and trademark registrations.
  • The incumbent oversees the work of the Trademark Policy Office, which is responsible for developing examination policy and editing the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure.
  • The incumbent oversees the work of the Trademark Identification and Classification Office, which is responsible for developing and maintaining the content of the USPTO's Trademark ID Manual, making proposals for changes to the Nice Classification list, and representing the USPTO at meetings of the Committee of Experts of the Nice Union and Nice preparatory working group meetings.
  • The incumbent oversees the work of the Office of Trademark Quality Review and Training, which is responsible for providing statistically valid data on the quality of the work product produced by the Trademark business unit and providing necessary training to all Trademark staff to ensure that the unit meets its quality goals.
  • The incumbent oversees the work of 1) the Trademark Assistance Center, which receives over 150,000 calls and emails from users of the trademark system and the public annually; 2) the Trademark Customer Experience Administrator who develops and executes a Trademark-wide customer experience strategic plan; 3) the Trademark Outreach Office, which provides information and training to the general public, small businesses and entrepreneurs about the federal registration system, and 4) the Workforce Effectiveness Administrator, who analyzes employee survey results, and uses survey results and employee focus groups to develop recommendations for senior Trademarks executives on ways to respond effectively to employee concerns and ensure high levels of employee engagement.
  • The incumbent also oversees and directs the work of the Trademark Law Library, which is responsible for providing legal and evidentiary research for more than 600 Trademark Examining Attorneys.

Travel Required

25% or less - Occasional travel will be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Financial Disclosure Report (OGE-278) will be required upon appointment, annually and upon termination of employment.
  • Be a member in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Bar.
  • Possess a J.D. degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.
  • Subject to an one-year probationary period.


As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of executive level managerial capabilities. To qualify, the applicants resume and responses to Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and Professional Technical Qualifications (PTQs) must demonstrate technical and leadership experience/expertise as they related to the duties describe.

Experience must have been at a sufficiently high level of difficulty to clearly show that the candidate possesses the required professional/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.

Maximum length of 10000 characters when addressing the PTQs and ECQs.

Professional Technical Qualifications: Applicants must clearly demonstrate in their application materials that they possess technical attributes in the Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs). Applicants must also have a comprehensive knowledge of trademark laws, treaties, regulations, and examining practice/policy and procedures governing the trademark registration process at the USPTO. The PTQs for this position are:
  • Expert knowledge of trademark law, policy, practice, and procedure relating to the U.S. trademark registration system.
  • Expert knowledge of the Madrid Protocol, the Trademark Law Treaty, the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, the Nice Agreement and U.S. implementation of other international agreements and treaties that impact the U.S. trademark registration system.
  • Expert knowledge of trademark law, practice, and procedure governing the treatment of petitions to the USPTO Director and other requests for administrative relief; and
  • Expert knowledge and experience regarding legal writing and editing.

  • Please Note: Current career SES members, former career SES members with reinstatement eligibility, and SES Candidate Development Program graduates who have been certified by OPM, only need to submit a resume and narrative statement covering each of the Professional Technical Qualification (PTQs) requirements and do NOT need to address the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs).

    For the following five Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs), you are required to submit a narrative response addressing your specific knowledge, skills, and abilities that demonstrate your possession of these qualifications. Be sure to provide specific examples of what you've done that demonstrates your possession of each ECQ. Responses to ECQs must not exceed 10 pages. For more information about the Executive Core Qualifications please visit this site:

    Leading Change - This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

    Leading People - This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

    Results Driven - This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems and calculating risks.

    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.

    Applicants are encouraged to follow the Challenge, Context, Action and Result (C-C-A-R) model outlined in the Guide to SES Qualifications.

    Challenge - Describe a specific problem or goal.

    Context - Describe the individuals and groups you worked with, and/or the environment in which you worked, to address a particular challenge (e.g., clients, co-workers, members of Congress, shrinking budget, low morale).

    Action - Discuss the specific actions you took to address a challenge.

    Result - Give specific examples of measures/outcomes that had some impact on the organization. These accomplishments demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of your leadership skills.


    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

    Probationary Period: You will be required to serve a one-year probationary period unless you previously completed the probationary period in the SES.

    Mobility: Organizational and geographical mobility is essential in developing and managing SES leaders and generally is a key to advancement. Therefore, applicants are expected to be mobile and once appointed SES members may be reassigned at the discretion of the appointing authority

    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.

    Veteran preference does not apply to the Senior Executive Service.

    This position requires an applicant to obtain a 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.

    If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, or Non-career SES employee in the executive branch, you must disclose that to the Human Resources Specialist listed at the end of this vacancy announcement.

    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.

    In order to be considered for this position you must demonstrate in your application package that you meet the minimum specialized experience as defined under the "Qualifications" section, answer the Professional Technical Qualifications (PTQs), and submit a detailed resume that supports your answers to the PTQs and specialized experience.

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

    Your application will be evaluated to determine whether basic qualifications requirements are met, and on the extent to which it shows that you possess the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties based on the scope and quality of total accomplishments, experience, and education. Applications of basically qualified candidates will be evaluated by an executive rating and ranking panel.

    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance
    Not Required

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Critical-Sensitive (CS)/High Risk

    Trust determination process

    Required Documents

    A complete application consists of:

    1) A resume to describe your job-related qualifications; optional cover letter: Your resume should indicate your citizenship and should list your educational and work experience. Please Note: Responses to job questions that are not fully supported by the information in your resume may result in adjustments to your rating.

    2) Professional Technical Qualification (PTQs): A separate narrative statement specifically addressing each PTQ. Narrative responses should sufficiently demonstrate experience and/or knowledge in relation to the PTQs. Do not write "see resume". Input narrative responses when prompted.

    3) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs): A separate narrative statement specifically addressing each individual ECQ. Narrative responses should sufficiently demonstrate leadership experience and/or knowledge in relation to the ECQs. Maximum 10 pages total. Do not write "see resume". Input narrative responses when prompted.

    4) Transcript(s) - 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.

    5) Proof of membership: In good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar.

    6) Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50): requirement is applicable for applicants who are current or former Federal employees.

    7) Graduates of an approved SES Candidate Development Program must provide a copy of their OPM certification of eligibility.

    *NOTE: The ECQ narrative statements are NOT required if the applicant is a:

    (a) Current or former Career SES member (These members MUST provide SF50, as documentation of SES Appointment), OR

    (b) Graduate of an SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) approved by OPM.

    Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the announcement will result in your removal from consideration for this position.

    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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