Attorney Advisor (TM)-Petitions

Alexandria, Virginia
Nov 30, 2020
Dec 07, 2020
Full Time


Come work for the USPTO, we have been ranked as one of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government®! The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been serving the economic interests of America for more than 200 years. We are responsible for granting US intellectual property rights for patents and trademarks. The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and has over 12,000 employees. For more information about the USPTO, please visit the USPTO Careers Website .

Learn more about this agency


This vacacny has been amended to extend the closing date.

Full time telework may be available in local and remote locations, if employees are eligible and approved.

This position is responsible for reviewing petitions to the Director of the USPTO under Rule 2.146, developing legal issues in such petitions and supporting decisions with legal arguments and appropriate statutory and regulation citation; making timely and proper decisions on letters of protest submitted to the USPTO in trademark applications; and providing information and guidance on the law and procedure regarding the federal registration process, registration maintenance requirements, and the petition process to both internal and external customers. In addition, attorney advisors render assistance to the Commissioner for Trademarks, Deputy Commissioners, and Administrators and complete special projects in conjunction therewith.

The individuals selected for these positions will:
  • Draft and issue final agency decisions in petitions to the Director of the USPTO on a wide range of issues which can directly impact office policy development, including the review of refusals by Post Registration and Madrid Processing Unit Trademark Specialists.
  • Issue decisions on letters of protest involving the assessment of evidence to support potential grounds for refusal of registration in particular cases.
  • Provide customer service assistance with particularly complex issues involving USPTO trademark application, post registration, assignment, petitions to revive, reinstatements of applications and registrations and international filing issues.
  • Render legal advice and services to agency officials with respect to questions, regulations, practices, or other matters falling within the purview of the Office.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • You must meet the definition of professional and specialized experience.
  • You must possess a Law Degree and an active bar membership of any state.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (

Please review the "Required Documents" and "Qualifications" sections of this job announcement to see what must be included to meet the requirements.


The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has not issued qualification standards for attorney positions.

USPTO sets minimum qualifications for attorney positions and sets forth these qualifications in each vacancy announcement.

To be eligible for this position, you must:

1. Be a U.S. Citizen or National.

2. Meet the following education requirement: possess Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or Masters of Laws (LL.M.) degree from an American Bar Association accredited law school.

3. Be a current member of the Bar in Good Standing of any state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any U.S. territory.

4. Meet the Professional Legal Experience described as:

Professional legal/law is legal experience, Post J.D., giving legal advice with respect to questions, regulations, practices, etc. of the Federal government, law firm, or private industry; preparing interpretative orders, rules, decisions, or opinions to give effect to the provisions of statutes or laws; drafting, negotiating, or examining legal documents; drafting, preparing formal comments, or making substantive recommendations regarding proposed legislation; editing and preparing for publication federal or state regulations or opinions of a court, commission, or board; drafting and reviewing decisions for adoption by an organization or official; conducting investigations to obtain facts; determining questions of law; evaluating legal precedents to offer findings/make recommendations; recommending policies and developing procedures or regulations to implement new or amended legislation; acting as legal, general or senior counsel to a major firm or organization.

Applicants applying at the GS-14 Grade level must possess 3 years Professional experience.

Applicants applying at the GS-15 Grade level must possess 4 years Professional experience.

Specialized Experience: is experience that equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level.

In addition to the Professional Experience described above, qualified candidates should possess one year experience as follows:

At the GS-14 grade level applicants must have at least 52 weeks specialized experience equivalent to the next lower (GS-13) grade level in the Federal service.

Specialized experience for the GS-14 is experience and working knowledge of Trademark statutes, case law, rules of practice regarding Trademark examination requirements, practices, and procedures, the Madrid Protocol and the Nice Classification system, experience applying legal, factual and marketplace issues related to the prosecution of trademark and service mark applications; familiarity with and efforts toward supporting USPTO and Trademark program goals, objectives, business priorities and public policy issues; capacity to work collaboratively to develop and apply policy, practices or procedures regarding Trademark application requirements, substantive examination, registration maintenance and/or third party protests.

At the GS-15 grade level applicants must have at least 52 weeks specialized experience equivalent to the next lower (GS-14) grade level in the Federal service.

Specialized experience for the GS-15 is experience applying TM statutes, case law, rules of practice in Trademark cases, the Madrid Protocol and Nice Classification to particular transactional facts and supporting legal determinations with relevant legal authority; working toward USPTO and Trademark program goals, objectives, business priorities and public policy issues; involvement with Trademark outreach programs such as Trademark Expo, presentation of legal concepts to attorney and non-attorney audiences, such as Peer-to-Peer workshops or TM Expo Seminars; experience in providing training to attorney, professional staff or comparable audiences and/or experience on special assignment to other areas of the USPTO, such as the Solicitor, TTAB, or OPIA; and demonstrable ability to independently coordinate projects, provide instructions and ensure on-time delivery of work product and strict deadlines.

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.


To meet minimum eligibility requirements for this position, applicants must possess at least a Masters of Laws (LL.M.) degree or Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an accredited law school.

Additional information

Applicants applying for this position must be a United States Citizen.

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 .

Probationary Period- If selected, you may be required to complete an initial one-year probationary 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.

Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management's Career Transition Resources website

CTAP/ICTAP documentation requirements are listed in the ‘Required Documents' section of this announcement.

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.

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.

Your eligibility for consideration and qualifications for the position will be determined based upon a review of your detailed resume and your supporting documentation.

Please note that a complete application is required for consideration. (Please review the "Required Documents" section of this job announcement to see what must be included in a complete application).

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Noncritical-Sensitive (NCS)/Moderate Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

A complete application consists of:

1. A resume or any other written format you choose 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 professional and specialized experience identified in the job announcement.

2. Bar Membership Documentation: You MAY be asked to submit documentation showing that you are an active member of the Bar in Good Standing of any State, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any Territorial Court under the U.S. Constitution. This letter and/or certificate should be dated within the last six months of the closing date of this job announcement. If you are unable to obtain this information by the closing date of this announcement, you must contact the HR Specialist listed on this announcement to make other arrangements prior to the closing date of the announcement.

PLEASE NOTE: Your application and all required documentation must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this job announcement.

Supporting documents that may be requested of applicants after the closing date of this announcement are:

1. Writing Samples - You MAY be asked to submit two writing samples. PLEASE NOTE: You may choose to upload these writing samples as supporting documents during the online application process. Should you choose to do so, you will not be contacted after the close of this announcement for writing samples.

2. 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".

3. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) documentation: Applicants will be asked to submit: (1) A copy of your specific RIF notice, written notice of your expected separation or other documentation of priority consideration status; (2) A copy of your latest SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location; (3) A copy of your last performance appraisal; and (4) Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

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.


2) You can fax your documents to 571-258-4254 using the system generated fax cover sheet.

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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