Senior Level Attorney Advisor (Patents), Supervisory

Alexandria, Virginia
Jan 19, 2021
Jan 26, 2021
Full Time


This position is located in the Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA).

Learn more about this agency


The incumbent serves as the recognized technical and legal expert within the USPTO in the field of domestic and international intellectual property rights protection covering the fields of patents, industrial designs, and related areas of law and directs the activities of the Patents team in OPIA. In this capacity, the incumbent assists the Under Secretary of Commerce and Director, Deputy Under Secretary and Deputy Director, Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs of OPIA, and the Deputy Chief Policy Officer of OPIA by rendering advisory legal and technical opinions relative to patents on a wide range of complex domestic and international intellectual property issues, drafting legislative proposals which can have a significant impact on a wide variety of industries, and representing the United States in delicate, highly sensitive international negotiations. The incumbent also will assist the Under Secretary of Commerce and Director by providing policy and guidance to the patent-related intellectual property functions of OPIA.

In addition the incumbent will be responsible for:
  • Provides expert legal advice, to senior USPTO, Department of Commerce, and Administration officials on domestic and international intellectual property policy with emphasis on complex patent issues on the international level.
  • Serves as the staff expert on intricate issues associated with such difficult areas as computer-related technology, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical data protection, legal and regulatory issues, and patent and industrial design filing and protection issues on the international level.
  • Acts as the senior expert on legal and technical developments in the most challenging technological areas
  • Drafts and reviews, when tasked, complex patent legislative proposals involving the intellectual property law portions of major Administration proposals.
  • As one of the principal representatives of the USPTO and the senior expert in the patent field, participates in interagency groups and makes presentations to and secures comments from private sector groups.
  • Participates in, as sole representative of the United States or as the senior expert on a team, bilateral and multilateral negotiations to obtain the Administration's objectives in the foreign policy and trade arenas where particularly sophisticated intellectual property law issues are involved.
  • Advises other attorneys on the more complex and subtle aspects involved in planning, establishing strategies for, and conducting negotiations of international agreements.
  • Consults and coordinates with top level officials in other agencies such as the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the Department of State, and the International Trade Administration.
  • Directly supervises attorneys and other professional staff and oversees the planning, direction, and timely execution of programs.
  • Manages the development, assignment, and clearance of goals, objectives and action plans of team members, organizational changes or major changes to the structure and content of programs.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Occasional Travel may be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
00 - None


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • Financial Disclosure Report (OGE-278) will be required upon appointment.
  • A two year probationary period is required.

You must be a U.S. citizen to qualify for this position. You will need to successfully complete a background security check before you can be appointed into this position.


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.

Professional Technical Qualifications: Applicants must clearly demonstrate in their application materials that they possess technical attributes in the Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs). The PTQs for this position are:
  • Demonstrate your comprehensive knowledge of patent law and the U.S. legislative process and enforcement framework as well as experience in providing expert legal advice on enforcement and domestic and international intellectual property issues.
  • Demonstrate your ability and experience to effectively communicate with high ranking officials both within and outside the federal government, including Members of Congress, international organizations, and stakeholders regarding highly complex and sensitive issues pertaining to intellectual property and enforcement laws.
  • Demonstrate your experience in writing and reviewing complex legal documents pertaining to intellectual property protection and enforcement.
  • Demonstrate your experience in leadership positions and with managing resources in a technical, legal, or government organization.

  • Education

    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.

    Additional information

    Probationary Period: You will be required to serve a two-year probationary

    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" risk.

    The incumbent may 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 are not authorized and will not be paid.

    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.

    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.

    Your responses to the PTQs and resume will be evaluated by a Human Resources Specialist and/or a subject matter expert. Falsifying your background, education, and/or experience is cause for not hiring you or for changing your scored responses to questions you've answered, which may affect your overall final score. 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
    Not Required

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Moderate Risk (MR)

    Trust determination process
    Credentialing , Suitability/Fitness

    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) Your narrative responses to the Professional Technical Qualification (PTQs). Do not write "see resume". Input narrative responses when prompted. Please note: Narrative responses should sufficiently demonstrate experience and/or knowledge in relation to the PTQs.

    3) 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.

    4) Proof of active bar membership.

    5) Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50).

    NOTE: Submit only the documents requested. Additional documents will not be reviewed by the rating panel.

    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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