Patent Review Quality Assurance Specialist (Multiple Technologies)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Alexandria, Virginia
Posted
Jul 31, 2021
Closes
Aug 07, 2021
Function
IT, QA Engineer
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

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 Jobs Website .

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

Review Quality Assurance Specialists (RQASes) regularly conduct a variety of quality assurance tasks including substantive reviews and interactive analyses of patent examination work products. Additionally, RQASes often participate in training material development, classroom teaching and/or one-on-one mentoring. RQASes also are involved in a variety of unique patent quality projects to advance USPTO's mission with opportunities to represent OPQA as liaison to other USPTO offices. Moreover, RQASes participate in quality assurance discussions with OPQA and/or Patents Operations management.

As a part of the substantive reviews, RQASes independently review Office actions, which are randomly selected from each of the technology centers of the patent examining corps, to determine statutory compliance, identify best practices, and propose opportunities for improvement. These duties require focusing on details, consistently applying a defined standard, and readily adjusting to feedback to ensure consistency within OPQA. In order to achieve a statistically significant sample throughout the fiscal year, OPQA must achieve its biweekly goals timely and consistently. The individual selected for this position will:
  • Effectively perform searches in a variety of technical areas in addition to evaluating searches performed,
  • Accurately formulate rejections in addition to evaluating rejections made in an Office action, and
  • Evaluate the clarity of Office actions to recognize high quality work and/or suggest improvements.

Further, RQASes independently manage their time to also assist quality efforts in the Technology Centers by:
  • Acting as a resource in appeal brief and pre-appeal brief conferences,
  • Participating in signatory authority program reviews and panel discussions,
  • Providing coaching and mentoring to examiners,
  • Teaching classes for the TCs and/or the Office of Patent Training (OPT) and
  • Supporting the development and implementation of quality action plans.

RQASes proactively identify ways to contribute to the improvement of quality. RQASes may analyze data for quality-related trends and recommend quality improvement initiatives to OPQA management. Further, RQASes support OPQA's continuous efforts to improve internal consistency and efficiency as well as Office-wide initiatives such as pilot programs, case studies, and international collaboration initiatives.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
15

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • You must meet the definition of specialized experience.
  • You must meet time-in-grade-requirements.
  • You must submit a copy of your most recent SF-50.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (www.sss.gov)
  • Suitable for Federal employment.
  • Your resume and question responses must demonstrate the job-related KSAs.


All qualifications requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement. You also must meet all qualification requirements including time-in-grade (refer to 5 CFR 300.604 for more information on time-in-grade) by the closing date of the job announcement.

The physical worksite for this position is located in Alexandria, Virginia. However, the United States Patent and Trademark Office is currently under a maximum telework posture due to the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, this position is currently under a 100 percent telework schedule. The position's telework schedule will likely change in the future when the USPTO moves away from its maximum telework posture. At that time, the incumbent will be expected to report to the physical work site in accordance with the updated status requirements of their supervisor. The nature and scope of future telework opportunities will be subject to the unit's telework policy, any applicable bargaining unit agreements, and supervisory approval. Payment of relocation expenses, as applicable, will be paid in accordance with this Job Opportunity Announcement. Non-compliance with the supervisor's telework-schedule requirement could result in adverse action, including separation.

Qualifications

You must meet the following United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) basic qualification requirements for the Patent Examining Series, 1224. OPM's prescribed Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions can be found at: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=GS-PROF .

Applicants applying for this series must meet the basic requirements for the scientific, technological, or engineering occupational series related to the area for which they are examining patents. Those requirements are described in the individual occupational requirements for the particular series, e.g., Chemistry, GS-1320; Engineering, GS-0801; and etc.

You must meet all qualification requirements including time-in-grade (refer to 5 CFR 300.604 for more information on time-in-grade) by the closing date of the job announcement. Candidates for the GS-15 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 grade level in the Federal Service.

Specialized experience is defined as experience that has equipped you with the knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.

Specialized experience for this position includes:
  • Performing quality reviews of the patent examination process and work products.
  • Experience analyzing and evaluating unique quality issues with respect to patent examination.
  • Experience planning, scheduling, and carrying out major study review and analysis projects/assignments.
  • Experience in determining the level of quality of Patent corps work products, both in-process office actions and allowances.
  • Conducting quality reviews that involve the full range of technology encompassed by a Technology Center requiring the skills of a generalist and knowledge of overlapping scientific disciplines.

SELECTIVE FACTOR(S): Candidates must possess the following for consideration:

1. Applicant must have full signatory authority.

2. Applicant must have passed either the Certification Examination, the most recent Recertification, Manager Candidate Exam or the Agent's Examination.

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.

Education

Education may not be substituted for specialized experience at this grade level.

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 Bargaining Unit position.

This is a Public Trust position and has a risk level designation of "moderate".

Except as prohibited by law, all applicants tentatively selected for positions needing a Top Secret Clearance will be required to submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and, if appointed, the incumbent will be subjected to random drug testing procedures.

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 Transaction Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) will be eligible if they achieve a score of at least 80 on the self assessment. 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 ( oeeod@uspto.gov ) 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 responses to job specific self-assessment questions. Your resume will be evaluated based on evidence of your ability to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) for this position, possession of any specialized experience, and how well your background and experience relates to the self-assessment questions in the job announcement. The self-assessment questions relate to the following knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies:

The self-assessment questions relate to the following knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies (KSA's). You do not have to respond to the KSA's.

KSA 1 - Knowledge of current patent laws, precedents, rules, decisions, guidance.

KSA 2 - Knowledge of current classification system and tools, effective search strategy skills, and the ability to find and evaluate pertinent prior art across a variety of technologies and/or disciplines.

KSA 3 - Ability to evaluate patent examination work products including identifying best practices and noncompliant rejections.

KSA 4 - Ability to effectively communicate ideas orally and in writing in order to affect behavior, such as providing constructive feedback on an individual work product or developing/delivering training.

Your responses to the self assessment questions serve as the basis for your initial rating. You will receive a numerical score based on your responses to these questions. Next, your responses will be evaluated by a Human Resources Specialist and/or a subject matter expert against the information provided in your resume and optional cover letter. Your resume must support your answers to the self assessment questions, or your score may be adjusted or lowered accordingly which may affect your overall final rating. 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.

If you are invited for an interview, you will be asked to bring a copy of your most recent performance appraisal.

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
Other

Drug test required
No

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process
Suitability/Fitness

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 titles, salary, employment dates, duties, experience and how it relates to the specialized experience 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. A HR Representative will validate the qualifications of those candidates eligible to be referred to the hiring official.

Supporting Documents:

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility and qualification requirements for this position may be contacted via email within 7 business days of this announcement closing to submit follow-up supporting docs if applicable. Applicants applying as current/former Federal employees OR as VEOA eligibles who fail to submit supporting documents within 5 business days of receiving the email request will lose further consideration for this position. Applicants claiming CTAP eligibility who fail to submit supporting documents within 5 business days of receiving the email request will not lose consideration for this position, however they will not be entitled to special or priority consideration. Supporting docs that may be requested of applicants after the closing date of this announcement are:

1. 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 (NOT an award SF-50), "Notification of Personnel Action" so that we may verify your time-in-grade.

2. Performance Appraisal - Recent performance appraisal with supervisor's signature showing the official final rating of record, and copy of incentive award(s). In cases where the performance appraisal is incomplete or unavailable, applicants may provide explanation of the reasons.

3. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) documents - Applicants will be asked to submit:
(1) A copy of your specific RIF notice, written notice of your expected separation or other documents of priority consideration status;
(2) A copy of your latest SF-50 noting current position, grade, and duty location;
(3) A copy of your last performance appraisal and the rating; and
(4) Any documents 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 Dept. of Commerce site which you access through the USAJobs site.
OR
2) You can fax your documents to 571-258-4254 using the system generated fax cover sheet.

Your application and all required documents must be received by 11:59 pm ET on the closing date of this job announcement.
NOTE: The preceding documents requirement are based on job requirements and individual applicant eligibility. Not all documents are applicable to all applicants; if you are unsure which documents apply to you, contact the HR Specialist listed on this announcement.

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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