Patent Examiner (Computer Engineering)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Alexandria, Virginia
Posted
Jan 08, 2022
Closes
Jan 16, 2022
Function
Engineer, IT, QA Engineer
Hours
Full Time
Duties

The physical worksite for this position is located in Alexandria,Virginia. However, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) 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 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.

As required by Executive Order 14043, Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before appointment or onboarding with the agency. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request of the agency a legally required exception from this requirement. Contact the USPTO's Office of Equal Employment and Diversity at (571) 272-8292 or OEEOD@uspto.gov for information on obtaining an exception to the requirement.

A patent examiner (PE) reviews applications to determine whether patents can be granted for inventions. Patents give inventors the right to exclude others from making or selling their inventions for a limited time. As a U.S. patent examiner, you will handle these basic patent examining functions:
  • Search prior art to ensure that an invention is new and unique. Prior art is information that has been disclosed to the public about an invention before a given date - including any related patents, published articles and public demonstrations.
  • Review patent applications to ensure conformity to formal requirements.
  • Write legal office actions on patentability and respond to patent applicants.
GS-7: Perform basic patent examining functions with extensive instructions from the supervisor. Training will develop the ability to apply technical concepts to the patent examining process. Assignments combine performance of productive work with supervised on-the-job training.

GS-9: Independently perform intermediate patent examining functions with some supervision. Assignments are of average difficulty and require the application of technical concepts to the patent examining process. May perform advanced patent examining functions with supervision (e.g., the evaluation of special claim constructions, the requirement of restrictions, the recognition and development of probable interferences, etc.). These advanced activities are supported by close review.

Almost all of a patent examiner's work is performed using a computer and is visually demanding.
This is a Computer Engineering position. If this is not your area of expertise, please consult our Careers Website and consider one of our other open Patent Examiner positions. We regularly have openings for patent examiner positions in disciplines such as:
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry

This vacancy announcement is for positions located in Alexandria, Virginia, only. Your application to this vacancy announcement will only allow consideration for this announcement and this duty station.

Note: Applications will be accepted from students who expect to complete qualifying education within 9 months from the date of application. USPTO requires verification of successful completion before extending a final offer.

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • Applicants will be accepted from all United States Citizens and Nationals.
  • Your resume and question responses must demonstrate the job-related competencies.
  • You must meet the definition of specialized experience.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (www.sss.gov)
  • If selected, you may be required to complete a one year probationary period.
  • You must meet all qualification requirements upon the closing date of this announcement.


Qualifications

You must meet the United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements (including specialized experience and/or educational requirements) for the advertised position. OPM's prescribed Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Patent Examiner Series, GS-1224,can be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/1200/patent-examining-series-1224/
BASIC QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:

To be considered for this position, you must have either: (A) successfully completed a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in Engineering; OR (B) a combination of qualifying education and experience.

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 curriculum must:

1. Be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum;

OR

2. Include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas:

a) statics, dynamics

b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships) c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics d) thermodynamics

e) electrical fields and circuits

f) nature and properties of materials (relating to particle and aggregate structure to properties)

g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics or electronics

OR

B) A combination of Education and Experience. This combination of college-level education, training and/or technical experience must have furnished both:

- A thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering;

AND

- A good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their application to professional engineering.

This can be demonstrated by one of the following:

1. Professional registration-- Current registration as a professional engineer by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam or Puerto Rico.

2. Written test-- Evidence of passing the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) examination or the written test required for professional registration, administered by the Boards of Engineering Examiners in various States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.

3. Specified academic courses-- Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours in the physical, mathematical and engineering sciences and including the courses specified in the basic requirements. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of a professional engineering curriculum as described in paragraph A.

4. Related curriculum-- Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field, e.g., physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of an Engineering degree, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience with professional engineering supervision and guidance.

For documentation requirements, see REQUIRED DOCUMENTS.

GS-7: A) Superior Academic Achievement (SAA). This can be defined by one of the following:

1) Class standing-Upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the "School of Engineering and Applied Science" or "College of Science and Technology" based on completed courses.

2) Grade point average (GPA) as recorded on the final transcript-

i) 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) as recorded on the official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or

ii) 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B+" or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum. The GPA is rounded to one decimal place. (2.95 = 3.0 and 2.94 = 2.9). The final transcript must cover the period being used to determine the GPA.

3) Honor Society membership--Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society. Click here for a list of qualified honor societies.

B) Have at least one year of specialized experience, equivalent to the GS-5 level in the Federal service interpreting and applying basic engineering and/or scientific principles, theories, concepts and methodologies used in the evaluation of technology; planning and conducting research; applying appropriate references to the claimed invention, etc.

OR

C) Have at least one year of graduate level education from an accredited college and/or university in the fields of study as described in the Basic Qualification Requirements. If the number of credit hours representing one year of full-time study cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours will be considered an academic year of graduate study.

OR

D) Have less than the full amount of graduate education as described in "C" above and less than the amount of experience described in "B" above, but have a combination "B" and "C" above.

GS-9: A) Have at least one year of specialized experience, equivalent to the GS-7 level in the Federal service interpreting and applying intermediate engineering and/or scientific principles, theories, concepts and methodologies used in the evaluation of technology; planning and conducting research; applying appropriate references to the claimed invention, etc.

OR

B) Have a combination of education and experience. I possess at least a bachelor's degree in engineering AND have experience applying engineering principles and theories in the engineering field

OR

C) Have at least two years of graduate level education leading to a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree from an accredited college and/or university in the fields of study as described in the Basic Qualification Requirements. If the number of credit hours representing one year of full-time study cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours will be considered an academic year of graduate study.

OR

D) Have less than the full amount of education described in "C" above and less than the amount of experience described in "A" above, but have a combination of the type of graduate education described in "C" above and experience described in "A" above.

Education

If this position requires proof of higher education, or you are substituting education for experience, you must submit an unofficial transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information: name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements. Please refer to http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp for more information. You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient.

Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website - US Department of Education . Another listing of services that can perform this evaluation is available at the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) website. You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.

NOTE: Only education and experience acquired before the filing deadline will be considered. Report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

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 and represented by Patent Office Professional Association (POPA)

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.

CTAP and ICTAP candidates will be eligible for selection priority if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a "well qualified" rating of 85 out of 100. Information about CTAP and ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management's Career Transition Resources website at: OPM CTAP/ICTAP .

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.

USPTO Job Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should request accommodation(s) from the USPTO at http://www.uspto.gov/accommodation .

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).

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