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Patent Clerk

by Winzer
Tags: clerk, patent
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Winzer
#1
Mar10-09, 01:38 AM
P: 605
What does it take to become a U.S. patent clerk? I will have an engineering physics degree.
Is the pay decent? Right now I just don't feel like doing research in physics for an official institution of any sort.But there is a lot personal research I would like to do.
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lubuntu
#2
Mar10-09, 05:15 AM
P: 473
Hello Albert.
Astronuc
#3
Mar10-09, 05:40 AM
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Quote Quote by Winzer View Post
What does it take to become a U.S. patent clerk? I will have an engineering physics degree.
Is the pay decent? Right now I just don't feel like doing research in physics for an official institution of any sort.But there is a lot personal research I would like to do.
Contact the US Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) of the US Department of Commerce
www.uspto.gov, and apply - then get accepted.

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac...mhbk/index.htm

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac...dated_laws.pdf

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac...ated_rules.pdf

Pre-employment testing
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com...on/t8p19_1.htm

Patent Examiner Qualifications
http://www.uspto.gov/go/ac/ahrpa/ohr...ifications.htm (some bad links on this page)

Better page for PE Information
http://usptocareers.gov/Pages/PEPositions/Default.aspx

Search for jobs at http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/a9pto.asp
Select Patent Examiner

Examples of positions and salaries (as of March 2009):

Examples:
Patent Examiner (Civil/Industrial Engineer) similar grades for Mechanical, Comp. Sci,

Vacancy Ann.#: LD220991
Who May Apply: Public
Pay Plan: GS-1224-05/09

Patent Examiner (Physics and Nuclear Engineer)
A Patent Examiner reviews patent applications to determine if they comply with Federal law and regulations, in addition to scientific principle. The incumbent would be responsible for scrutinizing pat ...[more]

Vacancy Ann.#: LD220977
Who May Apply: Public
Pay Plan: GS-1224-05/09
Appointment Term: Permanent
Job Status: Full-Time
Opening Date: 11/19/2008
Salary: From 41,350.00 to 77,722.00 USD per year


Patent Examiner (Chemistry)
Vacancy Ann.#: LD224547
Who May Apply: Public
Pay Plan: GS-1224-11
Appointment Term: Permanent
Job Status: Full-Time
Opening Date: 11/19/2008
Salary: From 68,866.00 to 89,520.00 USD per year

khemix
#4
Mar10-09, 04:25 PM
P: 117
Patent Clerk

Quote Quote by lubuntu View Post
Hello Albert.
I heard thats where he 'discovered' his theories.
eri
#5
Mar10-09, 07:48 PM
P: 981
I have three friends with masters degrees in physics working for the patent office, and they were told they were a bit overqualified for the position, so you should be fine. They are paid very well - I think they're all making in the 60-80k range.
Winzer
#6
Mar11-09, 04:54 AM
P: 605
Quote Quote by lubuntu View Post
Hello Albert.
Let me make clear that I am not doing this because Einstein did. I will never be able to reach his level. I am interested in the job itself. I would also like to do as much physics on the side as possible because I enjoy it, even though I am not the best at it.

Thanks Astronuc. Very useful.
desti
#7
Mar11-09, 07:31 AM
P: 25
You might read this too before giving your soul to the devil...

http://www.dklevine.com/papers/imbookfinalall.pdf
Oerg
#8
Mar11-09, 08:37 AM
P: 364
Quote Quote by eri View Post
I have three friends with masters degrees in physics working for the patent office, and they were told they were a bit overqualified for the position, so you should be fine. They are paid very well - I think they're all making in the 60-80k range.
so besides a masters in physics, do they have any schooling in law?
moo5003
#9
Mar11-09, 03:41 PM
P: 207
I was under the assumption patent clerks are all law majors/lawers with experience in specific fields. My friend worked at a patent firm that usually did work for Cisco Systems and he said everyone there was a science major turning to law.
Mororvia
#10
Mar15-09, 08:05 AM
P: 263
Astronuc's links provide all the info you'd need, but just to have it here in the thread too...

(Note: This info is USPTO specific. Other IP offices may vary!)

The Good
You do not need to have any education in law to be hired. You just need a bachelor's degree in some technical discipline. All types of engineering (not engineering technology), chemistry, physics, math and biology too I believe. They train you in the law areas you need. Later, you can go to law school if you wish and they would typically pay for it. The bad economy hits PTO too so that may change.

The pay is pretty fantastic for an entry level position. With a bachelors degree with a GPA of 3.0 or greater, you'd start in the low 60k range. You also get the usual government benefits which are pretty good. The real upside to PTO work is the flexible scheduling which allows you to pretty much come and go as you please as long as you get your work done and get your 80 hours every pay period (two weeks). After a few promotions you can apply to get equipment and work from home.

In my opinion, the people are generally great to work with, including management. Its a job where you're working independently most of the time but most everyone is willing to help if you need it. When you're new, you'll need a lot of help.

The Bad
It would seem that the entrance requirements are a little more difficult than when I was hired (I don't work there anymore). From Astronuc's links it seems like they may require some writing samples. For them, this is good considering how much correspondance you have to write.

Some people I know who still work there have said that they are actually having a hiring freeze right now. The bad economy resulted in less applications being filed which means less money for PTO. If they still have the job posted on USAJobs though, I'd still go ahead and apply if you're interested. Maybe the info I have isn't entirely accurate!

The Ugly
The work is based on a quota system which means you have to do a certain amount of cases per pay period. Depending on what area you end up working in and your ability to concentrate, this quota system could be easy or difficult. There is a lot of turnover at PTO because many people end up just not liking the job or because they can't keep up with their quota.

The End
Even though I don't work there anymore I still encourage people to apply if they they're interested. Like any other job it doesn't fit everybody. I'm willing to answer any other questions people may have in this thread or via PM. Just keep in mind that some things may have changed since I left.


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