Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:32 pm

I think the GS 12-14 that are advertised right now and closing today are only for those with former experience at the PTO. I applied to the GS-11 position (again)!! Wishing everyone luck!!

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby geetonydee » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This will be my second crack at applying. Was able to make it to the written statement round. The best of luck to everyone!!!!


Same! If you don't mind me asking, do you think the cover letter should be changed up?



That's a hard call. If you want, see if your previous cover letter didn't address some of the concerns that were expressed here in the forum. it seems like the Office wants people who they can mold. So it's almost as if less is more when it comes to experience. However, a genuine interest in working for the Office, and not bouncing after the two year training period also should be shown as well. In any case, keep trying! Best of luck!

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:27 pm

Anyone receive news back yet?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby dokhada » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:41 am

Has any January 2019 class member moved beyond submitting their questionnaire responses yet? Any idea what's supposed to happen next?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:48 pm

Has any January 2019 class member moved beyond submitting their questionnaire responses yet? Any idea what's supposed to happen next?


I've received a "tentative offer" for the January 2019 class and have not heard back after submitting the OF-306 and branching questionnaire. The delay is more than a bit frustrating but it appears that, after going back and reading past posts on this forum, it's not out of the ordinary.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:59 am

I would be moving from a less expensive part of the country to take this job, and I'm concerned about just how tight things would be for me in my first year as a GS-11 making 68K in Northern Virginia. It seems that these days (and especially post-Amazon) 68K is a low salary for a college graduate (more so for an attorney) in the DC area. I would be in a market where new grads in tech earn tens of thousands more per year, and I can see this in my prospective housing costs. I'm not willing to go back to living with a roommate, so it is looking like the rent alone will chew up over half of my take-home pay. So for those of you who already live in the DC area and especially in Alexandria or Arlington, what sort of a lifestyle can one have on 68K per year (before taxes)?

Give me a pep-talk if you can. Or the bad news if you can not.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I would be moving from a less expensive part of the country to take this job, and I'm concerned about just how tight things would be for me in my first year as a GS-11 making 68K in Northern Virginia. It seems that these days (and especially post-Amazon) 68K is a low salary for a college graduate (more so for an attorney) in the DC area. I would be in a market where new grads in tech earn tens of thousands more per year, and I can see this in my prospective housing costs. I'm not willing to go back to living with a roommate, so it is looking like the rent alone will chew up over half of my take-home pay. So for those of you who already live in the DC area and especially in Alexandria or Arlington, what sort of a lifestyle can one have on 68K per year (before taxes)?

Give me a pep-talk if you can. Or the bad news if you can not.


It's more than enough to live on unless you are ridiculously irresponsible with your finances.

Most tech grads don't earn $68k starting out, let alone 10s of thousands more, even in the DC area. Your view of the market is not based on reality.

If you live in Old Town, you're going to pay a hell of a lot more than you otherwise would. Look outside of the city center.

Let's account for a 5% contribution to the TSP(because every federal employee should contribute that much at minimum), $75 every two weeks for health insurance(pre tax, and that's more than what I pay at the PTO), $90/mo for parking(pre tax), and the 4.4% FERS contribution(pre tax), you'll be left with $1,676 every two weeks, and that's after taxes.

You can easily find a one bedroom place less than a 20 minute drive away for under $1,400(including utilities).

Last year when I was a GS-11 I was living alone, very comfortably, and putting 19% of my gross pay into my Roth (post tax) TSP.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:42 pm

You can easily find a one bedroom place less than a 20 minute drive away for under $1,400(including utilities).


My perspective is a bit different from others here, as I'm not a newly minted grad, but have a few years of experience. Also, I'd be moving into the area without a car to start with. Is that doable? My sense is that without a car, I'd want to live along the metro subway system, probably in Arlington or Alexandria, and that alone makes for higher rents. Are there any less expensive places not too long a way off from the campus that are also near a metro stop?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
You can easily find a one bedroom place less than a 20 minute drive away for under $1,400(including utilities).


My perspective is a bit different from others here, as I'm not a newly minted grad, but have a few years of experience. Also, I'd be moving into the area without a car to start with. Is that doable? My sense is that without a car, I'd want to live along the metro subway system, probably in Arlington or Alexandria, and that alone makes for higher rents. Are there any less expensive places not too long a way off from the campus that are also near a metro stop?


I was in a similar place aside from the car. Had a pretty significant drop in salary, but I regret nothing. The work/life balance is worth it without a doubt. Plus, next year I'll be making more per hour than I was making before moving here.

Definitely doable without a car, in fact it's easier as you won't have to budget for parking or gas! Places along metro stations are going to be more expensive, but there's also a great metro bus system. USPTO will actually reimburse you for using public transit, I think up to $200/mo(not 100% sure of the max as I don't use this program). That allows you to get weekly bus passes and be completely paid back.

Also, some apartment complexes run their own shuttles to and from metro stations which is a great perk if you want to take the train.

Look south of Old Town for better apartment rates. I'm not overly familiar with costs in Arlington so I've no suggestions regarding where to look there

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:05 pm

Does anyone know what the hours for the group training look like? And if there are alternative schedules we can work after training?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:06 pm

Has anyone applying currently been asked to submit a written statement yet?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know what the hours for the group training look like? And if there are alternative schedules we can work after training?


Standard 8:30-5:00.

Long-term, there are alternative schedules you can work. When you can work them will depend on your managing attorney. I had to wait a couple of months after training to have a flex schedule. From my understanding, the class that started a month ago will be able to flex their schedules whenever they are not in the group lectures.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby historyminor » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I would be moving from a less expensive part of the country to take this job, and I'm concerned about just how tight things would be for me in my first year as a GS-11 making 68K in Northern Virginia. It seems that these days (and especially post-Amazon) 68K is a low salary for a college graduate (more so for an attorney) in the DC area. I would be in a market where new grads in tech earn tens of thousands more per year, and I can see this in my prospective housing costs. I'm not willing to go back to living with a roommate, so it is looking like the rent alone will chew up over half of my take-home pay. So for those of you who already live in the DC area and especially in Alexandria or Arlington, what sort of a lifestyle can one have on 68K per year (before taxes)?

Give me a pep-talk if you can. Or the bad news if you can not.


It's more than enough to live on unless you are ridiculously irresponsible with your finances.

Most tech grads don't earn $68k starting out, let alone 10s of thousands more, even in the DC area. Your view of the market is not based on reality.

If you live in Old Town, you're going to pay a hell of a lot more than you otherwise would. Look outside of the city center.

Let's account for a 5% contribution to the TSP(because every federal employee should contribute that much at minimum), $75 every two weeks for health insurance(pre tax, and that's more than what I pay at the PTO), $90/mo for parking(pre tax), and the 4.4% FERS contribution(pre tax), you'll be left with $1,676 every two weeks, and that's after taxes.

You can easily find a one bedroom place less than a 20 minute drive away for under $1,400(including utilities).

Last year when I was a GS-11 I was living alone, very comfortably, and putting 19% of my gross pay into my Roth (post tax) TSP.



I think $1,676 every two weeks is a little more than you should expect, but nevertheless, GS-11 is totally livable. Keep in mind that you'll get a raise every year for the first few years, so even if things are a little tight the first year, you're going to do just fine financially. If you have a car, you can keep your food expenses down by shopping at the Aldi or at Seven Corners, and there are apartments that are more or less affordable if you get a little off the metro line. And if you take the bus and metro, it will be subsidized by the government, potentially up to 100% of your monthly cost. So to summarize: yes, it'll be tight the first year, but if you're smart about your spending, pretty soon you'll be earning way more than you actually need.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby geetonydee » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:31 pm

Just received my request for a Written Statement! Good luck everyone!

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:05 pm

New applicants should be advised there is some pretty monumental reorganization going on within the Office via renegotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Performance Appraisal Plan (i.e., how you are rated at doing your job). Nothing is definitive yet but the changes management are proposing are appalling and will not make it easy for you to excel in this job.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:19 pm

New applicants should be advised there is some pretty monumental reorganization going on within the Office via renegotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Performance Appraisal Plan (i.e., how you are rated at doing your job). Nothing is definitive yet but the changes management are proposing are appalling and will not make it easy for you to excel in this job.


Could you please elaborate?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:10 pm

Th

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:
New applicants should be advised there is some pretty monumental reorganization going on within the Office via renegotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Performance Appraisal Plan (i.e., how you are rated at doing your job). Nothing is definitive yet but the changes management are proposing are appalling and will not make it easy for you to excel in this job.


Could you please elaborate?


They are being reactionary. The changes are far from "appalling."

If things go as management wants, the most significant changes appear to be:

Production expectations getting a slight bump. A change in how the quality of your work is calculated (I actually really like the proposed change here). If your quality is shit, no teleworking for you. There are a few other things I'm forgetting, but those are the three that people seem to be most upset about.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:47 pm

Does anyone know of any boards/web sites/fb pages that are especially frequented by USPTO Trademark Examining Attorneys?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
New applicants should be advised there is some pretty monumental reorganization going on within the Office via renegotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Performance Appraisal Plan (i.e., how you are rated at doing your job). Nothing is definitive yet but the changes management are proposing are appalling and will not make it easy for you to excel in this job.


Could you please elaborate?


They are being reactionary. The changes are far from "appalling."

If things go as management wants, the most significant changes appear to be:

Production expectations getting a slight bump. A change in how the quality of your work is calculated (I actually really like the proposed change here). If your quality is shit, no teleworking for you. There are a few other things I'm forgetting, but those are the three that people seem to be most upset about.


There is a lot more to it and too much to go into detail here. Increase in production might be a “slight bump” in the grand scheme but it’s pretty daunting, especially for newer examining attorneys who are already working a lot of unpaid overtime just to meet the bare minimum.

Management’s reasons for the proposed changes are way out of touch with the day to day experience of an examining attorney. A lot of people are unhappy, even those considered “super producers”. Nothing is set in stone yet but morale is already taking a huge hit.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
New applicants should be advised there is some pretty monumental reorganization going on within the Office via renegotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Performance Appraisal Plan (i.e., how you are rated at doing your job). Nothing is definitive yet but the changes management are proposing are appalling and will not make it easy for you to excel in this job.


Could you please elaborate?


They are being reactionary. The changes are far from "appalling."

If things go as management wants, the most significant changes appear to be:

Production expectations getting a slight bump. A change in how the quality of your work is calculated (I actually really like the proposed change here). If your quality is shit, no teleworking for you. There are a few other things I'm forgetting, but those are the three that people seem to be most upset about.


There is a lot more to it and too much to go into detail here. Increase in production might be a “slight bump” in the grand scheme but it’s pretty daunting, especially for newer examining attorneys who are already working a lot of unpaid overtime just to meet the bare minimum.

Management’s reasons for the proposed changes are way out of touch with the day to day experience of an examining attorney. A lot of people are unhappy, even those considered “super producers”. Nothing is set in stone yet but morale is already taking a huge hit.


There is a lot more to it, but from what I can tell those three are what most people are upset about. And most new hires aren't working unpaid overtime in my experience, with the exception of those trying to hit a certain bonus. I may be biased as I like to take longer vacations though, and the proposed changes would make that easier.

The only issue I have with their reasons is that they seem to think software changes have made things more and more efficient. But when necessary software is fucking up regularly, it kinda throws efficiency out the window.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:33 pm

Increase in production might be a “slight bump” in the grand scheme but it’s pretty daunting, especially for newer examining attorneys who are already working a lot of unpaid overtime just to meet the bare minimum.
Management’s reasons for the proposed changes are way out of touch with the day to day experience of an examining attorney. A lot of people are unhappy, even those considered “super producers”. Nothing is set in stone yet but morale is already taking a huge hit.



A big thanks to the trademark examiners participating in this thread. Still, for those of us on the outside looking in, these comments raise more questions. It would help to have some concrete numbers here. Just how many trademark applications/counts/whatever you call them must someone do per week if they are to hit 100% production as a GS-12? As a GS-13? As a GS-14? Are most of the trademark examining attorneys at these levels or at the GS-11 level really having to do unpaid overtime to meet their required production? I have friends who work on the patent side of the PTO, and some of them grouse about having to work "VOT" all the time. Is it really the same with trademarks? (I hope not, especially since TM examiners get paid less than Patent Examiners.)

You mentioned "hitting a bonus" for new hires. How much can a bonus be worth in one's first year at the TMO? Do they go up in subsequent years?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:34 pm

I just received a request for a Writing Sample. This is my second try and I had submitted Written Sample in my first try and got interviewed. I was wondering if making changes to my Written Statement (submitted on my first try) makes any sense. I am inclined to submit 'as is' but wanted to see if others on this forum suggest otherwise. I found this forum incredibly helpful during my first try! Thanks!!

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Increase in production might be a “slight bump” in the grand scheme but it’s pretty daunting, especially for newer examining attorneys who are already working a lot of unpaid overtime just to meet the bare minimum.
Management’s reasons for the proposed changes are way out of touch with the day to day experience of an examining attorney. A lot of people are unhappy, even those considered “super producers”. Nothing is set in stone yet but morale is already taking a huge hit.



A big thanks to the trademark examiners participating in this thread. Still, for those of us on the outside looking in, these comments raise more questions. It would help to have some concrete numbers here. Just how many trademark applications/counts/whatever you call them must someone do per week if they are to hit 100% production as a GS-12? As a GS-13? As a GS-14? Are most of the trademark examining attorneys at these levels or at the GS-11 level really having to do unpaid overtime to meet their required production? I have friends who work on the patent side of the PTO, and some of them grouse about having to work "VOT" all the time. Is it really the same with trademarks? (I hope not, especially since TM examiners get paid less than Patent Examiners.)

You mentioned "hitting a bonus" for new hires. How much can a bonus be worth in one's first year at the TMO? Do they go up in subsequent years?


I’m not sure I can give out actual numbers for production or bonuses. I think they lay out production figures in the interview. But hitting production is doable. It seems to be more difficult in the first 6 months/year because a) there’s a steep learning curve and b) every action you take on a case has to go through a supervisor so there is a lot of time spent learning and getting familiar with office procedures and policies, etc. Once you get past that, it seems to get better. Production goals do increase slightly with each promotion. As mentioned earlier, people do work unpaid OT to get bonuses and you are eligible right out of training. Hope that helps.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A big thanks to the trademark examiners participating in this thread. Still, for those of us on the outside looking in, these comments raise more questions. It would help to have some concrete numbers here. Just how many trademark applications/counts/whatever you call them must someone do per week if they are to hit 100% production as a GS-12? As a GS-13? As a GS-14? Are most of the trademark examining attorneys at these levels or at the GS-11 level really having to do unpaid overtime to meet their required production? I have friends who work on the patent side of the PTO, and some of them grouse about having to work "VOT" all the time. Is it really the same with trademarks? (I hope not, especially since TM examiners get paid less than Patent Examiners.)

You mentioned "hitting a bonus" for new hires. How much can a bonus be worth in one's first year at the TMO? Do they go up in subsequent years?


Not sure if we're allowed to post production requirements, but because some info about the bonuses is available publicly (if you know where to look) I'll comment on that. Some USPTO attornies get at least $20,000 a year in bonuses, but the vast majority do not. Most do earn bonuses, but don't come close to that. No one is going to earn that their first year.



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