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The individual selected for this position will:
Analyze assigned PCT applications to identify substantive issues involved.
Research treaty provisions, administrative regulations, precedent cases to develop and evaluate evidence presented.
Prepare decisions, actions, or legal advice on assigned applications.
Review new or revised PCT administrative rules and case decisions for an assigned PCT program area to identify substantive changes affecting current operations.
Research background data, analyze legal and regulatory issues, manual and automated data and control systems, and existing procedures to identify options for implementation.
Develop and implement quality review program criteria for assigned special programs or types of cases.
Analyze case sampling to identify problems.
Develop written procedures, training modules or other similar guidance.
Provide information and assistance on difficult PCT requirements and procedures to applicants or their representatives.
Design and carry out task and work flow analysis to determine specific PCT information and training requirements needed at appropriate stages of the patent preparation, application or examination process.
Conduct formal and informal training sessions on specific PCT issues and procedures for USPTO staff.
Job family (Series)
0950 Paralegal Specialist
Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
Your resume and question responses must demonstrate the job-related KSAs.
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)
Suitable for Federal employment.
You must meet the following United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements for the advertised position. OPM's prescribed Group Coverage Qualification Standard for GS-0950 Paralegal Specialist can be found at: Click Here. 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.
Specialized Experience: is experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the federal service (GS-7).
Candidates for the GS-9 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 grade level in the federal service.
Specialized experience for this position includes gathering and analyzing research data; investigating law of precedent cases to determine causes of action and to prepare cases; preparing legal decisions; providing legal advice on assigned cases.
Education: You may also qualify for this position based on education if you have received a Master's or equivalent graduate degree or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.B. or J.D. in a field which demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of the position.
Combination of Education and Experience: You may also qualify for this position based on a combination of your experience and education.
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.
If 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 click here for more information.
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). 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.
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.
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: https://www.opm.gov/ctap. 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 (email@example.com) 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 resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation will be reviewed to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the job opportunity announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the self-assessment questions (True/False, Yes/ No, Multiple Choice questions) and place you in one of three pre-defined categories. These categories are "gold," "silver," and "bronze." Your resume and/or optional cover letter must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered. Candidates placed in the "gold" category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.
How you will be evaluated for preference eligibility: Within each category, those entitled to veterans' preference will be listed at the top of the pre-defined category for which they are placed.
Preference eligibles with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category (gold).
The scored self-assessment questions in the job announcement will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:
KSA 1 - Knowledge of provisions of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in order to research PCT application cases.
KSA 2 - Knowledge of legal techniques necessary to analyze both issues of fact and issues of law in order to prepare case decisions, advisory opinions, or findings.
KSA 3 - Ability to analyze in order to develop draft recommendations and background information for unusual applications/situations.
KSA 4 - Knowledge of legal provisions, patent manual policies, and automated databases, including USPTO and PCT automated systems.
KSA 5 - Skill in determining training needs to correct deficiencies in application processing and case examination.
For more information on category rating, please go to: http://hr.commerce.gov/s/groups/public/@doc/@cfoasa/@ohrm/documents/content/prod01_009474.pdf
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
Drug test required
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 job titles, salary, employment dates, duties and accomplishments, experience and how it relates to the KSAs 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 the information contained in your resume.
2. Transcripts: (for Individual Occupational Requirements and/or Substitution of Education for specialized experience): You MUST submit copies of your college transcripts for verification of the education requirements. 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.
PLEASE NOTE: Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility and qualification requirements for this position may be contacted within 7 business days of the closing date of this announcement to submit follow-up supporting documentation if applicable. Applicants claiming veterans' preference entitlement or CTAP/ICTAP eligibility who fail to submit supplemental documentation within 5 business days of receiving the request will not lose consideration for this position, however, they will not be entitled to special or priority consideration.
Supporting documents that may be requested of applicants after the closing date of this announcement are
1. Veterans' Preference Documentation: If you are a veteran with preference eligibility, you will be asked to submit a copy of your DD-214 containing your discharge disposition, dates of service, and rank. If you are a preference eligible claiming a service-connected disability of 10 percent or more, you will be asked to submit documentation (i.e. a letter dated 1991 or later from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from a branch of the Armed Forces) certifying to the veteran’s present receipt of compensation. Veterans must include dates of military service within the automated application process, and submit a copy of each Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD-214. For more information, please visit Special Appointing Authorities for Veterans.
2. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) documentation: Applicants will be asked to submit:
(1) A copy of your specific RIF notice, written notice of your expected separation or other documentation of priority consideration status;
(2) A copy of your latest SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location;
(3) A copy of your last performance appraisal including your rating; and
(4) Any documentation 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 Department of Commerce application site which you access through the USAJobs site.
2) You can fax your documents to 571-258-4254 using the system generated fax cover sheet.
Your application and all required documentation must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this job announcement.
NOTE: The preceding documentation requirements 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.
Review your resume and responses carefully. Responses to job questions that are not fully supported by the information in your application package may result in adjustments to your rating. A Human Resources Representative will validate the qualifications of those candidates eligible to be referred to the hiring official.
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.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, paid holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) and Telework Program are available to eligible employees.
Please visit USPTO New Employee Information for additional information.
Visit Working for the Federal Government to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement
Federal agencies, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. USPTO Job Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should request accommodation(s) from the USPTO at https://www.uspto.gov/accommodation. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.