Paralegal Specialist-DE

Department Of Commerce Alexandria, VA
* Duties

Help Duties Summary

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. Our efforts have provided inventors exclusive rights over their discoveries. It's an effort that continues to contribute to a strong global economy, to encourage investment in innovation and to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit for the 21st century. The USPTO is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and has over 12,000 employees, including engineers, scientists, attorneys, analysts, IT specialists, etc. all dedicated to accomplishing the USPTO's mission, vision, strategic goals and guiding principles. For more information about the USPTO, please visit the USPTO Careers Website.

The paralegal speciaists assigned to PTAB are responsible for providing legal assistance in support of Administrative Patent Judges and patent attorneys of the Board.

* A probationary period may be required.

This vacancy is also being announced under the USPTO's Merit Promotion Program, the Job Announcement Number is PTAB-2018-0020. Please review that announcement to determine if you are eligible for consideration under the Merit Promotion Program.

The following links provide information on various hiring authorities that do not fall under competitive examining procedures as this announcement; however, they may enable you to apply through merit assignment procedures, or be eligible for a non-competitive appointment.



* 30% or more disabled veteran

* Persons with disabilities



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The individual selected for this position...

* Serves as a paralegal specialist providing substantive legal assistance to Administrative Patent Judges and patent attorneys performing PTAB's trial and appeals functions. Duties involve providing assistance in handling the full spectrum of PTAB cases, including ex parte cases, petitions, and cases processed under the AIA.

* Prepares and reviews appeal decisions, providing administrative support and technical assistance to the Board, and responding to inquiries on Board functions.

* Responds to a variety of inquiries from the public (i.e., e-mail, written requests, telephone calls, etc.) to support accomplishment of the Board's goals. Informs customers of the status of inquiries and when to expect resolution.

* Performs thorough research and analysis necessary to locate applicable legal references and precedents and to ensure that legal citations, decisions, publications, and quotations are current and accurate in terms of presentation and relevance to case issues.

* Searches databases and other sources such as LexisNexis, WESTLAW, PACER, Shepard's Citation Service, Patent Application Locating and Monitoring (PALM), Image File Wrapper (IFW), and CD-ROMs. When necessary, searches additional information sources and locations, such as repositories maintained by other USPTO offices, Departmental offices, and other governmental libraries.

* Conducts comprehensive reviews of files and documents relayed to ex parte and inter-partes matters, including ex parte examiner appeals, ex parte and inter-parte reexamination appeals, interferences, and AIA trials. Examines documents to ensure that they comply with statutes, rules, and policies applicable to PTAB functions.

* Schedules conference calls in response to inquiries from the general public received via telephonic, e-mail, written, and in-person inquiries.

* Uses a variety of scheduling tools to schedule conference calls and other matters in proceedings before the Board. Enters data into a number of USPTO systems, to include ACTS, PTAB E2E, PALM, eFOIA, and the IFW.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Who May Apply This job is open to… Applications will be accepted from all United States Citizens and Nationals.

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

* Job family (Series)

0950 Paralegal Specialist

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* Requirements

Help Requirements 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 (

* 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 Paralegal Specialist can be found at Legal and Kindred Series. You must meet all qualification requirements 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.

Candidates for the GS-11 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 grade level in the Federal service as described below.

Specialized experience for this position includes: Experience possessing current professional experience as a paralegal/legal assistant providing all aspects of litigation and/or support litigations in federal district court or federal appeals courts. In relation to the statement above, the litigation support experience includes maintaining files, preparing exhibits, preparing correspondence, drafting legal pleadings, working with court rules and procedures to calculate deadlines and assure legal document compliance with such rules, proofreading and cite checking briefs and motions, and filing legal documents with federal courts.


Three full years of progressively higher level graduate education, Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a related field (e.g., law).


A combination of both specialized experience and education as explained above.

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 may be substituted for specialized experience at this grade level.

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 an 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.