USPTO Seeks Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge

The Department of Commerce and the USPTO are seeking a Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge to fill a vacancy in one of the following locations; San Jose, CA, Detroit, MI, Denver CO, or Dallas, TX.  The Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge (Vice Chief Judge) serves under the administrative direction of the Chief Administrative Patent Judge (Chief Judge) and the Deputy Chief Administrative Patent Judge (Deputy Chief Judge), is a full voting member of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) as provided by Title 35 U.S. Code, Section 6, and is the immediate supervisor of the Lead Administrative Patent Judges (Lead Judges) and second line supervisor for the Administrative Patent Judges (Judges) assigned to the one of the Board’s divisions of Judges or is the immediate and/or second-line supervisor of other assigned personnel, as applicable.


The Vice Chief Judge is responsible for assisting the Chief Judge and Deputy Chief Judge in developing and implementing the USPTO rules associated with patent appeals, interferences, inter partes reviews, post-grant reviews, derivations, and covered business method reviews. These include Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 41: Subpart A, which provides the General Provisions; Subpart B, which involves Ex Parte Patent Appeals; Subpart C, which involves Inter Partes Appeals; Subpart D, which is directed to Contested Cases; and Subpart E, which involves Patent Interferences and Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 42: Subpart A, which provides Trial Practice and Procedure; Subpart B, which involves Inter Partes Review, Subpart C, which involves Post-Grant Review, and Subpart D, which involves Covered Business Method Review. The Vice Chief Judge is also responsible for assisting the Chief Judge and Deputy Chief Judge in developing and implementing the Standard Operating Procedures necessary for the internal operation of the Board.

Key Requirements

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Your resume and responses to PTQs and ECQs (8,000 character limit each).
  • You must submit technical and law degree transcripts.
  • You must submit proof of Bar Membership.


Applicants must possess senior level management and technical experience in the areas of patent law and management which have equipped the applicant with the knowledge and skills required for effective performance of other specific duties of the position.

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.

Due to the complexity of this position, the Vice Chief Judge must possess a technical degree and a law degree.

Additionally, the Vice Chief Judge must be a member in good standing of the Bar of any state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any territorial court under the Constitution. Furthermore, the Vice Chief Judge must possess significant work experience in the field of patent law and management.

Security Clearance

Public Trust – Background Investigation

Travel Required

  • 25% or Greater
  • Business travel 1 to 5 days a month.

Department of Commerce Contact Person:

Stevie Miller


For more information or to apply to this position, see USA Jobs.

Job announcement number – PTAB-2017-0012

Open & closing dates – 2017-05-23 to 2017-07-18

Salary – $124,406 to $187,000 / per year

Pay scale & grade – ES 00

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There are currently 1 Comment comments.

  1. Eric Berend July 10, 2017 7:19 am

    Chief Qualification for (any) USPTO Administrative Patent Judge: must distinguish between parties to PTAB proceedings, as to their degree of association with Alphabet, Inc., as well as their financial wherewithal; as part of assessing the relative merits of their respective positions; in cases heard by the Board.