5 Reasons to Become a Patent Examiner

Become a patent examiner and get involved with the exciting world of technology. It’s a great career opportunity that allows you to work with a team of experts and make a difference in the lives of others. However, there are some things you need to know before you apply.

The Patent Office in the US has a backlog of 550,000 patent applications that need to be examined. On average, it takes 24 months to approve a patent application. The USPTO aims to speed up the process and improve the quality of examination. It offers training programs for new hires. The training consists of seminars, lectures and workshops. It’s a good idea to attend some of these events to learn about new technologies.

The USPTO is home to 8,147 patent examiners. The USPTO is also home to 3,892 staff members who assist the examiners. A bachelor’s degree in a science or engineering field is required to become a patent examiner. You can also work as an intern at a patent office to gain experience. Those with a master’s degree earn a higher starting salary.

A patent examiner’s job requires the ability to analyze inventions and read technical literature. He or she must be able to determine whether the claimed invention is novel and non-obvious. To do so, the examiner must locate prior art. This is not always easy, though, and can be a challenge for those without experience. Aside from locating prior art, the patent examiner must also determine if the claimed invention meets patentability requirements.

The patent examiner must also have a firm grasp of patent law and regulations. In addition, the patent examiner must be a quick study and understand how the invention works. In some cases, the examiner may need to travel to the patent office or to a specific location to inspect the invention. Depending on the circumstances, the examiner may also need to consult a qualified patent attorney.

A patent examiner must also be a keen researcher and be able to write and communicate well. He or she needs to be able to quickly grasp complicated technical jargon and translate it into a clear and concise summary. This is especially important when a patent examiner needs to provide a decision to a client. A patent is a legally binding document that protects an invention from being copied.

The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) provides resources, updates and networking opportunities to help prospective patent examiners navigate the patent system. Aside from the usual informational meetings, AIPLA also hosts annual conference and awards, where members can receive awards for patent innovations and other achievements.

Aside from a relevant degree, becoming a patent examiner involves an extensive training program. IPO trainees undergo one-to-one tuition for two years, working under the guidance of a senior patent examiner in a live case. Over the course of the year, the trainees attend seminars, workshops and lectures to get a thorough understanding of the patent system.