Director's Forum: A Blog from USPTO's Leadership
Where Academia Meets Real-World Practice
Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos
The end of the school year is upon us, and so is the period for accepting applications to participate in the USPTO’s Patent Experience Externship Program (PEEP). I am very excited about this year’s program, and it is well on its way to becoming the largest student program we have ever had here at the USPTO. Last year we set the bar at around 100 students and it was a huge success. This year, I proposed that the USPTO accept 200 or more highly qualified students to join us this summer, in keeping the spirit of progress alive. The team here at USPTO has eagerly accepted this challenge and has found nearly 200 great candidates who are planning to join us. There is still room for a few more, but time is running out to apply. If you know of a student (or more than one) interested in working with us as an extern, they’ll need to go online and have their application in by the end of this week.
The PEEP program is one of our premier methods of finding talented individuals who are able to do the kind of challenging and rewarding work we do here at the USPTO. It represents a unique opportunity for students to get hands-on experience and truly learn what it is like to work at the Patent Office.
This program helps us identify and recruit future, fulltime patent examiners, a facet that has several implications for the program. PEEP integrates theories learned at universities with real-world practice and implementation of those theories, with substantive work within our offices and technology centers. Though the specific duties vary based on the student’s selected position and their level of education, I can assure all those interested in PEEP that they will not only be challenged by what we have in store, but will also be encouraged to learn and enjoy working at the USPTO. I’m in close contact with the individuals heading up the program for us this summer, and I know they are dedicated to ensuring that it will be our best yet.
Many applications have been submitted from all over the country, from students working on their undergraduate degrees to others working on Ph.D.s, and a very large number from those who are seeking their J.D.s. It’s clear that our nation’s students have enthusiasm and desire to experience what it’s like to work for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. There is almost no area within the USPTO that will not be touched by students this summer.
With only a few days left to apply, I encourage everyone who is interested to visit our student programs website to learn about the program, and to visit USAJobs and read through the vacancy announcement for a detailed description of the PEEP program. And especially, I invite all dedicated, hard working students to apply.