Spotlight on Commerce: Hannah Wang, Primary Patent Examiner
Guest blog post by Hannah Wang, Primary Patent Examiner, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
Hannah Wang, Primary Patent Examiner, USPTO
As a primary patent examiner at the Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), I handle patent applications in the area of computer networking. In addition, I have the privilege of currently serving as president of the Asian Pacific American Network (APANET), one of the largest affinity groups across the federal government. I also recently became a co-host of our workgroup’s Quality Enhancement Meetings (QEM). These QEMs provide patent examiners with the opportunity to learn about various topics and bring up any questions related to patent examining.
During my undergraduate studies in China, I pursued a major in Electrical Engineering, focusing on circuits and signal processing. In 2007, I moved to the United States to pursue my master’s degree at George Washington University, focusing on communication networks. Afterward, I attended Cornell University and earned a master’s degree in engineering management. At the time, I wanted to prepare myself for a career in consulting. However, life always has a way of surprising you. I happened to take a job as a patent analyst at a patent firm. That job opened my eyes to the patent field and changed my career path. I discovered my passion for a field that perfectly integrated my engineering expertise with innovation and law. When the opportunity arose, I decided to join the USPTO in 2016 to further pursue this passion. Today I am proud to be part of an amazing agency that serves as the backbone of American innovation.
Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month is a perfect time to reflect on how far the AANHPI community has come and to celebrate the AANHPI community’s integral role in our Nation’s accomplishments and developments. During this month, we are not only reminded of the sacrifices and hardships experienced by past generations, but also to cherish the valuable equality and opportunities we have today. These reflections motivate us to continue working diligently and to provide an even better foundation for future generations. As a first-generation immigrant, it is very special to have my culture recognized, shared, and celebrated with so many people across the Commerce Department and the country. During this Covid-19 pandemic, it is especially important to raise awareness, promote diversity, and offer support to our AANHPI community.
The strength of the USPTO’s AANHPI community is reflected in the growth of APANET throughout the years. I am extremely proud that APANET has grown from 10 members when it was created to more than 800 members today. APANET hosts annual events every year for our members and USPTO employees. Events include our Lunar New Year celebration, AANHPI Heritage Month celebration, dragon boat races, and Diwali celebration, to name a few. Serving as the president of APANET provides me with many opportunities to collaborate with colleagues and coordinate events outside of patent examining. I am truly grateful that I can grow with APANET, provide help and services to others, and learn how to become an effective leader.
As a career civil servant at the USPTO, my job helps foster an environment that creates economic growth and opportunity. I can’t think of anything more impactful than protecting and expanding innovation in the U.S. through intellectual property. It helps create new jobs for Americans and advance our nation. My advice for those interested in a federal career is to not be afraid of exploring new things and changing original plans. As we explore, we discover new interests and develop new skills. Although this can mean deviating from our original plan, it can also lead to an even more suitable career path. The federal government offers a variety of opportunities that are a good fit for talented and hard-working individuals. Being willing to explore these opportunities will help you find your passions, talents, and a successful career path.
Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce employees during Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month.