“My work at the USPTO is incredibly rewarding, and I am afforded a high degree of independence. I love that I am always learning something new and that I make important decisions on a daily basis.”
The intersection of art, law, and public service
For Edward, work at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the past four years has been more than a job; it’s been a mission, on behalf of the government, to help businesses protect their brands. Edward’s interest in intellectual property (IP) law originated with his undergraduate studies in art history, but he applied to the USPTO after serving in the United States Department of Health and Human Services because the significant responsibilities of trademark examining attorneys appealed to him.
“I am grateful that I have the privilege of working on trademark matters on a daily basis,” he says, citing the intersection of his interests of art, law, and public service. “My work at the USPTO is incredibly rewarding, and I am afforded a high degree of independence. I love that I am always learning something new and that I make important decisions on a daily basis.”
Unparalleled training opportunities
As a trademark examining attorney, Edward reviews applications in order to put trademarks on a path to registration. In this role, he examines applications for substantive and procedural issues, as well as corresponds with applicants to resolve any issues. He says he’s been surprised by how much he’s learned over his tenure, adding that “the training and expertise one develops when making important decisions on behalf of the government is unparalleled at the USPTO.”
One of the best parts of the job, Edward says, is helping people and working closely with them to resolve application issues. His success in this area was recently recognized with a Customer Service Award.
Thriving in community and work culture
In addition to the work itself, Edward has had a positive experience with the USPTO work culture.
“There is a strong sense of community at the USPTO,” he says. “I have found a small group of examining attorneys who have become close friends. Not only do I regularly seek their advice concerning difficult cases, but I also meet with them socially from time to time.” Edward says the agency cares about the well-being of its employees, offering flexible schedules and telework, and promoting work-life balance.
Edward also appreciates the large number of affinity groups that USPTO employees can join. He says he’s met friends through the Asian Pacific American Network and Lambda PTO, a voluntary employee organization that fosters a positive work environment for all USPTO employees, regardless of sexual orientation.
In the future, Edward hopes to mentor other attorneys and participate in details in other offices within the USPTO to continue developing his skills. After ten years working in the federal government, he says he is devoted to public service and intends to retire as an attorney at the USPTO.