“The Patent and Trademark Office Society offers a wide range of benefits and activities for its members.”
Why does Rob enjoy working at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)? “I get to learn something new every day.” And if you ask Rob to describe a typical work day, he’ll say that’s hard because “each day is different.” He spends his days in numerous meetings, working on various projects, meeting with independent inventors, and overseeing his team of patent examiners.
Rob joined the USPTO in 2004 after receiving a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. After 10 years as a patent examiner, Rob was promoted to a supervisory patent examiner, responsible for managing a unit that reviews patent applications for clutches, power stop controls, planetary gear transmission systems, and interrelated power delivery controls for vehicles.
In 2016, a one-year detail assignment opened up in the USPTO Office of Innovation Development for a pro se assistance program coordinator, and Rob applied. In this role, he educated external stakeholders about the patent process. Rob applied for the position because he enjoys training, and he likes to see people apply what he’s taught them to succeed in their work, whether they are the patent examiners in his unit or independent inventors he encountered during his detail.
In December of 2018 he accepted a position to be one of the SPEs for the Pro Se Examination Pilot Art Unit. In June of 2021 he accepted a detail position in the Office of Patent Stakeholder Experience (OPSE) as a Patent Training Advisor for the Stakeholder Education and Training Division (SETD).
As Rob reflects on his time at the USPTO, what keeps him is the friendly colleagues he’s worked with and the friends he has made throughout the agency. Many of these friendships came about as a result of his joining the Patent and Trademark Office Society (PTOS) on his first day of work.
He became very involved with PTOS and served on the Executive Board for four years, including serving as Vice President for one year and President for three years. He is still involved with the Social Committee helping to plan social events. He pursued positions with PTOS because he was impressed with the organization’s many activities and wanted to be more involved.
Rob says, “PTOS offers a wide range of benefits and activities for its members, including happy hours, a book club, ice cream socials, picnics, an annual 5K, volunteer activities, educational courses, and discount tickets to the movies, sporting events and the theater. All of these programs provide great ways to decompress after a hard day at work and lend themselves as helpful ways to meet new people from across the agency who have similar interests.”
So if you join the USPTO, be sure to keep the PTOS in mind as a great way to assimilate to a new work environment, learn about your employer and make friends fast.