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About us

The Patent Office Professional Association (POPA) is an independent union of professional employees formed in 1964. The Association is not affiliated with any national union and acts independently, answering only to the desires of the professionals it represents. All dues go directly to the representation of professionals right here in the Patent and Trademark Office. The Association represents all professionals in the Patent and Trademark Office excluding managers and trademark professionals.

The Patent Office Professional Association is the legally recognized voice of approximately 9000 examiners, classifiers, computer scientists, and other patent professionals. The Association seeks to establish better working conditions and personnel policies, and an atmosphere of professionalism while enhancing the patent system’s goal of encouraging invention. Our motto is “Professional Representation for Patent Professionals”. The Association is directed by its membership and is responsive to the concerns, desires and opinions of the patent professionals it represents. The Association is directly responsible for such benefits in our workplace as superior achievement awards, gainsharing awards, compensatory time, family and medical leave, objective criteria for promotions, the signatory authority program, promotion to grade GS-15 examiner, flexible and compressed work schedules and part-time positions to name just a few.

POPA operates with volunteer professionals elected every three years from among the professionals they represent. The volunteers represent their fellow professionals in workplace grievances, contract negotiations, negotiations on working conditions and procedures, matters of pay, federal employee benefits and litigation and in proposed legislation in Congress affecting patent professionals. Several of the volunteers are also attorneys with extensive knowledge and experience in federal labor law.

POPA represents all patent office professionals at the US Patent and Trademark Office including:

  • Patent Attorneys at the Board of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)
  • Non-supervisory Attorneys and Congressional Affairs Specialists in the Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA)
  • Petitions Attorneys in the Office of Petitions
  • Review Quality Assurance Specialists (RQASes) in the Office of Patent Quality Assurance (OPQA)
  • Designated Bargaining Unit Technology Center (TC) Quality Assurance Specialists (TQASes)
  • Non-supervisory patent examiners and primary examiners
  • Non-supervisory Patent Reexamination Specialists in the Central Reexamination Unit (CRU)
  • Office of International Patent Cooperation (OIPC) examiners and Attorney Advisers
  • Certain librarians and accountants

POPA holds Executive Committee Meetings for the POPA officers and delegates on the 1st Thursday of every bi-week, at 11:30AM in Remsen 10D44. Bargaining Unit Members are welcome to attend, and listen to the proceedings. Space is extremely limited, and the time and/or location can vary. Please notify a POPA officer if you would like to attend a meeting.

Stand with us.  Join POPA