Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is Seeking a Senior Patent Agent

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is seeking a Senior Patent Agent for a full-time, permanent position in Richland, WA. A Senior Patent Agent is a subject matter expert in protecting intellectual property. They are registered to practice with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and are capable of acting as independent legal professionals in fulfilling those tasks. They provide advice and counsel on patent matters including patentability of inventions etc. and coordinate preparation, filing, and processing of patent applications to obtain the broadest possible protection for inventions arising from PNNL.


As an independent subject matter expert, the holder of this position is expected to be recognized as competent, professional, and having sufficient experience and knowledge to address complex issues in creative and effective ways. They may lead and collaborate with others on projects involving diverse tasks, teams, and organizations, balance long-term strategic goals with short-term priorities, and network across management systems. In some instances, they may be called upon to conduct mentoring and training activities for staff. The holder of this position will be required to be able to assume full responsibility for matters assigned to them and to competently, consistently, and independently manage all such items.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Advising, developing, and overseeing the implementation of IP protection processes aligned with contractual requirements.
  • Communicating complex legal concepts and principles in a manner that non-lawyers will understand and act accordingly. Influences others to adopt a different viewpoint.
  • Drafting and prosecuting 15-20 new patent applications each year.
  • Addressing all matters involved in prosecuting patent applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and providing litigation and other IP-related support as necessary.
  • Consistently developing and maintaining productive relationships within Intellectual Property Legal Services, Office of General Counsel, PNNL, DOE, colleagues at other DOE laboratories, and Battelle corporate legal staff.
  • Conducting research and resolving legal questions.
  • Supporting all legal functions including preparation and filing as appropriate, agreements, instruments, documents, and pleadings related to litigation and non-litigation matters.
  • Assisting internally in analyzing documents.
  • Counseling on the progress of cases.
  • Properly completing matters as due and appropriately recording and monitoring deadlines. Assists with the review and preparation of patent material and the filing of applications and correspondence with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Dealing with highly confidential, privileged, and sensitive matters and engaging in conduct that preserves the confidential and privileged nature of the information and respects the sensitivity of the situations that are addressed.
  • Assignments may be broad or narrowly focused requiring considerable judgment and initiative, willingness to work within a team environment, demonstrating initiative to learn systems and processes, and working cooperatively and collaboratively with others including willingness to take direction.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • BS/BA and 7 years of relevant experience -OR-
  • MS/MA or higher and 5 years of relevant experience -AND-

Must be registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree from an accredited university is preferred
  • Commitment to act in accordance with the highest standards of professionalism applicable to attorneys.
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with statutes and regulations necessary for the practice of technology transfer and commercialization consistent with U.S. Government contracting constraints.
  • Current USPTO registration
  • Advanced degree from an accredited university is preferred.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to productively interact in a collaborative teamwork-oriented professional environment.
  • Ability to interact with, oversee, and effectively manage outside counsel in a professional manner.
  • Experience with litigation relating to or including intellectual property issues.

Knowledge of and experience with DOE management and operating contracts and regulations and policies applicable to DOE national laboratories is preferred.

Additional Information:

Federal Security Clearance:

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.


  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Background Investigation: Applicants selected will be subject to a federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified matter in accordance 10 CFR 710, Appendix B.
  • Drug Testing: All Security Clearance (L or Q) positions will be considered by the Department of Energy to be Testing Designated Positions which means that they are subject to applicant, random, and for cause drug testing. In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for the 12 consecutive months preceding completion of the requisite Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP).

Testing Designated Position:

This position is a Testing Designated Position (TDP). The candidate selected for this position will be subject to pre-employment and random drug testing for illegal drugs, including marijuana, consistent with the Controlled Substances Act and the PNNL Workplace Substance Abuse Program.

Commitment to Excellence, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity:

Our laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment dedicated to solving critical challenges in fundamental sciences, national security, and energy resiliency. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. In support of this commitment, we encourage people of all racial/ethnic identities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), protected veteran status, and any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, and/or local laws.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures and in employment. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, contact us at [email protected].

Drug-Free Workplace:

PNNL is committed to a drug-free workplace supported by Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs.

Mandatory Requirements:

Battelle requires employees to have a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, subject to accommodation. Applicants are required to disclose their vaccination status following a conditional offer of employment and must attest to being fully vaccinated with a Center for Disease Control (CDC)-approved COVID-19 vaccination or provide documentation of need for medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries, you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself from that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Rockstar Rewards:

Employees and their families are offered medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, health savings account, flexible spending accounts, basic life insurance, disability insurance*, employee assistance program, business travel insurance, tuition assistance, supplemental parental bonding leave**, surrogacy and adoption assistance, and fertility support. Employees are automatically enrolled in our company-funded pension plan* and may enroll in our 401k savings plan. Employees may accrue up to 120 vacation hours per year and may receive ten paid holidays per year.

* Research Associates excluded.
**Once eligibility requirements are met.

Interested Candidates:

Interested candidates are asked to submit their resumes via email to Jenna Higgins.

Please mention you found the position on the IPWatchdog JobOrtunities™ Job Board.

About Pacific Northwest National Laboratory:

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to the values of Integrity, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Courage. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven people come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations, and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them! At PNNL, you will find an exciting research environment and excellent benefits including health insurance, flexible work schedules, and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State—the dry side of Washington known for its stellar outdoor recreation and affordable cost of living. The Lab’s campus is only a 45-minute flight (or ~3-hour drive) from Seattle or Portland and is serviced by the convenient PSC airport, connected to 8 major hubs.


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