Tuesday, March 13, 2018

On Why Some Leave the Patent Office (Part II)

by Steve Reiss (stevenreiss@scienbizippc.com)

As indicating conditions of work and salary outside the Office compared with Office positions, some excerpts from letters returned with the questionnaires sent out are here printed, each quotation being from a different author:
 "I left the former position because the pay was inadequate to support me properly, inconsistent with the dignity and responsibility of the work and unworthy of my training and education."
 "More encouragement to effort; more direct and proportion ate return from service."

"Patent Office salaries are too low and advancement and increase in salary too slow in comparison with the same line of work outside."

"I consider the need for higher salaries in the Patent Office to be imperative. My sole reason for leaving was to secure increased compensation."

"Stenographers in my office without even High School education are now getting more than Assistant Examiners in the Patent Office who are technically trained and college graduates."

"I left the Patent Office because the opportunity to advance in salary was very limited and further the pay was very moderate considering the character of training and the character of work required of patent examiners."

"Having been in the Patent Office almost eight years, I realize its needs keenly. It should have a modern building with additional room, a substantial increase of the examining corps, and higher salaries. If Congress could be made to understand the enormous waste and expense due to the delay in acting upon applications and the granting of invalid patents, I believe that it would be more liberal in its treatment of the Patent Office."

"As to the increase in salaries, a yearly increase in the salary of each Examiner, say for ten years, should be made if his services are satisfactory, or conditional on the passing of examination, so that he would not have to wait on death or resignation for promotion. The object should be to prevent
resignations from the Patent Office by making the salaries more nearly equal to the salaries paid for similar work on the outside. A new man is not of much value and the entrance salary might be retained at its present figure, but should be yearly increased up to the maximum."

"There should be additional examining divisions created and the force of principal examiners and assistants increased. The pay of the examiners and executives in the Patent Office should be increased at least thirty per cent; this is particularly true of the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioners whose functions and responsibilities are in many respects somewhat analogous to those of a Federal judge, and I know of no reason why the Commissioner should not receive at least the same salary as a Federal judge and the Assistant Commissioners should receive nearly as much. As regards my reason for leaving the Department. I left It on account of inadequate compensation, as I can make, in the practice of my profession, many times any amount that I would have ever been paid had I stayed in the Department."

"The writer would say that his only reasons for leaving the Patent Office were the matter of salary and the unsatisfactory working conditions then in force in the Patent Office. As to the first—the writer had reached a point where but one further promotion was at all probable, which promotion would have meant an increase of three-hundred dollars a year. As the writer was assured in leaving the Office of receiving a much greater increase than this immediately, with the substantial certainty of further increases in accordance with his value to the company which made the offer, he did not feel that the Patent Office offered sufficient inducement for him to devote the remainder of his life in such work. The writer does not believe that any business concern having any regard for its reputation among its customers and patrons, would think for a moment that when its production increased greatly from year to year that its original force of operatives should keep up the production, regardless of the quality of work produced, and it would seem that the Patent Office, which is a public servant and the services of which are paid for by the Inventor, should have as much regard for its reputation, so far as the quality of its work is concerned, as any private enterprise, and should increase its force in accordance with its output."

Journal of Patent Office Society, V. II, No. 3, pp, 129-34 (1919).

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