Skip to main content

Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Position Title:
Attorney Adviser (Intellectual Property) (FP - 905 IPR 01)
Open Period:
09/15/2017 - 09/29/2017


FP - 0905 01
USD $122,395 - USD $159,117
Work Schedule:
Full-time - Excepted Service
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
1 Vacancy in

Guangzhou, CH
Telework Eligible:
For More Info:
Kelly Billotte


Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
All qualified U.S. citizens.
Security Clearance Required:
Top Secret
Appointment Type
Appointment Type Details:
Full-time - Temporary - initial assignment of 2 Years*
Marketing Statement:
Are you interested in assisting U.S. businesses protect their intellectual property and compete globally? The International Trade Administration is the largest Federal agency helping U.S. firms compete in the global economy. You can help us create opportunities for U.S. workers and firms by promoting international trade and intellectual property protection and enforcement. Join us in opening foreign markets to ensure compliance with trade laws and agreements. Join a winning team helping U.S. commercial interests and competitiveness of American industry at home and abroad.
This position is located in the U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou, China. The incumbent will serve as an Intellectual Property Attorney-Adviser (IP Attaché) in Guangzhou for the International Trade Administration/Global Markets (ITA/GM) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The incumbent represents U. S. intellectual property interests through advocacy with the host government over, analysis of, and reporting about, intellectual property matters including patents, trademarks, copyright, plant varieties, trade secrets, criminal, civil administrative and customs enforcement, and other matters involving intellectual property and intergovernmental organizations and related issues in the host country and as requested by the region. The incumbent will act as a resource on intellectual property regimes in Southeastern China including in the Provinces of Fujian, Guangdong ,Guangxi, and Hainan for U.S. Government agencies and U.S industry.

The incumbent reports to the Senior Commercial Officer and also to the Director of USPTO’s IP Attaché Program who directs the incumbent, reviews the incumbent's performance and ensures consistency with agency and administration priorities. The Chief of Mission and/or Deputy Chief of Mission, appropriate units in the International Trade Administration (i.e. The Director General of Global Markets) and appropriate units in the USPTO (i.e. the Chief Policy Officer and to the China Team Lead) may also provide guidance.

Supervisory Position:
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:

Relocation to Guangzhou, China and return to U.S.  

(Continuing Service Agreement required).

Travel Required:
25% or less

Frequency of travel will vary.


Serves as an expert in intellectual property, as well as international trade, legislative procedures and executive branch decision making related to intellectual property.

Promotes high standards of intellectual property protection and enforcement in host country and/or region. In doing so, the incumbent carries out U.S. objectives to promote improvements in patent, trademark and copyright legal systems internationally for the benefit of U.S. interests.

The incumbent develops, in consultation with appropriate USPTO representatives, strategic plans for engaging countries in the region to improve their intellectual property regimes.

Serves as U.S. Patent and Trademark Office representative on U.S. delegations to international meetings on intellectual property to develop international agreements, revise existing agreements or address implementation of agreements or treaties.

Responsible for program areas of international trade and intellectual property; and identifies and addresses impediments affecting the program areas.

Exercises managerial authority over local staff.

Qualifications and Evaluations

Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement. This position requires a security and medical clearance. Any required investigations and clearances must be completed before the selectee can be placed in the position.
Key Requirements:
  • Pass a thorough background and security investigation.
  • Must have a Law Degree and CURRENT ACTIVE bar membership in good standing
  • Receive a negative result on a drug test.
  • Meet rigorous medical clearance requirements, including dependents.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Must be registered for the Selective Service, if applicable (
  • Education Requirements:
    Applicants MUST possess a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or Master of Laws (L.L.M.) degree accredited by the American Bar Association and must be an ACTIVE member in GOOD STANDING of a Bar of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
    We will review your resume, optional cover letter, and supporting documentation to determine if you meet the minimum qualification requirements for the position as described in this vacancy announcement. If you meet the qualification requirements stated in the vacancy announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter, and supporting documentation to your responses to the vacancy questions. Your resume or optional cover letter must support your responses to the vacancy questions, or your score may be lowered. High self-assessment in the vacancy questions that is not supported by information in your resume and/or supporting documents may eliminate you from further consideration and/or best qualified status. The best qualified candidates will be identified for referral to the selecting official/hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.
    Your answers to the questions in the online application process serve as the basis for your initial rating and will determine who is best qualified for this position; only the best qualified candidates
    will be referred to the selecting official for further consideration.
    Application statuses will be updated in  Other than the system status, we will not provide any additional information about why an applicant did not make the referred list.
    Applicants must meet the following criteria before the closing
    date of this announcement:
    A minimum of four years of of general law practice and 1 year of specialized experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to that of a GS-14 in the Federal Service.

    Professional Legal/Law Experience for all attorneys: Professional legal/law experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies to perform successfully the duties of the position to be filled. This experience is characterized by breadth and depth of experience in rendering professional legal advice and services with respect to questions, regulations, practices, or other matters falling within the purview of a Federal government agency, private sector, law firm, or other organization; preparing interpretative and administrative orders, rules, or regulations to give effect to the provisions of governing statutes or other requirements of law; drafting, negotiating, or examining contracts or other legal documents; drafting, preparing formal comments, or making substantive recommendations regarding proposed legislation; editing and preparing for publication statutes enacted by Congress and opinions or decisions of a court, commission, or board; drafting and reviewing decisions for consideration and adoption by an organization or official; conducting investigations to obtain facts; determining questions of law; studying, analyzing and evaluating legal precedents, to present findings. Legal work is described as extremely complex and difficult and requires a high order of original and creative legal endeavor in balancing conflicting interests; has broad or wide-scope impact on an economy, industry, private or public interests; and may involve directly or indirectly very large sums of money. Work may also involve acting as principal attorney in charge of the preparation and presentation of cases; recommending policies and developing procedures and regulations to implement new or amended legislation; and acting as legal, general or senior counsel to a major firm or organization.

    Specialized experience is defined as experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled as follows:

    (1) Working with U.S. and foreign intellectual property laws. 

    (2) Reviewing, and analyzing legislative and legal developments in the U.S. and foreign countries pertaining to intellectual property law.

    (3) Writing a variety of legal documents, including policy, speeches, testimonies, talking points, briefs, opinions.

    (4) Communicating orally on legal issues. 

    (5) Ability to supervise, manage, and oversee a subordinate staff engaged in legal work.

    (6) Developing, organizing and delivering technical assistance and training programs.

    Benefits and Other Info

    Foreign Service Officer benefits include group
    life insurance, health benefits and Thrift
    Savings Plan; Government provided quarters or
    housing allowance, if overseas; generous leave
    accrual policy; cost of living adjustments and post
    differential pay for certain overseas assignments;
    and educational allowances for children, if overseas.
    Agency Benefits:
    *Tour of duty is two years. Extension(s) up to a maximum of 5 years
    is possible, however, extensions are not guaranteed and no promise
    of an extension is implied.

    Applicants proficient in the host country language are desired but not required.
    The selectee will be required to obtain and maintain a top secret clearance.
    Drug Testing: Under the Department of Commerce's Drug Free Workplace Plan, all applicants tentatively selected for this position will be required to submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment, and if appointed the incumbent will be subjected to random drug testing procedures.
    Other Information:
    An employee of any agency who accepts, with the consent of the head
    of that agency, a limited appointment in the Foreign Service under
    section 310 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 is entitled, upon the
    expiration of that appointment, to be reemployed in that employee's
    former position or in a corresponding position in that agency. Upon reemployment under this section, an employee shall be entitled to any within-grade increases in pay which the employee would have received if the employee had remained in the former position in the agency.
    Male applicants born after December 31, 1959 must certify at the
    time of appointment that they have registered with the Selective
    Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective
    Service law.
    Current Department of Commerce employees will be converted at their current grade level. Upon conversion to the Foreign Service, there are no promotion opportunities. Employees will be converted in accordance with Subchapter 200-1 of DAO 202-900 at the foreign service salary that equals or exceeds employee's current pay.
    Must be available for frequent overnight travel.
    The Department of Commerce provides reasonable accommodations to
    applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable
    accommodation for any part of the application and hiring
    process, please notify the Office of Foreign Service
    Human Resources contact identified in this vacancy. The decision
    on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.
    Veteran's preference applies. Qualified veterans will be considered consistent with the requirements of the Foreign Service Act.
    Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) candidates will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100. Information about ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management's Career Transition Resources website at: ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents: 1. A copy of your RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for failure to relocate, notice of disability annuity termination, or certification from the National Guard Bureau or Military Department that you are eligible for disability retirement. 2. A copy of your SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action", documenting your RIF separation, noting your positions, grade level, and duty location, and/or Agency certification of inability to place you through RPL. 3. A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and 4. Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential. The following links provide information on how you may be eligible for various hiring authorities: *Veterans Recruitment Act (VRA) *Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) *30% or more disabled veterans *Persons with disabilities *Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) *Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP).

    How to Apply

    How to Apply:
    Applicants applying under this announcement are required to complete
    and submit an on-line application through the Office of Personnel
    Management's (OPM) application system, USAJOBS at website
    The information you provide and your resume will become part of your application and will automatically be transferred to the Department of Commerce's application system when you apply on-line. Information you provide is general information that must be completed by all applicants.
    There are several parts of the application process that will affect
    your overall evaluation:
    1. Your on-line resume (See Step 1 below).
    2. Your responses to the vacancy questions.
    3. Your supporting documentation.
    Your resume must include the following information:
    1. Your full name, mailing address (including zip code), and
    day and evening telephone numbers.
    2. Paid and Non-paid job-related work experience. For each job
    listed you are to provide:
    a. Job title
    b. Duties and accomplishments
    c. Employers' name and address
    d. Supervisor's name and phone number
    e. Starting and ending dates (month and year)
    f. Hours per week
    g. Salary
    h. If Federal; Title, Series, and grade/pay band
    3. Education. Provide name, city and state of all schools
    attended; i.e., high school, colleges and universities, vocational,
    trade, business, technical. Provide dates of attendance, major, and
    type and year of any degrees received.
    4. Other Job Related Qualifications Information: Provide
    training courses, special skills you possess, certificates and
    licenses, honors, awards, special accomplishments, etc. applicable
    to the position.
    Your complete application, including required documents, must be received on-line by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
    If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the Human
    Resources Specialist listed on this vacancy announcement for
    alternate methods of application.
    If you encounter technical difficulties during the application
    process please call 1-866-656-6831 Monday through Friday, 7:00AM to
    5:00PM ET (excluding Federal holidays).
    Required Documents:
    A complete application consists of the following: 1.Resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional. Your resume must indicate your citizenship and if you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59. Your resume should also list your educational and work experience including the dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment along with the number of hours worked per week. Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire.
    2. Veterans' Preference documentation. Please indicate on your resume the type of veterans' preference you are claiming and provide the appropriate supporting documentation (DD-214 stating disposition of discharge or character of service, VA letter, SF-15, etc.) to validate your claim. For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please go to:
    3. Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) documentation. If applicable, see Other Information.
    4. Education. Proof of higher education, you must submit an unofficial transcript as Proof of law degree AND current bar membership (within 12 months).  A document of good standing within the past 12 months is sufficient proof of Bar.  Please ensure effective dates are legible on the document.
    You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient. Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website - You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.
    5. SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action: If you are a current or former Federal employee (SF-50 must indicate current position occupied, grade, step, effective date and tenure).
    You may submit required and/or supplemental documents through any of the following methods along with your application:
    a. Upload your file(s);
    b. Download from your USAJOBS account

    If you have any issues uploading supporting documents or if you wish to fax in your documents, please contact or call 866-656-6831.
    Documentation Receipt Confirmation: If you fax in your
    documentation, you will receive an email notification from If you have difficulty faxing or do not receive this confirmation email within 24 to 48 hours, please call the MGS help desk at (866) 656-6831.
    These documents must be received by the closing date of this announcement.  Missing documents will disqualify your application from further consideration.
    Next Steps:
    You will receive notice that your application has been
    You can check the status of your application by accessing
    the USAJOBS website at
    - Click on the MY USAJOBS, which brings you to the login screen.
    - Login to your account.
    - You can check your status by either clicking on Track your online
    job Applications or on the APPLICATIONS tab.

    -Other than the system status, we will not provide any additional information about why an applicant did not make the referral list.

    Note: USAJOBS accounts are deactivated after 18 months of
    inactivity. If your account has been deactivated, you should create
    an entirely new resume. It is to your advantage to update your
    resume at least twice a year to maintain your marketability and to
    avoid deactivation.