While much of the advocacy in patent prosecution is in the form of written words, opportunities for oral advocacy do present themselves. During prosecution, practitioners may be required to conduct examiner interviews or attend Patent Trials and Appeals Board (PTAB) hearings, both of which require such oral advocacy.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently provided an opportunity to practice oral advocacy with its Legal Experience and Advancement Program (LEAP). A select group of practitioners from across the country were paired as counsel and co-counsel and advocated their side of a mock case in which the patentability of a sports helmet was disputed. Arguments were presented to current administrative PTAB judges during an abbreviated argument presentation.
Dobrusin shareholder Daniela Walters and associates Eric Hydorn and Bryan Lemanski participated in the LEAP event. Each improved their knowledge in preparing arguments, controlling the record during the trial, and addressing questions posed by the judges. The USPTO’s continued collaboration with practitioners provides crucial skill-building opportunities that improve the quality of the trial relationship between the PTAB and practitioners.