Publications & Presentations
May 1, 2017
Inaugural Regional Event and Reception at USPTO Rocky Mountain Regional Office

By Stephanie T. Vu

On April 25, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Bar Association held its inaugural regional event and reception at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Rocky Mountain Regional Office. Among the attendees were local practitioners, examiners, Administrative Patent Judges, and law students. A tour of the Regional Office was given, highlighting the hearing room and technology to host remote judges. Presenters included Molly Kocialski, USPTO Rocky Mountain Regional Director, and visiting Administrative Patent Judges Scott Moore and Jackie Harlow.

Judge Harlow gave an informative and practical presentation on tips and tricks related to hearings. Judge Harlow gave advice on how to request to have your hearing scheduled in a desired Regional Office. Typically, parties are not notified of their hearing location until close to the hearing date. Judge Harlow suggested that a requesting party be proactive and reach out to opposing counsel, then to the Board to request a location. However, she noted that parties can only request a regional office if at least one or more judges preside at that office.

Judge Harlow then discussed various aspects of the hearing, including demonstratives. Judge Harlow noted that remote judges cannot see demonstratives projected or physically presented on an easel within the hearing room. Rather, remote judges can only see and click through a slideshow of demonstratives sent to them beforehand. Thus, attorneys should be cognizant and aware that remote judges may have difficultly following the presentation. Giving sign posts such as “moving onto slide 4” can tremendously help remote judges follow on their laptops.

Jackie Harlow and Scott Moore also gave an informative panel discussion on being an Administrative Patent Judge. One key takeaway was that Administrative Patent Judges are often well prepared for the hearing. Administrative Patent Judges do not have clerks and study the briefs and patents thoroughly, often spending a significant time with each case. Thus, attorneys should be prepared for a dynamic discussion with difficult questions.

The panel and formal presentations ended with a reception for attendees to meet and mingle with the speakers. More information about the PTAB Association can be found here.

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