Conference space with attendees

USPTO's Legal Experience and Advancement (LEAP) Program: Increasing Opportunities for Oral Advocacy for New Practitioners

Webinar
November 12, 2020 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Hosting Organization(s):
IPO
Virtual

Associate Timothy L. Tang will be a speaker in the IPO webinar "USPTO's Legal Experience and Advancement (LEAP) Program: Increasing Opportunities for Oral Advocacy for New Practitioners" on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Read more about LEAP and Tim's experience with the program here.

Webinar Overview

This webinar, which is free for IPO members, is co-hosted by IPO’s U.S. Post Grant Patent Office Practice and Next Generation Leaders Committees. U.S Post Grant Patent Office Practice Committee Co-Vice Chair TODD WALTERS (Buchanan Ingersoll) will moderate a discussion with PTAB Judge JANET GONGOLA and Acting Vice Chief Judge KALYAN DESHPANDE, who will provide an update on the results of the first months of the program. The panel will also include TIMOTHY TANG (Sterne Kessler), an outside counsel who has participated in the LEAP program, and Next Generation Leaders Committee Co-Chair KAVEH RASHIDI-YAZD (Siemens Energy Corp.), an in-house decision maker who will discuss the benefits of this type of professional development opportunity for corporate clients.

The USPTO’s Legal Experience and Advancement Program (LEAP) was launched in May to “foster a strong and vital patent system” by providing opportunities for newer advocates to gain oral advocacy experience before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. To qualify as a LEAP practitioner, a patent agent or attorney must have:

1.    three or fewer substantive oral arguments in any federal tribunal, including the PTAB, and  
2.    seven or fewer years of experience as a licensed attorney or agent. 

Parties that participate in the LEAP program are granted up to 15 additional minutes of argument time, depending on the length of the proceeding and the PTAB hearing schedule. The USPTO offers free training for LEAP practitioners via webinar in advance of the hearing.

A LEAP practitioner may conduct the entire oral argument or may share time with other counsel, provided that the LEAP practitioner is offered a meaningful and substantive opportunity to argue. The PTAB will permit more experienced counsel to assist a LEAP practitioner, if necessary, during oral argument, and to clarify any statements on the record before the conclusion of the oral argument.  The PTAB encourages LEAP practitioners to participate in other aspects of PTAB proceedings, including conference calls, pre-hearing conferences, and depositions.