IP Litigation Attorney in Washington, District of Columbia

Preparing for Oral Argument

Washington, D.C. intellectual property lawyer Matt Phillips talks about his process for preparing for oral argument.

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00:04
i spend a lot of time preparing for oral
00:06
arguments
00:08
and it depends on the type of oral
00:09
argument if you’re before the ptab in an
00:13
ex-parte appeal or the p-tab in an aia
00:16
trial or before the federal circuit
00:18
first of all the timing difference is
00:20
different
00:21
in the federal circuit you have just 15
00:23
minutes so you have to focus on the most
00:26
important aspects of your case
00:28
in an ex parte appeal with the p tab you
00:31
have 20 minutes so you also need a lot
00:33
of focus in an aia trial you have a
00:36
great deal more time typically 45
00:39
minutes maybe an hour and there’s a
00:41
heavier use of visual slides but one of
00:45
the mistakes i see is too much reliance
00:48
spent on slides and being too tied to
00:50
the slides
00:51
which to me i think defeats the purpose
00:54
of an oral argument and shows a
00:56
misunderstanding of why we have oral
00:59
arguments
01:00
so one of the key points to preparing
01:02
for an oral argument to me is
01:04
brainstorming the questions
01:06
that you can expect and how to answer
01:08
those questions
01:09
so i go through sort of an exhaustive
01:11
process
01:13
of
01:13
figuring out what the questions might be
01:15
and how to answer them what the
01:17
follow-up questions will be etc i’m not
01:20
comfortable until i believe that i know
01:22
all of the details of the appeal at
01:25
least to a level that any reasonable
01:27
judge might ask about
01:29
so plan a is preparing for the questions
01:32
the other part of preparation that is
01:34
important is how do i start the
01:36
conversation with the judges
01:38
and the difficulty there is you don’t
01:41
have an uninterrupted time so you have
01:43
to structure your
01:45
your presentation so that you say the
01:47
most important things initially in the
01:50
first 10 or 15 seconds and then you kind
01:53
of expand out from there what would i
01:55
want to tell the judges if i have 10
01:58
seconds uninterrupted or 30 seconds or
02:00
one minute or five minutes you structure
02:03
a little speech that way
02:05
and then of course if you have time and
02:07
budget to do mock arguments
02:10
that is invaluable

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