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Jumpstart your profession with LEAP!

Weblog by Kathi Vidal, Below Secretary of Commerce for Mental Property and Director of the USPTO


Over two years in the past, the USPTO launched the Legal Experience and Advancement Program (LEAP) to supply the following era of patent practitioners with hands-on expertise earlier than the Patent Trial and Attraction Board (PTAB). LEAP is a profession growth program for patent brokers or attorneys with three or fewer substantive oral arguments (not together with professional bono) in a federal tribunal. For the reason that program launched, 135 practitioners have participated in LEAP arguments and greater than 140 others have taken LEAP coaching.

LEAP stands out from different authorized mentoring applications. It supplies newer practitioners with expertise arguing in each actual and mock instances earlier than PTAB judges. The mock arguments are in entrance of precise decide panels and are adopted by one-on-one suggestions from the judges. LEAP additionally supplies informative webinars and quite a few coaching alternatives, together with the chance to talk with skilled practitioners, to help individuals to develop their advocacy abilities and elegance. LEAP practitioners discover ways to higher advocate in ex parte appeals and put up grant proceedings below the America Invents Act (AIA), akin to inter partes opinions, on behalf of patent candidates, patent house owners, and AIA petitioners.

I’m proud to say that I’ve been concerned with LEAP since its inception, as I helped assist its growth whereas nonetheless in non-public follow. Now, as Director, it’s much more clear to me what a significant program LEAP is for everybody concerned, from newer practitioners all the best way up by way of LEAP sponsors, shoppers, and the entire mental property (IP) bar. I’m proud to see the expansion of this program and its significant affect within the authorized neighborhood. By selling alternative and development for all, it helps safe the way forward for our authorized career.

One LEAP participant mentioned it greatest: “LEAP helped me turn into a extra well-rounded patent practitioner. Not solely did LEAP assist me develop my oral advocacy abilities, it offered extra perspective in regards to the PTAB and the ex parte appeals course of that I’ve carried by way of to different areas of my follow. For instance, LEAP helped me perceive necessary issues to emphasise throughout prosecution that would later be useful in an ex parte attraction. And I’ve utilized what I realized about oral advocacy to different areas of my follow, from examiner interviews to interactions with shoppers and colleagues.”

The long run success of this system will depend on you!

The USPTO encourages all members of the IP neighborhood – attorneys, regulation corporations, shoppers, and many others. – to assist and take part in LEAP. The LEAP program, and the experiences gained in it, can profit the entire IP bar and its shoppers. The USPTO additionally asks regulation corporations and regulation agency leaders to think about serving as sponsors in LEAP and take into consideration together with the LEAP program as a part of your common coaching.

To request a LEAP practitioner argue in a PTAB case, you merely must fill out the form on our web site and e mail it to at the least 5 days earlier than the listening to. Study extra about this system by studying insightful testimonials from the sponsors and individuals themselves on our website.

LEAP is an lively and ever-growing program and we’re frequently in search of methods to increase alternatives for individuals. We might be internet hosting a brand new “LEAP to Chambers” occasion on November 9 to permit LEAP candidates to go to USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia for a judge-guided tour of the listening to services and to find out about advocacy ideas from PTAB judges. Though this occasion is at capability, we’ve got plans for future periods within the Detroit, Denver, Dallas, and San Jose regional workplaces, in addition to nearly. Subscribe to USPTO e mail updates to listen to about these as quickly as they’re introduced.

For extra info or to supply solutions on methods to enhance this system, please contact us at

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