For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Calling all fledgling EPO advocates

Rembrandt's "The First-Timer" aptly
depicts the anxieties of a fledgling patent
attorney as he faces an EPO Board ...
There's a select little event coming up soon in July, "Oral Proceedings at the European Patent Office". Organised by Management Forum, this two-day course is limited to just 24 participants, to ensure that each gets maximum benefit from its interactive programme.  This Kat is fascinated by the lengths that people have to go to nowadays if they want to improve their oral presentation skills.  When he was a kitten, exercises of this nature were not widely available in professional circles and there was a prevalent attitude of "If you've got it, you don't need a course to teach you how to do it -- and if you haven't got it, all the courses in the world aren't going to help you". But things have changed, and oral presentation, whether of a legal argument or a submission as to the value or admissibility of evidence, is far more than a matter of sounding convincing: the organisation of an oral presentation and the prioritising of its contents is also vital.

According to the organisers:
The course has been designed for people who are facing their first EPO Oral Proceedings and are rather apprehensive about it, and also for people who have done it before but would like to learn how to do it better. After some tuition and guidance all the delegates are given a patent and have to prepare and present their case (defence and attack) in a court setting, and also experience what it’s like to sit on the Board [indeed, says Merpel, there may be better ways of learning how to put your own oral presentation together than picking holes in someone else's, but few can be as enjoyable ...].

Not surprisingly, participants feel that it’s much better to try out their fledgling advocacy skills for the first time in a safe environment, and without clients’ money at stake! The seminar leaders are Dr George Woods, formerly of the EPO, and William Chandler, a current EPO Appeal Board Member.
If you are thinking of attending this event, which takes place at the Rembrandt Hotel, London, on 9 and 10 July, you will be pleased to know that Management Forum has kindly offered a 15% discount on the course fee to readers of the IPKat weblog.  If you want to know more about the programme you can find further details from Management Forum's website here.  To get the benefit of the IPKat readers' discount, just quote code JL30.

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