2024 Conference Agenda


2024 PTAB Bar Association Annual Conference
March 6 - 8, 2024

The 2024 Annual Conference will bring together practitioners, in-house counsel, and members of the bench for a dynamic program offering fresh perspectives and original content on the subjects most relevant to post-grant practitioners and stakeholders.

The agenda features sessions with experts, government officials, industry voices, and other thought pioneers that will provide participants with thought provoking insights into the current issues facing those practicing before the PTAB.



Time/LocationSession DescriptionTentative Speakers
11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Salon Foyer
Registration Open 
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Plaza Ballroom
Committee Meetings 
12:50 pm – 1:00 pm
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
WelcomeFahd Patel (Solicitor’s Office, USPTO)
Gene Lee (Perkins Coie)
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom

APJ Day: Appeals to the PTAB Bootcamp
This session, co-sponsored by the PTAB Bar Association Appeals to the PTAB Committee, offers a nuts and bolts overview of ex parte appeal proceedings.

APJ Jeffrey Fredman
LAPJ David McKone
APJ Rachel Townsend
Jessica Li (Fish & Richardson)
Michael Shepherd (Fish & Richardson)
2:00 pm – 2:15 pmBreak 
2:15 pm - 3:15 pm
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
APJ Day: Dear PTAB Q&A Session

This session will address commonly asked questions about AIA trial proceedings, oral hearings, and PTAB special initiatives like LEAP and PTAB Pro Bono geared for less experienced practitioners and inventors.

LAPJ Jeffrey Abraham
LAPJ Ifti Ahmed
LAPJ Alyssa Finamore
VCJ Janet Gongola
LAPJ Robert Kinder
3:15 pm – 3:30 pmBreak 
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
APJ Day: PTAB Feud
This game show format provides tips for PTAB practice and tests participants knowledge about various aspects of PTAB practice including appeals, trials, hearings, precedent, and motions. 
VCJ Kalyan Deshpande
LAPJ Phillip Kauffman
LAPJ David Kohut
Brandy Zukanovich (USPTO)
Adam Burns (USPTO Law Clerk)
Abigail Idokogi (USPTO Law Clerk)
Maksim Mints (USPTO Law Clerk)
Kyla Butler (O’Melveny & Myers)
Drew Needham (Arnold & Porter)
Richa Patel (Sterne Kessler)
Will Neer (Finnegan)
Sheena Wang (Rothwell Figg)
Sarah Geers (Jones Day)
Trevor Jefferson (Quinn Emanuel)
Eugene Goryunov (Haynes & Boone)
Jomy Methipara (Dickinson Wright)
Alexis Cohen (WilmerHale)
4:30 pm – 5:45 pm
Salon Foyer
Networking Welcome Mixer 
7:00 am – 8:30 am
Salon Foyer
Registration and Breakfast 
7:00 am – 7:45 am
Front of Ritz-Carlton
Women’s Committee Walk for STEM 
8:00 am – 8:45 am
Plaza Ballroom
Diversity and Women’s Committees Breakfast  
8:45 am – 9:00 am
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
Welcome by Terry Rea, President, PTAB Bar Association 
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
General Session 1 – RPI Panel
This session will offer an in-depth look at RPI discovery from the district court to the PTAB and beyond.
Moderator: Scott Weidenfeller (Covington)
Acting VCJ Miriam Quinn
LAPJ Michael Zecher
Judge Kathleen O’Malley (Ret.) (Sullivan & Cromwell)
Nicholas Matich (McKool Smith)
10:00 am -10:15 amBreak 
10:15 am -11:15 am
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
General Session 2 – Debate on Obviousness
Hon. Molly Silfen, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, will moderate a debate addressing the nuances of, and salient recent developments in, obviousness law, including whether the requirements for proving obviousness are consistent with the Supreme Court’s KSR decision. We hope that this lively discussion will help patent applicants, patent owners, and petitioners consider how to address obviousness before the PTAB.
Moderator: Judge Molly Silfen (Court of Fed. Claims)
John Duffy (UVA, School of Law)
Scott Kieff (GWU Law School)
11:15 am – 11:30 amBreak 
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
General Session 3 – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Discussion
This Diversity Panel will engage in a robust discussion on how to unlock the potential and enable the success of practitioners and innovators with disabilities. By bringing together a diverse range of perspectives and experiences, the panel aims to explore innovative solutions, promote understanding, and amplify the voices of individuals navigating disabilities in the demanding practice of law and rapidly evolving professional world.
Moderator: David Higer (Winstead)
Dir. Bismarck Myrick (OEEOD, USPTO)
Vinton Cerf (Google, NIHF)
Haley Moss
12:30 pm- 1:00 pm
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
Keynote Remarks by Chief Judge Scott Boalick

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
Networking Lunch & Association Business Meeting 
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
General Session 4 -   Estoppel
This panel will discuss ways in which PTAB-related estoppel can arise, whether in prosecution, at the PTAB, or in district court, as well as recent decisions and practice pointers for both prosecutors and litigators.
Moderator: Amanda Brouillette (Kilpatrick)      
Dir. David Ruschke (CRU, USPTO)
Eldora Ellison (Sterne Kessler)
Lora Green (Gemini)
Mark Taylor (Microsoft)
3:30 pm – 3:45 pmBreak

3:45 pm - 4:45 pm
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
General Session 5 – Appellate Panel
This panel of appellate experts will discuss recent developments in Federal Circuit case law relevant to appeals from the PTAB, including key decisions in the areas of obviousness, written description/enablement, and estoppel.  The panel will also look forward to appellate decisions that may impact appeals from the PTAB, with a focus on cases pending before both the Supreme Court and Federal Circuit.  Finally, the panel will address tips for best practices in appellate briefs and oral argument before the Federal Circuit.
Moderator: Rachel Elsby (Akin Gump)
Peter Ayers (Solicitor’s Office, USPTO)
Nathan Kelley (Perkins Coie)
Brian Matsui (Morrison Forester)
Irene Yang (Sidley Austin)
4:45 pm - 5:00 pmBreak 
5:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
“Fireside” Chat with the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, Kathi Vidal
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Salon Foyer
Networking Social Event 
7:00 am – 8:30 am
Salon Foyer
Registration and Breakfast 
8:30 am – 8:45 amBreak 
8:45 am – 9:45 am
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
General Session 6 – Discretionary Denials
Please join us to discuss the current state of play in discretionary denials at the PTAB and the practical implications for both petitioners and patent owners, with observations on hot topics ranging from multi-defendant General Plastics scenarios to “not-quite-Sotera” stipulations as the Board’s policies continue to evolve.
Moderator: Steve Baughman (Groombridge)
VCJ Michael Tierney
Phillip Lee (Samsung Electronics)
Nathan Reeves (Knobbe Martens)
Eagle Robinson (Norton Rose)
9:45 am – 10:00 amBreak 
10:00 am – 10:45 am
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
General Session 7 - View from the District Court Bench
A panel of District Court judges will share their views of the PTAB practice and the ways it affects their District Court litigation.
Moderator: Naveen Modi (Paul Hastings)
Judge Gregory Williams (Dist. Ct., Delaware)
Judge Robert Schroeder (Dist. Ct., ED Texas)
Mag. Judge Christopher Burke (Dist. Ct., Delaware)
10:45 am - 11:00 amBreak 
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
General Session 8 - Ethics Before the PTAB
This session will explore ethical issues that arise from using generative AI before the USPTO, PTAB, and other tribunals. The session will also explore AI inventorship and transparency in use.
Dina Blikshteyn (Haynes Boone)
Meredith Schoenfeld (Solicitor’s Office,USPTO)
Dahlia Girgis (OED, USPTO)
David Cios (Latham & Watkins)
12:00 pm -12:10 pm
Ritz-Carlton Ballroom
Closing Remarks