One of the biggest dangers in trying a patent case is the risk of overwhelming the judge or jury with too much information. The widely-read online legal publication Law360 recently asked for the advice of One LLP Partner William O’Brien and other experienced patent trial lawyers about how best to present the best evidence in a patent trial.
The Law360 article, “5 Tips for Showcasing Evidence at a Patent Trial,” highlights key trial techniques such as focusing on a central theme, using sophisticated and varied visual aids, showing the human angle of the case, looking for witnesses with a fresh viewpoint, and always expecting the unexpected in the courtroom.
For example, Bill O’Brien explains in the article that the best evidence about an invention doesn’t necessarily come from the inventor himself. Bill describes how, in representing the owner of a patent on dialysis needle guards, he decided not to call the inventor as his first witness. Instead, Bill led off with a consultant who had helped commercialize the invention. “He was able to talk about how brilliant the inventor was and how creative and important the invention had been — things that it would have been very awkward for the inventor to say directly.” In situations like this, Bill points out, “the best evidence can come from those who offer a perspective that is different from the most obvious witness.”
In that particular trial, “The consultant witness helped us win a close obviousness case by putting the inventor and the invention into a favorable context for the jury.” Bill’s client collected more than $5 million as a result.