Patent Litigators Punditize for News Network

Is the world ready for patent litigators on live TV? Well, apparently, yes. Scott Baker, a partner at Reed Smith, and Edward Reines, a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, have both recently appeared on CNBC to talk about patent cases. Yes, patent cases.

With the U.S. Supreme Court hearing five patent cases this term and the BlackBerry patent dispute hogging headlines day after day, patent attorneys have achieved celebrity status.

Baker appeared as a guest commentator on CNBC’s “On the Money” to talk about Research in Motion’s $612.5 million patent settlement with NTP Inc., and plagiarism allegations against “Da Vinci Code” author Dan Brown. Reines appeared twice on CNBC’s “Squawkbox,” an early morning financial talk show, to discuss important patent cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Both attorneys are veteran patent litigators used to performing before a jury, but television is not quite the same, they said.

“I was a raw rookie and definitely nervous until my spot actually started — then it was fun,” said Baker. “I had some help in preparation from our internal PR people and from the CNBC producer for ‘On the Money’ as to the general topics. But no one told me the specific questions and I didn't know the point of view of the other commentator, so the show itself was pretty free-wheeling.”

Reines, who had to be ready by 3 a.m. to appear on the 6 a.m. show, had a similar experience.

“It was unbelievable, because there was a lot of potential for things to go wrong and I was a bit concerned, but it went really well,” Reines said. “My wife was surprised at how well I did, and my mom thought I looked great. I also got calls from long lost friends who saw me on TV.”

Baker said his wife was also surprised at how well he performed on camera. But the funniest line he heard came from one of his firm’s internal PR folks. “He told me I was so box office,” Baker said. “"I'm not sure if the world is ready for patent litigators on live TV, but I'm moving to Hollywood.”

— Xenia P. Kobylarz

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