What is a Technical Expert?

Today, technology companies are subject to more technical regulation and legal action on technical operations. A prime example is patents. Whether you are protecting your legal patent rights to technology or defending against infringement actions, a technical expert can assist in your efforts by advising you on the technical issues involved and how to craft an effective strategy.

A testifying technical expert can also provide the court with guidance on technical issues, and offer technical opinions. Courts recognize technical experts and give weight to their opinions. The technical expert is obligated to provide accurate testimony to the court.

When deciding on a technical expert, there are several considerations to keep in mind.

  • First and foremost, will the court recognize the individual as a technical expert on the subject matter based on their experience, training, education and accomplishments? You may really like your potential expert, but if they cannot convince the court that they are truly an expert, it will not matter.
  • Your technical expert will have to perform a detailed analysis of the issues involved and provide reports on technical issues like infringement reports, validity reports and other studies. Do they have the requisite skills to form and explain technical reports?
  • Can your technical expert defend their opinions orally in depositions, hearings and trials? They may have the credentials and draft a marvelous report, but if they cannot defend their opinions under rigorous scrutiny and cross examination, it will not matter.
  • Finally, can your technical expert translate their technical knowledge into terms that can be understood by the judge and jury? These primary players are not usually going to be people that understand technology to the degree necessary to make legal decisions. So, they rely on technical experts to frame the arguments into terms understandable by common people so they can rule on the issues.

About Gene Retske, technical expert.