37 CFR 2.123: Trial testimony in inter partes cases

Taken from the USPTO's TM Federal Statutes and Rules, Last Revised in January 2018

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§2.123    Trial testimony in inter partes cases.

  • (a)
    • (1) The testimony of witnesses in inter partes cases may be submitted in the form of an affidavit or a declaration pursuant to § 2.20 and in conformance with the Federal Rules of Evidence, filed during the proffering party’s testimony period, subject to the right of any adverse party to elect to take and bear the expense of oral cross-examination of that witness as provided under paragraph (c) of this section if such witness is within the jurisdiction of the United States, or conduct cross-examination by written questions as provided in § 2.124 if such witness is outside the jurisdiction of the United States, and the offering party must make that witness available; or taken by deposition upon oral examination as provided by this section; or by deposition upon written questions as provided by § 2.124.
    • (2) Testimony taken in a foreign country shall be taken: by deposition upon written questions as provided by § 2.124, unless the Board, upon motion for good cause, orders that the deposition be taken by oral examination, or the parties so stipulate; or by affidavit or declaration, subject to the right of any adverse party to elect to take and bear the expense of cross-examination by written questions of that witness. If a party serves notice of the taking of a testimonial deposition upon written questions of a witness who is, or will be at the time of the deposition, present within the United States or any territory which is under the control and jurisdiction of the United States, any adverse party may, within twenty days from the date of service of the notice, file a motion with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, for good cause, for an order that the deposition be taken by oral examination.
  • (b) Stipulations. If the parties so stipulate in writing, depositions may be taken before any person authorized to administer oaths, at any place, upon any notice, and in any manner, and when so taken may be used like other depositions. The parties may stipulate in writing what a particular witness would testify to if called; or any relevant facts in the case may be stipulated in writing.
  • (c) Notice of examination of witnesses. Before the oral depositions of witnesses shall be taken by a party, due notice in writing shall be given to the adverse party or parties, as provided in § 2.119(b), of the time when and place where the depositions will be taken, of the cause or matter in which they are to be used, and the name and address of each witness to be examined. Depositions may be noticed for any reasonable time and place in the United States. A deposition may not be noticed for a place in a foreign country except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. No party shall take depositions in more than one place at the same time, nor so nearly at the same time that reasonable opportunity for travel from one place of examination to the other is not available. When a party elects to take oral cross-examination of an affiant or declarant, the notice of such election must be served on the adverse party and a copy filed with the Board within 20 days from the date of service of the affidavit or declaration and completed within 30 days from the date of service of the notice of election. Upon motion for good cause by any party, or upon its own initiative, the Board may extend the periods for electing and taking oral cross-examination. When such election has been made but cannot be completed within that testimony period, the Board, after the close of that testimony period, shall suspend or reschedule other proceedings in the matter to allow for the orderly completion of the oral cross-examination(s).
  • (d) Persons before whom depositions may be taken. Depositions may be taken before persons designated by Rule 28 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • (e) Examination of witnesses.
    • (1) Each witness before providing oral testimony shall be duly sworn according to law by the officer before whom the deposition is to be taken. Where oral depositions are taken, every adverse party shall have a full opportunity to cross-examine each witness. When testimony is proffered by affidavit or declaration, every adverse party will have the right to elect oral cross-examination of any witness within the jurisdiction of the United States. For examination of witnesses outside the jurisdiction of the United States, see § 2.124.
    • (2) The deposition shall be taken in answer to questions, with the questions and answers recorded in their regular order by the officer, or by some other person (who shall be subject to the provisions of Rule 28 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) in the presence of the officer except when the officer’s presence is waived on the record by agreement of the parties. The testimony shall be recorded and transcribed, unless the parties present agree otherwise. Exhibits which are marked and identified at the deposition will be deemed to have been offered into evidence, without any formal offer thereof, unless the intention of the party marking the exhibits is clearly expressed to the contrary.
    • (3) If pretrial disclosures or the notice of examination of witnesses served pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section are improper or inadequate with respect to any witness, an adverse party may cross-examine that witness under protest while reserving the right to object to the receipt of the testimony in evidence. Promptly after the testimony is completed, the adverse party, to preserve the objection, shall move to strike the testimony from the record, which motion will be decided on the basis of all the relevant circumstances.
      • (i) A motion to strike the testimony of a witness for lack of proper or adequate pretrial disclosure may seek exclusion of the entire testimony, when there was no pretrial disclosure, or may seek exclusion of that portion of the testimony that was not adequately disclosed in accordance with § 2.121(e).
      • (ii) A motion to strike the testimony of a witness for lack of proper or adequate notice of examination must request the exclusion of the entire testimony of that witness and not only a part of that testimony.
    • (4) All objections made at the time of an oral examination to the qualifications of the officer taking the deposition, or to the manner of taking it, or to the evidence presented, or to the conduct of any party, and any other objection to the proceedings, shall be noted by the officer upon the deposition. Evidence objected to shall be taken subject to the objections.
    • (5) When the oral deposition has been transcribed, the deposition transcript shall be carefully read over by the witness or by the officer to the witness, and shall then be signed by the witness in the presence of any officer authorized to administer oaths unless the reading and the signature be waived on the record by agreement of all parties.
  • (f) Certification and filing of deposition.
    • (1) The officer shall annex to the deposition his or her certificate showing:
      • (i) Due administration of the oath by the officer to the witness before the commencement of his or her deposition;
      • (ii) The name of the person by whom the deposition was taken down, and whether, if not taken down by the officer, it was taken down in his presence;
      • (iii) The presence or absence of the adverse party;
      • (iv) The place, day, and hour of commencing and taking the deposition;
      • (v) The fact that the officer was not disqualified as specified in Rule 28 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
    • (2) If any of the foregoing requirements in paragraph (f)(1) of this section are waived, the certificate shall so state. The officer shall sign the certificate and affix thereto his or her seal of office, if he or she has such a seal. The party taking the deposition, or its attorney or other authorized representative, shall then promptly file the transcript and exhibits in electronic form using ESTTA. If the nature of an exhibit precludes electronic transmission via ESTTA, it shall be submitted by mail by the party taking the deposition, or its attorney or other authorized representative.
  • (g) Form of deposition.
    • (1) The pages of each deposition must be numbered consecutively, and the name of the witness plainly and conspicuously written at the top of each page. A deposition must be in written form. The questions propounded to each witness must be consecutively numbered unless the pages have numbered lines. Each question must be followed by its answer. The deposition transcript must be submitted in full-sized format (one page per sheet), not condensed (multiple pages per sheet).
    • (2) Exhibits must be numbered or lettered consecutively and each must be marked with the number and title of the case and the name of the party offering the exhibit. Entry and consideration may be refused to improperly marked exhibits.
    • (3) Each deposition must contain a word index and an index of the names of the witnesses, giving the pages where the words appear in the deposition and where witness examination and cross-examination begin, and an index of the exhibits, briefly describing their nature and giving the pages at which they are introduced and offered in evidence.
  • (h) Depositions must be filed. All depositions which are taken must be duly filed in the Office. On refusal to file, the Office at its discretion will not further hear or consider the contestant with whom the refusal lies; and the Office may, at its discretion, receive and consider a copy of the withheld deposition, attested by such evidence as is procurable.
  • (i) Effect of errors and irregularities in depositions. Rule 32(d)(1), (2), and (3)(A) and (B) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply to errors and irregularities in depositions. Notice will not be taken of merely formal or technical objections which shall not appear to have wrought a substantial injury to the party raising them; and in case of such injury it must be made to appear that the objection was raised at the time specified in said rule.
  • (j) Objections to admissibility. Subject to the provisions of paragraph (i) of this section, objection may be made to receiving in evidence any declaration, affidavit, or deposition, or part thereof, or any other evidence, for any reason which would require the exclusion of the evidence from consideration. Objections to the competency of a witness or to the competency, relevancy, or materiality of testimony must be raised at the time specified in Rule 32(d)(3)(A) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Such objections may not be considered until final hearing.
  • (k) Evidence not considered. Evidence not obtained and filed in compliance with these sections will not be considered.

[27 FR 7606, Apr. 18, 1972, as amended at 41 FR 760, Jan. 5 1976; 48 FR 23139, May 23, 1983; 54 FR 34899, Aug. 22, 1989; 63 FR 48081, Sept. 9, 1998, effective Oct. 9, 1998; 68 FR 14332, March 25, 2003, effective May 1, 2003; 68 FR 48286, Aug. 13, 2003, effective Sept. 12, 2003; 68 FR 55748, Sept. 26, 2003, effective Nov. 2, 2003; 72 FR 42242, Aug. 1, 2007, effective Nov. 1, 2007; 81 FR 69950, Oct. 7, 2016, effective January 14, 2017]