July 1, 2014
Board Addresses Procedure for Making Board Aware of Supplemental Evidence
There has been, to date, much confusion surrounding the propriety and timing of filing “supplemental evidence” with the Board. In Sealed Air Corporation v. Pergis Innovative Packing, Inc., IPR2013-00554 through IPR2013-00558, the Board clarified the issues upon request of Patent Challenger regarding the proper procedure to file supplemental evidence in response to an evidentiary objection.
37 CFR § 42.64(b):
(2) Supplemental evidence. The party relying on evidence to which an objection is timely served may respond to the objection by serving supplemental evidence within ten business days of service of the objection.
Patent Challenger acknowledged the Rules for service of supplemental evidence on an opposing party in response to an evidentiary objection under 37 CFR § 42.64(b)(2), but noted the Rules are silent as to the filing of such evidence with the Board. The Board instructed that, in situations where a party’s objection to evidence can be overcome by later-served supplemental evidence, the objection would not become the basis of a motion to exclude evidence, and therefore the Board would not be made aware of either the objection or the supplemental evidence Accordingly, the Rules do not provide for filing of evidentiary objections or supplemental evidence during the initial stages of a proceeding.
The Board only becomes aware of supplemental evidence when there is an evidentiary dispute which cannot be resolved. In such situations, the objecting party may file a motion to exclude evidence, which can be opposed by the filing of an opposition to the motion to exclude. This opposition may be accompanied by exhibits containing previously-served supplemental evidence. Only at this time will the Board be made aware of the supplemental evidence.
In short, objections to evidence and supplemental evidence served within 10 days of such objections, pursuant to 37 CFR § 42.64(b)(2), should only be filed with the Board at the Motion to Exclude stage of the proceeding.