INTERROGATORIES

Interrogatories, as used before the TTAB Board in an opposition or a cancellation proceeding, are a formal way  of asking for further information (after initial disclosures) using written questions and answers. Many rules apply. Interrogatories and Requests for Admissions are two of several tools discussed in the TMBP (Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) Manual of Procedure).


The TBMP is approximately 1000 pages long. View full pdf or download pdf version from the uspto.gov site or view a searchable version online at the USPTO web site at http://tbmp.uspto.gov/RDMS/detail/manual/TBMP/current/tbmpd1e2.xml.



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TRADEMARK TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD (TTAB)  MANUAL OF PROCEDURE (TBMP)

January 2017

TBMP 405 Interrogatories

TBMP 405.01 When Permitted and By Whom

A party may only serve written interrogatories on any other party during the discovery period if the serving party previously served or concurrently serves therewith its initial disclosures, absent a stipulation or a granted motion, or upon order of the Board to the contrary. [ Note 1.] See TBMP §403.02. Interrogatories must be served early enough in the discovery period, as originally set or as may have been reset by the Board, so that responses will be due no later than the close of discovery. [ Note 2.] TBMP § 403.02. Interrogatories may not be served on a non-party. [ Note 3.]


NOTES:

 1.   37 CFR § 2.120(a)(3).


 2.   37 CFR §2.120(a)(3). See also MISCELLANEOUS CHANGES TO TRADEMARK TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD RULES OF PRACTICE, 81 Fed. Reg. 69950, 69962 (October 7, 2016).


2. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 33; 37 CFR §2.120(d).


405.02 Scope

Interrogatories may seek any information that is discoverable under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b). [ Note 1.] An interrogatory that is otherwise proper is not necessarily objectionable merely because it requires a party to give an opinion or contention that relates to fact or the application of law to fact. [ Note 2.]


NOTES:

 1.   Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(a)(2).


 2.   Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(a)(2). See Johnston Pump/General Valve Inc. v. Chromalloy American Corp., 10 USPQ2d 1671, 1676 (TTAB 1988) (query whether opposer believes marks in question to be confusingly similar must be answered even though it requires opposer to draw legal conclusion). See also Gould Inc. v. Sanyo Electric Co., 179 USPQ 313, 314 (TTAB 1973) ("interrogatories may relate to any matters which can be inquired into under FRCP 26(b)").


405.03 Limit on Number

405.03(a) Description of Limit


37 CFR §2.120(d)  Interrogatories. The total number of written interrogatories which a party may serve upon another party pursuant to Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, in a proceeding, shall not exceed seventy-five, counting subparts, except that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, in its discretion, may allow additional interrogatories upon motion therefor showing good cause, or upon stipulation of the parties, approved by the Board. A motion for leave to serve additional interrogatories must be filed and granted prior to the service of the proposed additional interrogatories and must be accompanied by a copy of the interrogatories, if any, which have already been served by the moving party, and by a copy of the interrogatories proposed to be served..

The total number of interrogatories which a party may serve on another party, in a proceeding, may not exceed 75, counting subparts, except that the Board, may allow additional interrogatories on motion therefor showing good cause, or on stipulation of the parties. [ Note 1.] See TBMP § 519. Parties may also stipulate that the limit on interrogatories shall be fewer than 75. [ Note 2.]


NOTES:

 1.   See Baron Phillippe De Rothschild S.A. v. S. Rothschild & Co., 16 USPQ2d 1466, 1467 n.5 (TTAB 1990) ("good cause will generally be found only where a legitimate need for further discovery by means of interrogatories is shown . . . the fact that the additional interrogatories served by opposer may be relevant and narrowly drawn to a single issue is insufficient, in and of itself, to demonstrate good cause.")..


 2.   37 CFR §2.120(a)(2)(iv)


405.03(b) Application of Limit: Sets of Interrogatories

TThe numerical limit of 37 CFR §2.120(d)  pertains to the total number of interrogatories that one party may serve on another party over the course of an entire proceeding, not just per set of interrogatories. Thus, if a party to a proceeding before the Board serves, over the course of the proceeding, two or more separate sets of interrogatories directed to the same party, the interrogatories in the separate sets would be added together for purposes of determining whether the numerical limit specified in the rule has been exceeded. [ Note 1.]

Accordingly, a party which is preparing a first set of interrogatories should reserve a portion of its allotted 75 interrogatories (counting subparts) to use for follow-up discovery, unless it is sure that it will not be serving follow-up interrogatories.


NOTES:

 1.   See Baron Phillippe De Rothschild S.A. v. S. Rothschild & Co., 16 USPQ2d 1466, 1467 (TTAB 1990).


TBMP 405.03(c)    Application of Limit: Multiple Marks, Etc.

37 CFR §2.120(d)  does not provide for extra interrogatories in cases where more than one mark is pleaded and/or attacked by the plaintiff (whether in a single proceeding, or in consolidated proceedings), because in such cases, the propounding party may simply request that each interrogatory be answered with respect to each involved mark of the responding party, and the interrogatories will be counted the same as if they pertained to only one mark. Similarly, the rule does not provide for extra interrogatories in cases where there is a counterclaim, because in a proceeding before the Board, the discovery information needed by a party for purposes of litigating the plaintiff’s claim usually encompasses the information needed by that party for purposes of litigating a counterclaim. That is, the mere fact that a proceeding involves multiple marks (whether in a single proceeding, or in consolidated proceedings) and/or a counterclaim does not mean that a party is entitled to serve 75 interrogatories, counting subparts, for each mark, or for each proceeding that has been consolidated, or for both the main claim and the counterclaim. Nor does such fact, in and of itself, constitute good cause for a motion for leave to serve additional interrogatories. However, a proceeding with multiple marks and/or a counterclaim may involve unusually numerous or complex issues, and these are factors that will be considered in determining a motion for leave to serve additional interrogatories.


TBMP 405.03(d)    Application of Limit: Counting Interrogatories


In determining whether the number of interrogatories served by one party on another exceeds the limit of 37 CFR §2.120(d), the Board will count each subpart within an interrogatory as a separate interrogatory, regardless of whether the subpart is separately designated (i.e., separately numbered or lettered). [ Note 1.]

If an interrogatory includes questions set forth as numbered or lettered subparts, each separately designated subpart will be counted by the Board as a separate interrogatory. The propounding party will, to that extent, be bound by its own numbering system, and will not be heard to complain that an interrogatory, although propounded with separately designated subparts, should nevertheless be counted as a single interrogatory because the interrogatory concerns a single transaction, set of facts, etc., or because the division was made for clarification or convenience. [ Note 2.]


On the other hand, if a propounding party sets forth its interrogatories as 75 or fewer separately designated questions (counting both separately designated interrogatories and separately designated subparts), but the interrogatories actually contain more than 75 questions, the Board will not be bound by the propounding party’s numbering or designating system. Rather, the Board will look to the substance of the interrogatories, and count each question as a separate interrogatory. [ Note 3.] For example, if two or more questions are combined in a single compound interrogatory, and are not set out as separate subparts, the Board will look to the substance of the interrogatory, and count each of the combined questions as a separate interrogatory. [ Note 4.]


If an interrogatory contains both an initial question, and follow-up questions to be answered if the first is answered in the affirmative, the initial question and each follow-up question will be counted as separate interrogatories. [ Note 5.]

Similarly, if an interrogatory begins with a broad introductory clause ("Describe fully the facts and circumstances surrounding applicant’s first use of the mark XYZ, including:") followed by several subparts ("Applicant’s date of first use of the mark on the goods listed in the application," "Applicant’s date of first use of the mark on such goods in commerce," etc.), the Board will count the broad introductory clause and each subpart as a separate interrogatory, whether or not the subparts are separately designated. [ Note 6.]


If an interrogatory requests information concerning more than one issue, such as information concerning both "sales and advertising figures," or both "adoption and use," the Board will count each issue on which information is sought as a separate interrogatory. In contrast, if an interrogatory requests "all relevant facts and circumstances" concerning a single issue, event, or matter; or asks that a particular piece of information, such as, for example, annual sales figures under a mark, be given for multiple years, and/or for each of the responding party’s involved marks, it will be counted as a single interrogatory. [ Note 7.]


The introductory instructions or preamble to a set of interrogatories will not be counted by the Board as interrogatories or subparts for purposes of determining whether the limit specified in 37 CFR §2.120(d)  has been exceeded. On the other hand, the Board’s determination, on a motion to compel, of the adequacy of an interrogatory answer will not be governed by the introductory instructions or preamble; the Board is not bound by the instructions or preamble, and will make its own independent determination of the adequacy of the answer, without regard to the instructions or preamble. [ Note 8.]


NOTES:

 1.   Jan Bell Marketing, Inc. v. Centennial Jewelers, Inc., 19 USPQ2d 1636, 1637 (TTAB 1990); Pyttronic Industries, Inc. v. Terk Technologies Corp., 16 USPQ2d 2055, 2056 (TTAB 1990); Kellogg Co. v. Nugget Distributors’ Cooperative of America, Inc., 16 USPQ2d 1468, 1469 (TTAB 1990); Brawn of California Inc. v. Bonnie Sportswear Ltd., 15 USPQ2d 1572, 1574 (TTAB 1990).


 2.   Jan Bell Marketing, Inc. v. Centennial Jewelers, Inc., 19 USPQ2d 1636, 1637 (TTAB 1990); Pyttronic Industries, Inc. v. Terk Technologies Corp., 16 USPQ2d 2055, 2056 (TTAB 1990).


 3.   Jan Bell Marketing, Inc. v. Centennial Jewelers, Inc., 19 USPQ2d 1636, 1637 (TTAB 1990).


 4.   See Jan Bell Marketing, Inc. v. Centennial Jewelers, Inc., 19 USPQ2d 1636, 1637 (TTAB 1990); Kellogg Co. v. Nugget Distributors’ Cooperative of America, Inc., 16 USPQ2d 1468, 1469 (TTAB 1990).


 5.   Kellogg Co. v. Nugget Distributors’ Cooperative of America, Inc., 16 USPQ2d 1468, 1469 (TTAB 1990).


 6.   See Jan Bell Marketing, Inc. v. Centennial Jewelers, Inc., 19 USPQ2d 1636, 1637 (TTAB 1990).


 7.   See NOTICE OF FINAL RULEMAKING, 54 Fed. Reg. 34886 (August 22, 1989).


 8.   See Avia Group International Inc. v. Faraut, 25 USPQ2d 1625, 1626 (TTAB 1992).


TBMP 405.03(e)    Remedy for Excessive Interrogatories

37 CFR §2.120(d)  ...If a party upon which interrogatories have been served believes that the number of interrogatories served exceeds the limitation specified in this paragraph d, and is not willing to waive this basis for objection, the party shall, within the time for (and instead of) serving answers and specific objections to the interrogatories, serve a general objection on the ground of their excessive number. If the inquiring party, in turn, files a motion to compel discovery, the motion must be accompanied by a copy of the set(s) of interrogatories which together are said to exceed the limitation, and must otherwise comply with the requirements of paragraph (f) of this section.


If a party on which interrogatories have been served, in a proceeding before the Board, believes that the number of interrogatories exceeds the limit specified in 37 CFR §2.120(d), and wishes to object to the interrogatories on this basis, the party must, within the time for (and instead of) serving answers and specific objections to the interrogatories, serve a general objection on the ground of their excessive number. [ Note 1.] A party should not answer what it considers to be the first 75 interrogatories and object to the rest as excessive. [ Note 2.]


If a general objection on the ground of excessive number is asserted, and the propounding party, in turn, believes that the objection is not well taken, and wishes to obtain an adjudication from the Board as to the sufficiency thereof, the propounding party must file a motion to compel discovery. The motion must be accompanied by a copy of the set(s) of interrogatories which together are said to exceed the limitation, and must otherwise comply with the requirements of 37 CFR §2.120(f), including the requirement that a motion to compel be supported by a showing from the moving party that such party or its attorney has made a good faith effort, by conference or correspondence, to resolve with the other party or its attorney the issues presented in the motion and has been unable to reach agreement. [ Note 3.] It is further recommended that the moving party set out its counting method showing that the number of interrogatories does not exceed 75. For further information concerning motions to compel discovery, see TBMP § 523.


If, on determining a motion to compel filed in response to a general objection to interrogatories on the ground of excessive number, the Board finds that the interrogatories are excessive in number, and that the propounding party has not previously used up its allotted 75 interrogatories, the Board normally will allow the propounding party an opportunity to serve a revised set of interrogatories not exceeding the numerical limit. The revised set of interrogatories serves as a substitute for the excessive set, and thus is deemed timely if the excessive set was timely. [ Note 4.] For information regarding the timing of interrogatories, see TBMP §405.01.


However, if an order providing for a revised set is issued late in the discovery period or after the close of the discovery period, the discovery period will be extended or reopened, as appropriate, to permit service of and responses to the revised set. Where discovery is reopened, the scope of the revised set may not exceed the scope of the excessive set, that is, the revised set may not seek information beyond the scope of the excessive set. [ Note 5.]


A party may properly refuse to respond to a document request seeking all documents identified or referred to in response to interrogatories if the number of interrogatories is believed to be excessive. [ Note 6.]


In those cases where a party which has propounded interrogatories realizes, on receipt of a general objection thereto on the ground of excessive number, that the interrogatories are, in fact, excessive in number, it is strongly recommended that the parties voluntarily agree to the service of a revised set of interrogatories, in the manner normally allowed by the Board, instead of bringing their dispute to the Board by motion to compel.


NOTES:

 1.   37 CFR §2.120(d). Cf. Amazon Technologies v. Wax, 93 USPQ2d 1702, 1705 (TTAB 2009).


 2.   Brawn of California Inc. v. Bonnie Sportswear Ltd., 15 USPQ2d 1572, 1574 (TTAB 1990).


 3.   37 CFR §2.120(d)  and 37 CFR §2.120(f).


 4.   See Jan Bell Marketing, Inc. v. Centennial Jewelers, Inc., 19 USPQ2d 1636, 1637 (TTAB 1990); Pyttronic Industries, Inc. v. Terk Technologies Corp., 16 USPQ2d 2055, 2056 (TTAB 1990); Kellogg Co. v. Nugget Distributors’ Cooperative of America, Inc., 16 USPQ2d 1468, 1469 (TTAB 1990). See also Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby Inc. v. Circle Consulting Group Inc., 16 USPQ2d 1398, 1398-99 (TTAB 1990) (excusing obligation to answer excessive set); Brawn of California Inc. v. Bonnie Sportswear Ltd., 15 USPQ2d 1572, 1574 (TTAB 1990). Cf. Baron Phillippe De Rothschild S.A. v. S. Rothschild & Co., 16 USPQ2d 1466, 1468 n.6 (TTAB 1990) (opposer may seek answers by taking discovery deposition of applicant).


 5.   37 CFR §2.120(a)(3). See, e.g., Jan Bell Marketing, Inc. v. Centennial Jewelers, Inc., 19 USPQ2d 1636, 1637 (TTAB 1990); Kellogg Co. v. Nugget Distributors’ Cooperative of America, Inc., 16 USPQ2d 1468, 1469 (TTAB 1990).


 6.   See Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby Inc. v. Circle Consulting Group Inc., 16 USPQ2d 1398, 1399 (TTAB 1990) (refusal to respond to document requests was proper; petitioner could not respond to document requests without first having to answer excessive interrogatories).


TBMP 405.04    Responses to Interrogatories

TBMP 405.04(a)    Time for Service of Responses

37 CFR § 2.120(a)(3)  … Responses to interrogatories, requests for production of documents and things, and requests for admission must be served within thirty days from the date of service of such discovery requests.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(b)(2) Time to Respond. The responding party must serve its answers and any objections within 30 days after being served with the interrogatories. ...


Responses to interrogatories must be served within 30 days after the date of service of the interrogatories. TBMP § 403.03. The time to respond may be extended upon stipulation of the parties, or upon motion granted by the Board, or by order of the Board, but the response may not be due later than the close of discovery. [ Note 1.] The resetting of a party’s time to respond to an outstanding request for discovery will not result in the automatic rescheduling of the discovery and/or testimony periods; such dates will be rescheduled only upon stipulation of the parties approved by the Board, or upon motion granted by the Board, or by order of the Board. [ Note 2.]


Service of responses to interrogatories must be made by email, unless otherwise stipulated, or if the serving party attempted service by email but service could not be made due to technical problems or extraordinary circumstances, by the manner described in 37 CFR §2.119(b)(1)  - 37 CFR §2.119(b)(4); however, a party not domiciled in the United States or not represented by an attorney or authorized representative in the United States, is not eligible to use United States postal mail. [ Note 3.] Additionally, even if interrogatories are served by postal service or overnight courier (either by agreement or when email service was attempted but could not be made), 37 CFR § 2.119(c) has been amended to remove the previous provision that added five days to the prescribed period for action after the date of service so that no additional time for service of discovery responses is allowed for responding to the requests by any manner of service. [ Note 4.] TBMP §113.05 and TBMP §403.03


A party which fails to respond to interrogatories during the time allowed therefor, and which is unable to show that its failure was the result of excusable neglect, may be found, on motion to compel filed by the propounding party, to have forfeited its right to object to the interrogatories on their merits. [ Note 5.] Objections going to the merits of an interrogatory or other discovery request include claims that the information sought by the request is irrelevant, overly broad, unduly vague and ambiguous, burdensome and oppressive, or not likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. [ Note 6.] In contrast, objections based on claims of privilege or confidentiality or attorney work product do not go to the merits of the request, but instead to a characteristic of the information sought. [ Note 7.] Objections based on confidentiality are expected to be extremely limited because the Board’s standard protective order is in place for all Board inter partes proceedings. [ Note 8.]


NOTES:

 1.   37 CFR §2.120(a)(3).


 2.   37 CFR §2.120(a)(3).


 3.   37 CFR §2.119(b). See MISCELLANEOUS CHANGES TO TRADEMARK TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD RULES OF PRACTICE, 81 Fed. Reg. 69950, 69959 (October 7, 2016).


 4.   37 CFR § 2.119(c). See also MISCELLANEOUS CHANGES TO TRADEMARK TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD RULES OF PRACTICE, 81 Fed. Reg. 69950, 69960 (October 7, 2016).


 5.   See No Fear Inc. v. Rule, 54 USPQ2d 1551, 1554 (TTAB 2000) (stating that the Board has great discretion in determining whether such forfeiture should be found); Envirotech Corp. v. Compagnie Des Lampes, 219 USPQ 448, 449 (TTAB 1979) (excusable neglect not shown where opposer was out of the country and, upon return, failed to ascertain that responses were due); Crane Co. v. Shimano Industrial Co., 184 USPQ 691, 691 (TTAB 1975) (waived right to object by refusing to respond to interrogatories, claiming that they served "no useful purpose"). See also Luehrmann v. Kwik Kopy Corp., 2 USPQ2d 1303, 1303 (TTAB 1987) (right to object not waived where although discovery responses were late, there was some confusion regarding time to respond); MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. v. Arrow-M Corp., 203 USPQ 952, 953 (TTAB 1979) (although party failed to timely respond to discovery, party seeking such discovery is required to make good faith effort to determine why no response has been made before filing motion to compel).


 6.   See No Fear Inc. v. Rule, 54 USPQ2d 1551, 1554 (TTAB 2000).


 7.   See No Fear Inc. v. Rule, 54 USPQ2d 1551, 1554 (TTAB 2000) (party will generally not be found to have waived the right to make these objections).


 8.   37 CFR § 2.116(g).


TBMP 405.04(b)    Nature of Responses

Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(b)(3) Answering Each Interrogatory. Each interrogatory must, to the extent it is not objected to, be answered separately and fully in writing under oath.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(b)(4) Objections. The grounds for objecting to an interrogatory must be stated with specificity. Any ground not stated in a timely objection is waived unless the court, for good cause, excuses the failure.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(d) Option to Produce Business Records . If the answer to an interrogatory may be determined by examining, auditing, compiling, abstracting, or summarizing a party’s business records (including electronically stored information), and if the burden of deriving or ascertaining the answer will be substantially the same for either party, the responding party may answer by:

(1) specifying the records that must be reviewed, in sufficient detail to enable the interrogating party to locate and identify them as readily as the responding party could; and

(2) giving the interrogating party a reasonable opportunity to examine and audit the records and to make copies, compilations, abstracts, or summaries.


Ordinarily, a party on which interrogatories have been served should respond to them by stating, with respect to each interrogatory, either an answer or an objection. If an interrogatory is answered, the answer must be made separately and fully, in writing under oath. If an interrogatory is objected to, the reasons for objection must be stated in lieu of an answer. [ Note 1.] If a responding party believes that the number of interrogatories served exceeds the limit specified in 37 CFR §2.120(d), and wishes to object to the interrogatories on this basis, the party must, within the time for (and instead of) serving answers and specific objections to the interrogatories, serve a general objection on the ground of their excessive number. [ Note 2.] TBMP § 405.03(e).


The Board prefers that the responding party reproduce each interrogatory immediately preceding the answer or objection thereto.


In some cases, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(d), the information sought in an interrogatory may be derived or ascertained from the business records of the responding party, or from an examination, audit, or inspection of those business records (including a compilation, abstract, or summary thereof) and the burden of deriving or ascertaining the information is substantially the same for the propounding party as for the responding party. In those cases, the responding party may answer the interrogatory by itself providing, in its written answer to the interrogatory, the information sought. Alternatively, the responding party may answer the interrogatory by specifying the records from which the information may be derived or ascertained, and affording to the propounding party reasonable opportunity to examine, audit, or inspect the records and to make copies, compilations, abstracts, or summaries. If the responding party elects to answer an interrogatory by specifying and producing business records, the specification must be in sufficient detail to permit the propounding party to locate and identify, as readily as can the responding party, the records from which the answer may be ascertained. [ Note 3.] A party seeking to invoke Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(d) with regard to electronic information may be required to provide some combination of technical support, information on application software or other assistance to the requesting party. [ Note 4.] If direct access to its electronic information system is necessary to afford the requesting party an adequate opportunity to derive or ascertain the answer to an interrogatory, the answering party may determine that its need for privacy or confidentiality requires it to derive or ascertain the answer itself rather than invoke Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(d). [ Note 5.]


A responding party cannot simultaneously invoke the option to produce business records and claim the protection of a privilege as to the documents. [ Note 6.]


It is generally inappropriate for a party to respond to interrogatories by filing a motion attacking them, such as a motion to strike, a motion to suppress, a motion for a protective order, etc. Rather, the party ordinarily should respond by answering those interrogatories that it believes to be proper and stating its objections to those that it believes to be improper. TBMP § 410.


For information regarding a party’s duty to supplement responses to interrogatories, see TBMP § 408.03.


NOTES:

 1.   Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(b)(2), 33(b)(4).


 2.   37 CFR §2.120(d).


 3.   Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(d); Johnson & Johnson v. Obschestvo s ogranitchennoy; otvetstvennostiu "WDS," 95 USPQ2d 1567, 1570 (TTAB 2010) (responding party not entitled to invoke Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(d) by producing business records in Russian language with no English translation); No Fear Inc. v. Rule, 54 USPQ2d 1551, 1555 (TTAB 2000) (responding party may not merely agree to provide access to voluminous records which may contain responsive information); Jain v. Ramparts, Inc., 49 USPQ2d 1429, 1435 (TTAB 1998) (identifying prerequisites for exercising the option to produce business records in lieu of answering interrogatories).


 4.   Fed. R. Civ. P. 33 Advisory Committee’s notes (2006 Amendment Rule 33(d)).


 5.   Fed. R. Civ. P. 33 Advisory Committee’s notes (2006 Amendment, Rule 33(d)).


 6.   See No Fear Inc. v. Rule, 54 USPQ2d 1551, 1554 (TTAB 2000); 8B C. WRIGHT, A. MILLER & R. MARCUS, FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE Civil 3d § 2178 (2016).


TBMP 405.04(c)    Signature of Responses and Authority of Signer

Fed. R. Civ. P.33(b)(1) Responding Party. The interrogatories must be answered:

(A) by the party to whom they are directed; or

(B) if that party is a public or private corporation, a partnership, an association, or a governmental agency, by any officer or agent, who must furnish the information available to the party.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(b)(5) Signature. The person who makes the answers must sign them, and the attorney who objects must sign any objections.


Interrogatories must be answered by the party served. If the party served is a corporation, partnership, association, or governmental agency, the interrogatories must be answered by an officer, partner or agent, who must furnish whatever information is available to the party served. [ Note 1.]


The term "agent" includes an attorney, who may answer even though he has no personal knowledge of the facts stated in the answers; the attorney’s answers, like an officer’s or partner’s answers, must contain the information available to the party served. [ Note 2.] However, an attorney who answers interrogatories on behalf of a corporation, partnership, association, or governmental agency may thereafter be exposed to additional discovery and possibly even disqualification. [ Note 3.]


Responses to interrogatories must be signed by the person making them, and objections to interrogatories must be signed by the attorney making them. [ Note 4.]


NOTES:

 1.   Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(b)(1)(B).


 2.   See Allstate Insurance Co. v. Healthy America Inc., 9 USPQ2d 1663, 1665 (TTAB 1988).


 3.   See 37 CFR § 11.307; Allstate Insurance Co. v. Healthy America Inc., 9 USPQ2d 1663 n.4 (TTAB 1988).


 4.   Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(b)(5).



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Merely Descriptive Refusals

ID of Goods and Services see also Headings (list) of International Trademark Classes

Register a Trademark-Step by Step  

Protect Business Goodwill Extension of Time to Oppose

Geographically Descriptive or Deceptive

Change of Address with the TTAB using ESTTA

Likelihood of confusion-Circuit Court tests

Pseudo Marks    How to Reply to Cease and Desist Letter

Not Just Patents Often Represents the Underdog

 Overcome Merely Descriptive Refusal   Overcome Likelihood Confusion

Protecting Trademark Rights (Common Law)

Steps in a Trademark Opposition Process   

Section 2(d) Refusals   FilingforTrademark.com

Zombie Trademark  

What is the Difference between Principal & Supplemental Register?

Typical Brand Name Refusals  What is a Family of Marks? What If Someone Files An Opposition Against My Trademark?

How to Respond Office Actions  

DIY Overcoming Descriptive Refusals

Trademark Steps Trademark Registration Answers TESS  

Trademark Searching Using TESS  Trademark Search Tips

Trademark Clearance Search   DIY Trademark Strategies

Published for Opposition     What is Discoverable in a TTAB Proceeding?

Counterclaims and Affirmative Defenses


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