Finjan, Inc. v. FireEye, Inc.

In an order regarding deposition conduct and decorum, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) granted patent owner’s request for additional cross examination, ordering additional deposition hours and limiting counsel’s objections when the deponent was dilatory and both parties’ counsel lacked the required courtesy and decorum.  Finjan, Inc. v. FireEye, Inc., IPR Case No. IPR2014-00344 (PTAB, Sept. 18, 2014) (Ippolito, APJ).

The patent owner, FireEye, alleged that the deponent was evasive and dilatory and that the petitioner’s counsel made inappropriate, suggestive objections.  The petitioner, Finjan, asserted that the deponent only paused to diligently consult his lengthy declarations and that the objections were in response to deeply flawed questions.

The PTAB found that an additional seven hours of deposition time was warranted.  The PTAB noted that the deponent took long pauses before answering questions several times and that the deponent’s two declarations each exceeded 300 pages.

The PTAB also observed both parties’ counsel lacked the required courtesy and decorum expected at a deposition.  The PTAB ordered the parties to refrain from interrupting each other or the deponent in future depositions and ordered the parties’ counsel not to make suggestive objections or statements, noting that objections should be limited to a single word or term (e.g., “objection, form.”).