Choosing the Wrong Court Reporter for a Patent Deposition Can Slow Down Your Case

Your firm’s day-to-day operations may involve the usual mundane tasks: opening mail, checking the transcript of a recent deposition, and making sure the transcript has errata sheets attached to correct any errors. But if you regularly handle patent law cases, your day involves another task: sending the transcript back for another round of correction.

Court Reporters Are Required to Correct Patent Deposition Mistakes

While it is normally acceptable to include errata sheets with transcripts, the rules are slightly different for depositions taken for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Court regulations dictate that if there are any typographical or spelling errors in a patent deposition transcript, it is the court reporter’s responsibility redo the transcript with the corrections, rather than add an addendum. The USPTO will not enter corrections for litigants, and errata lists are often disregarded, adding unnecessary wait times to cases.

Under USPTO Regulations, a Court Reporter in a Patent Deposition Is Responsible for:

  • Correcting all typographical errors in the transcript (including errors of arrangement, indexing, and form) on the transcript itself
  • Providing a copy of the corrected transcript to each party
  • Collecting any corrections offered by other parties, if the transcript is not deemed an accurate record of what a witness actually said
  • Making additional corrections to the final transcript, taking witness errors into account, as long as no material changes have been made to the text
  • Serving a copy of the final transcript to each party prior to filing the certified transcript with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Of course, a court reporter cannot make any corrections that alter a witness’ testimony, even if a witness requests such a change. Reporters have a duty to preserve the official record, and as such are not permitted to make material changes in the text after a deposition has been given.

What If Errors Are Discovered After the Transcript Has Been Filed?

Errors that are discovered after filing must still be corrected, adding a delay to the completion of the case. First, a witness must sign a list of corrections and an official request for leave to correct the errors, which is submitted to the USPTO as well as given to the rest of the parties. After the request is granted, the court reporter who took the deposition must file the corrected transcript with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

At Casamo, our court reporters are aware of the technical and professional duties associated with government work. If you need a reporter for your next federal case, please visit our online scheduler to make a request.

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