37 CFR § 42.11 - Duty of candor; signing papers; representations to the Board; sanctions.

§ 42.11 Duty of candor; signing papers; representations to the Board; sanctions.

(a) Duty of candor. Parties and individuals involved in the proceeding have a duty of candor and good faith to the Office during the course of a proceeding.

(b) Signature. Every petition, response, written motion, and other paper filed in a proceeding must comply with the signature requirements set forth in § 11.18(a) of this chapter. The Board may expunge any unsigned submission unless the omission is promptly corrected after being called to the counsel's or party's attention.

(c) Representations to the Board. By presenting to the Board a petition, response, written motion, or other paper - whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it - an attorney, registered practitioner, or unrepresented party attests to compliance with the certification requirements under § 11.18(b)(2) of this chapter.

(d) Sanctions -

(1) In general. If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the Board determines that paragraph (c) of this section has been violated, the Board may impose an appropriate sanction on any attorney, registered practitioner, or party that violated the rule or is responsible for the violation.

(2) Motion for sanctions. A motion for sanctions must be made separately from any other motion and must describe the specific conduct that allegedly violates paragraph (c) of this section. The motion must be authorized by the Board under § 42.20 prior to filing the motion. At least 21 days prior to seeking authorization to file a motion for sanctions, the moving party must serve the other party with the proposed motion. A motion for sanctions must not be filed or be presented to the Board if the challenged paper, claim, defense, contention, or denial is withdrawn or appropriately corrected within 21 days after service of such motion or within another time the Board sets. If warranted, the Board may award to the prevailing party the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred for the motion.

(3) On the Board's initiative. On its own, the Board may order an attorney, registered practitioner, or party to show cause why conduct specifically described in the order has not violated paragraph (c) of this section and why a specific sanction authorized by the Board should not be imposed.

(4) Nature of a sanction. A sanction imposed under this rule must be limited to what suffices to deter repetition of the conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated and should be consistent with § 42.12.

(5) Requirements for an order. An order imposing a sanction must describe the sanctioned conduct and explain the basis for the sanction.

[81 FR 18765, Apr. 1, 2016]

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