TMEP 611.01(b): Requirements for Signature

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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611.01(b)    Requirements for Signature

All correspondence that requires a signature must bear either a handwritten signature personally signed in permanent ink by the person named as the signatory, or an "electronic signature" that meets the requirements of 37 C.F.R. §2.193(c), personally entered by the signatory.  The USPTO will accept a signature that meets the requirements of 37 C.F.R. §2.193(c) on all correspondence, whether filed on paper, by fax, or through TEAS or the Electronic System for Trademark Trials and Appeals ("ESTTA"). 37 C.F.R. §2.193(a)(2).  See TMEP §611.01(c) regarding the signature of documents filed electronically.

All documents must be personally signed. 37 C.F.R. §§2.193(a)(1) and (c)(1).  Another person (e.g., paralegal, legal assistant, secretary) may not sign the name of an attorney or other authorized signatory. See In re Dermahose Inc., 82 USPQ2d 1793 (TTAB 2007); In re Cowan, 18 USPQ2d 1407 (Comm’r Pats. 1990).

The name of the person who signs a document must be set forth in printed or typed form immediately below or adjacent to the signature, or identified elsewhere in the filing (e.g., in a cover letter or other document that accompanies the filing). 37 C.F.R. §2.193(d).  If the signatory’s name is not set forth in a document, the USPTO may require that it be stated for the record.  This information can be entered through a Note to the File in the record.

Documents must be signed by a proper party.  See TMEP §§ 611.02 and 611.03–611.03(i) for further information.

See TBMP §106.02  regarding signature of documents filed in Board proceedings, and TBMP §106.03  regarding the form of submissions in Board proceedings.