TMEP 611.06(e): Signature by Foreign Companies and Corporations

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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611.06(e)    Signature by Foreign Companies and Corporations

There are significant differences between the legal entities established under the laws of the United States and legal entities established and recognized under the laws of foreign countries, and the titles and duties of officers of foreign corporations and companies often differ from those in the United States.  In the case of foreign entities that are in the nature of corporations, the USPTO will accept the signature of a person considered to be equivalent to an officer under the law of the foreign country.  Indication of a title identifying the signer as a type of officer – such as "Legal Officer" or "Information Officer" – is also sufficient.

In foreign countries, a person who holds the title "Manager" or "Director" is normally an officer or the equivalent of an officer.

The term "Procurist" is used in a number of countries to indicate an officer.  For British companies, the terms "Registrar" and "Confidential Clerk" are the equivalent of officers.

If the applicant or registrant states that the person who signed the response holds a position that is the equivalent of an officer of a United States corporation, the USPTO will accept the signature.

Simply stating that a person has been granted authority to act on behalf of the applicant or registrant is insufficient.  Documents purporting to authorize representation, even if signed by officers, will not be accepted as establishing the authority of a person who is not the equivalent of an officer.  The applicant or registrant must state that the signatory has authority to legally bind the applicant or registrant under its bylaws or articles of incorporation.