MPEP Section 402.10, Appointment/Revocation by Less Than All Applicants or Owners
This document contains one section of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (the "M.P.E.P."), Eighth Edition, Fifth Revision (August 2006). This page was last updated in July 2007. You may return to the section index to find a particular section. Alternatively, you may search the MPEP use the search box that appears on the bottom of every page of BitLaw--be sure to restrict your search to the MPEP in the pop-up list.
402.10 Appointment/Revocation by Less Than All Applicants or Owners [R-5]
Papers giving or revoking a power of attorney in an application generally require signature by all the applicants or owners of the application. Papers revoking a power of attorney in an application (or giving a power of attorney) will not be accepted by the Office when signed by less than all of the applicants or owners of the application unless they are accompanied by a petition under 37 CFR 1.36(a) and fee under 37 CFR 1.17(*>f<) with a showing of sufficient cause (if revocation), or a petition under 37 CFR 1.183 and fee under 37 CFR 1.17(f) (if appointment) demonstrating the extraordinary situation where justice requires waiver of the requirement of 37 CFR 1.32(b)(4) that the applicant, or the assignee of the entire interest of the applicant sign the power of attorney. The petition should be directed to the Office of Petitions. The acceptance of such papers by petition under 37 CFR 1.36(a) or 1.183 will result in more than one attorney, agent, applicant, or owner prosecuting the application at the same time. Therefore, each of these parties must sign all subsequent replies submitted to the Office. See In re Goldstein, 16 USPQ2d 1963 (Dep. Assist. Comm'r Pat. 1988). In an application filed under 37 CFR 1.47(a), an assignee of the entire interest of the available inventors (i.e., the applicant) who have signed the declaration may appoint or revoke a power of attorney without a petition under 37 CFR 1.36(a) or 1.183. See MPEP § 402.07. However, in applications accepted under 37 CFR 1.47, such a petition under 37 CFR 1.36(a) or 1.183 submitted by a previously nonsigning inventor who has now joined in the application will not be granted. See MPEP § 409.03(i). Upon accepting papers appointing and/or revoking a power of attorney that are signed by less than all of the applicants or owners, the Office will indicate to applicants who must sign subsequent replies. Dual correspondence will still not be permitted. Accordingly, when the acceptance of such papers results in an attorney or agent and at least one applicant or owner prosecuting the application, correspondence will be mailed to the attorney or agent. When the acceptance of such papers results in more than one attorney or agent prosecuting the application, the correspondence address will continue to be that of the attorney or agent first named in the application, unless all parties agree >to a different correspondence address<. Each attorney or agent signing subsequent papers must indicate whom he or she represents.
The following are examples of who must sign replies when there is more than one person responsible for prosecuting the application:
(A) If coinventor A has given a power of attorney >to a patent practitioner< and coinventor B has not, replies must be signed by the *>patent practitioner< of A and by coinventor B.
(B) If coinventors A and B have each appointed their own *>patent practitioner<, replies must be signed by both *>patent practitioners<.