MPEP 302.10
Electronic Submission of Assignment Documents

This is the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in January 2018

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302.10    Electronic Submission of Assignment Documents [R-07.2015]

37 C.F.R. 3.31 Cover sheet content.

  • (a)
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      • (7) The signature of the party submitting the document. For an assignment document or name change filed electronically, the person who signs the cover sheet must either:
        • (i) Place a symbol comprised of letters, numbers, and/or punctuation marks between forward slash marks (e.g. /Thomas O’ Malley III/) in the signature block on the electronic submission; or
        • (ii) Sign the cover sheet using some other form of electronic signature specified by the Director.

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37 C.F.R. 1.4 Nature of correspondence and signature requirements.

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  • (d)
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      • (2) S-signature. An S-signature is a signature inserted between forward slash marks, but not a handwritten signature as defined by paragraph (d)(1) of this section. An S-signature includes any signature made by electronic or mechanical means, and any other mode of making or applying a signature other than a handwritten signature as provided for in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. Correspondence being filed in the Office in paper, by facsimile transmission as provided in § 1.6(d), or via the Office electronic filing system as an attachment as provided in § 1.6(a)(4), for a patent application, patent, or a reexamination or supplemental examination proceeding may be S-signature signed instead of being personally signed (i.e., with a handwritten signature) as provided for in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. The requirements for an S-signature under this paragraph (d)(2) of this section are as follows.
        • (i) The S-signature must consist only of letters, or Arabic numerals, or both, with appropriate spaces and commas, periods, apostrophes, or hyphens for punctuation, and the person signing the correspondence must insert his or her own S-signature with a first single forward slash mark before, and a second single forward slash mark after, the S-signature (e.g., /Dr. James T. Jones, Jr./); and
        • (ii) A patent practitioner (§ 1.32(a)(1) ), signing pursuant to §§ 1.33(b)(1) or 1.33(b)(2), must supply his/her registration number either as part of the S-signature, or immediately below or adjacent to the S-signature. The number (#) character may be used only as part of the S-signature when appearing before a practitioner’s registration number; otherwise the number character may not be used in an S-signature.
        • (iii) The signer’s name must be:
          • (A) Presented in printed or typed form preferably immediately below or adjacent the S-signature, and
          • (B) Reasonably specific enough so that the identity of the signer can be readily recognized.
      • (3) Electronically submitted correspondence. Correspondence permitted via the Office electronic filing system may be signed by a graphic representation of a handwritten signature as provided for in paragraph (d)(1) of this section or a graphic representation of an S-signature as provided for in paragraph (d)(2) of this section when it is submitted via the Office electronic filing system.
      • (4) Certifications—
        • (i) Certification as to the paper presented. The presentation to the Office (whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating) of any paper by a party, whether a practitioner or non-practitioner, constitutes a certification under § 11.18(b) of this subchapter. Violations of § 11.18(b)(2) of this subchapter by a party, whether a practitioner or non-practitioner, may result in the imposition of sanctions under § 11.18(c) of this subchapter. Any practitioner violating § 11.18(b) of this subchapter may also be subject to disciplinary action. See § 11.18(d) of this subchapter.
        • (ii) Certification as to the signature. The person inserting a signature under paragraph (d)(2) or (d)(3) of this section in a document submitted to the Office certifies that the inserted signature appearing in the document is his or her own signature. A person submitting a document signed by another under paragraph (d)(2) or (d)(3) of this section is obligated to have a reasonable basis to believe that the person whose signature is present on the document was actually inserted by that person, and should retain evidence of authenticity of the signature. Violations of the certification as to the signature of another or a person’s own signature as set forth in this paragraph may result in the imposition of sanctions under § 11.18(c) and (d) of this chapter.
      • (5) Forms. The Office provides forms for the public to use in certain situations to assist in the filing of correspondence for a certain purpose and to meet certain requirements for patent applications and proceedings. Use of the forms for purposes for which they were not designed is prohibited. No changes to certification statements on the Office forms (e.g., oath or declaration forms, terminal disclaimer forms, petition forms, and nonpublication request forms) may be made. The existing text of a form, other than a certification statement, may be modified, deleted, or added to, if all text identifying the form as an Office form is removed. The presentation to the Office (whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating) of any Office form with text identifying the form as an Office form by a party, whether a practitioner or non-practitioner, constitutes a certification under § 11.18(b) of this chapter that the existing text and any certification statements on the form have not been altered other than permitted by EFS-Web customization.

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Assignments and other documents affecting title may be submitted to the Office via the Office’s Electronic Patent Assignment System (EPAS). See the USPTO website at http://epas.uspto.gov for additional information regarding EPAS.

Any assignment related document submitted by EPAS must include:

  • (A) an identified application or patent number;
  • (B) one cover sheet to record a single transaction which cover sheet is to be completed on-line; and
  • (C) payment of the recordation fee by a credit card (use of the Credit Card form, PTO-2038 (see MPEP § 509), is required for the credit card information to be kept separate from the assignment records), electronic fund transfer (EFT) or a USPTO Deposit Account.

For an assignment document filed electronically, the signature of the person who signs the cover sheet must comply with 37 CFR 3.31(a)(7) or 37 CFR 1.4(d)(2).

The date of receipt accorded to an assignment document sent to the Office by EPAS is the date the complete transmission is received in the Office.

If a document submitted by EPAS is determined not to be recordable, the entire document, with its associated cover sheet, and the Office "Notice of Non-Recordation" will be transmitted via fax back to the sender. Once corrections are made, the initial submission, as amended, may then be resubmitted by mailing the corrected submission to the address set forth in 37 CFR 3.27. Timely submission will provide the sender with the benefit of the initial receipt date as the recordation date in accordance with 37 CFR 3.51.

The Patent and Trademark Assignment System assigns reel and frame numbers and superimposes recordation stampings on the processed and stored electronic images. Accordingly, copies of all recorded documents will have the reel and frame numbers and recordation stampings.