TMEP 1206.04(b): Consent May Be Presumed From Signature of Application

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1206.04(b)    Consent May Be Presumed From Signature of Application

When a particular individual identified in a mark is also the person who signed the application, his or her consent to registration will be presumed. Alford Mfg. Co. v. Alfred Elecs., 137 USPQ 250, 250 (TTAB 1963) (“The written consent to the registration of the mark ‘ALFORD’ by Andrew Alford, the individual, is manifested by the fact that said person executed the application....”), aff’d, 333 F.2d 912, 142 USPQ 168 (C.C.P.A. 1964); Ex parte Dallioux, 83 USPQ 262, 263 (Comm’r Pats. 1949) (“By signing the application, the applicant here obviously consents....”). Consent may be presumed whenever the person identified has signed the application, even if the applicant is not an individual.

Name of Signatory. Consent to register is presumed if the application is personally signed by the individual whose name appears in the mark, e.g., if the mark is JOHN SMITH and the application is personally signed by John Smith. The examining attorney should not make an inquiry or require a written consent. The examining attorney must ensure that the consent statement is entered into the Trademark database. See TMEP §§813.01(a) and (c). The consent statement must be printed even if the name that appears in the mark is that of the applicant.

Names Must Match. Consent may be presumed only where the name in the mark matches the name of the signatory. If the names do not match, the examining attorney must issue an inquiry. For example, if the name in the mark is J.C. Jones, and the application is signed by John Jones, the examining attorney must inquire whether J.C. Jones is John Jones. If applicant states that J.C. Jones is John Jones, consent is presumed. The statement that J.C. Jones is John Jones may be entered by examiner’s amendment, if appropriate. In such cases, the examining attorney must ensure that the consent statement is entered into the Trademark database. See TMEP §§813.01(a) and (c).

Likeness of Signatory. Consent may also be presumed when the mark comprises the portrait or likeness of the person who personally signs the application. When the mark comprises a portrait, or a likeness that could reasonably be perceived as that of a particular living individual, the examining attorney must make an inquiry, unless the record indicates that the likeness is that of the person who signed the application. If the applicant responds by stating that the likeness is that of the person who signed the application, consent is presumed. No written consent is required, but the examining attorney must ensure that the consent statement is entered into the Trademark database. See TMEP §§813.01(a) and (c).

Application Must be Personally Signed. Consent may be presumed only where the individual whose name or likeness appears in the mark personally signs the application. If the application is signed by an authorized signatory, consent to register the name or likeness must be obtained from the individual. This is true even where the name or likeness that appears in the mark is that of the individual applicant.

Section 66(a) Applications. In a §66(a) application, the signed verification is part of the international registration on file at the IB and is not included with the request for extension of protection sent to the USPTO. 37 C.F.R. §2.33(e); TMEP §1904.01(c). The examining attorney is thus unable to determine who signed the verified statement. Therefore, the examining attorney must require a written consent to register, even where the name that appears in the mark is that of the applicant. If the verified statement in support of the request for extension of protection to the United States was personally signed by the individual whose name or likeness appears in the mark, the applicant may satisfy the requirement for a written consent to registration by submitting a copy of the verified statement that is on file with the IB.