1705.07 Signature of Petition
A petition to the Director under 37 C.F.R. §2.146 must be personally signed by the individual petitioner, someone with legal authority to bind a juristic petitioner (e.g., a corporate officer or general partner of a partnership), or a practitioner authorized to practice before the USPTO pursuant to 37 C.F.R. §11.14 ("qualified practitioner"). 37 C.F.R. §2.146(c). See TMEP §602 regarding persons authorized to represent a party before the USPTO, and TMEP §§611.06–611.06(h) for guidelines on persons with legal authority to bind various types of legal entities.
Petitions to the Director under 37 C.F.R. §2.146 are often accompanied by separate verifications, signed by someone with firsthand knowledge of the facts to be proved on petition. See TMEP §1705.03. However, the petition itself must be separately signed by a proper party. If the petitioner is represented by a qualified practitioner, the practitioner must sign the petition. 37 C.F.R. §§2.193(e)(5)(i), 11.18(a); TMEP §611.03(e). If the petitioner is not represented by a qualified practitioner, the petition must be signed by the petitioner or someone with legal authority to bind the petitioner. 37 C.F.R. §§2.146(c), 2.193(e)(5)(ii); TMEP §611.03(e). In the case of joint petitioners who are not represented by a qualified practitioner, all must sign. 37 C.F.R. §2.193(e)(5)(ii); TMEP §611.03(e).
Petitions to revive under 37 C.F.R. §2.66 ( see TMEP §§1714–1714.01(g)) must include a statement that the delay was unintentional, signed by someone with firsthand knowledge. 37 C.F.R. §§2.66(b)(2), (c)(2); TMEP §1714.01(e). Where a petition to revive under 37 C.F.R. §2.66 consists only of a statement that the delay was unintentional and/or that the applicant did not receive an Office action or notice of allowance, the petition may be signed by someone with firsthand knowledge, and no separate signature by the petitioner, someone with legal authority to bind the petitioner, or a qualified practitioner is required. However, any response to an Office action accompanying the petition ( see TMEP §§1714.01(a)(i)-(ii)) must be signed by a proper party. 37 C.F.R. §§2.62(b), 11.18(a); TMEP §712.
If it appears that a petition (or a response accompanying a petition) was signed by an improper or excluded party, the staff attorney or paralegal reviewing the petition will follow the procedures in TMEP §§611.05–611.05(c) for processing documents signed by unauthorized parties.
See also TMEP §611.01(c) regarding signature of documents filed electronically.