TMEP 611.02: Signatures by Authorized Parties Required

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

Previous: §611.01(c) | Next: §611.02(a)

611.02    Signatures by Authorized Parties Required

All documents filed in the USPTO must be properly signed. The USPTO staff must review the application or registration record to determine whether the applicant or registrant is represented by a qualified practitioner, and must ensure that all documents are properly signed.

Verifications of facts on behalf of an applicant or registrant must be personally signed by someone meeting the requirements of 37 C.F.R. §2.193(e)(1). See TMEP §§611.03(a) and 804.04.

Other documents must be personally signed by the applicant or registrant, someone with legal authority to bind a juristic applicant or registrant (e.g., a corporate officer or general partner of a partnership), or by a qualified practitioner. This includes amendments, responses to Office actions, petitions to the Director under 37 C.F.R. §2.146, letters of express abandonment, requests to divide, and requests to change the correspondence address. Generally, if the applicant or registrant is represented by a qualified practitioner, the practitioner must sign. 37 C.F.R. §§2.193(e)(2)(i), 2.193(e)(5)(i), 2.193(e)(9)(i), and 11.18(a). This applies to both in-house and outside counsel. If the applicant or registrant is not represented by a qualified practitioner, the document must be signed by the individual applicant or registrant or someone with legal authority to bind a juristic applicant or registrant (e.g., a corporate officer or general partner of a partnership). In the case of joint applicants or registrants who are not represented by a qualified practitioner, all must sign. 37 C.F.R. §2.193(e)(2)(ii), 2.193(e)(5)(ii), 2.193(e)(9)(ii), and 11.14(e).

See TMEP §§611.03–611.03(i) for guidelines as to the proper person to sign specific documents, TMEP §§611.06–611.06(h) for guidelines on persons with legal authority to bind various types of legal entities, and TMEP §611.04 for examples of authorized and potentially unauthorized parties.