A verification must be sworn to or supported by a declaration signed by the owner of the application or registration or a person properly authorized to verify facts on behalf of the owner. A person who is properly authorized to verify facts on behalf of an owner is:
- A person with legal authority to bind the owner;
- A person with firsthand knowledge of the facts and actual or implied authority to act on behalf of the owner; or
- A qualified practitioner who has an actual written or verbal power of attorney or an implied power of attorney from the owner.
See 37 C.F.R. §§2.193(e)(1)–2.193(e)(1)(iii). Generally, the Office does not question the authority of the person who signs an affidavit or declaration verifying facts, unless there is an inconsistency in the record as to the signatory’s authority to sign. See TMEP §804.04.
The broad definition of a “person properly authorized to sign on behalf of an owner” in 37 C.F.R. §2.193(e)(1) applies only to verifications of facts, such as applications for trademark registration, affidavits under §8 or §71 of the Trademark Act, amendments to allege use under 37 C.F.R. §2.76, statements of use under 37 C.F.R. §2.88, and declarations in support of substitute specimens or claims of acquired distinctiveness. It does not apply to powers of attorney, revocations of powers of attorney, responses to Office actions, amendments to applications, letters of express abandonment, petitions to the Director under 37 C.F.R. §2.146, consent agreements, or changes of correspondence address. For example, the “Trademark Administrator” of the applicant, who has firsthand knowledge of the facts alleged in the application, may sign the verified statement in support of the application, but unless he or she has legal authority to bind the applicant (e.g., is a corporate officer or general partner of a partnership), or is a qualified practitioner, he or she may not sign responses to Office actions or agree to examiner’s amendments.