TMEP 611.04: Examples of Authorized and Potentially Unauthorized Signatories

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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611.04    Examples of Authorized and Potentially Unauthorized Signatories

Set forth below is a list of examples of parties who are authorized and potentially unauthorized to sign responses, petitions to the Director under 37 C.F.R. §2.146, amendments, requests for express abandonment, and other documents that must be signed by the applicant or registrant, or by someone with legal authority to bind the applicant or registrant. This list is not exhaustive.

Authorized Parties. In the following situations, a signatory is presumed to be authorized to represent an applicant or registrant:

  • Person identifies him/herself as an officer of a pro se applicant or registrant (e.g., “President,” “Vice President,” “Treasurer,” “Secretary”) of a domestic corporation or the equivalent for another type of business entity (e.g., “Partner” for a partnership, “Member” or “Principal” for a Limited Liability Company).
  • Person signing for a previously pro se applicant or registrant identifies him/herself as an attorney in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any state in the United States who is practicing abroad (e.g., Mary Smith, member of New York State Bar, with offices in Nassau, Bahamas).
  • Person signing for a foreign corporation identifies him/herself as “general counsel” or “in-house counsel” AND a “corporate officer” or another corporate officer position (e.g., “Secretary,” “Treasurer,” or “Vice President”).
  • Person signing for a previously pro se applicant or registrant identifies him/herself as an attorney with a United States law firm or as “general counsel” or “in-house counsel” of a United States applicant.
  • Person signing is a different attorney from the same United States-based firm as the current attorney of record.
  • Person signing on behalf of a Canadian applicant or registrant is a Canadian trademark attorney or agent whom OED has recognized as qualified to represent parties located in Canada (see TMEP §602.03(a)).
  • Person signing identifies him/herself as an “officer” of a pro se corporate applicant.

Potentially Unauthorized Parties. In the following situations, a signatory is presumed to be unauthorized to represent an applicant or registrant:

  • Person signing provides no title or position (e.g., applicant is Jack Smith, an individual citizen of the United States, and Mary Jones signs the response; or applicant is ABC Corporation, and Bill Miller, President, signs the original application, but Dave Wilson, with no listed title or position, signs the response).
  • Person signing appears to be a foreign attorney (e.g., “solicitor” or “barrister” for a foreign entity), or is a foreign law consultant with a law firm in the United States.
  • Person signing identifies him/herself as a non-attorney representing applicant or registrant in some other capacity (e.g., accountant, paralegal, trademark administrator, business manager, personal assistant, or legal secretary).
  • Person signing provides the address of a foreign firm.
  • Person signing in an application or registration owned by a foreign entity identifies him/herself as “attorney for applicant,” “attorney at law,” or similar language, but does not specify an address or firm or otherwise indicate that he or she is a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a state in the United States (which includes the District of Columbia and any Commonwealth or territory of the United States).
  • Person signing identifies him/herself as “attorney-in-fact.”
  • Person signing in an application or registration owned by a foreign entity identifies him/herself as “in house counsel” or “general counsel,” with no other indication of officer status or recognition to practice in the United States or before the USPTO per 37 C.F.R. §§11.14(a) or (c).
  • Person signing identifies him/herself as “representative of,” “agent for,” or “representing” applicant or registrant, with no other explanation.
  • Person signing identifies him/herself as an “authorized signatory” but provides no other indication of the nature of the signer’s relationship to applicant or registrant.
  • Person signing is a new attorney from a different firm, when the applicant or registrant had previously appointed a qualified practitioner and no new power of attorney or revocation of the previously appointed power has been made of record.