Discussion of Issues, Agreements, and Signatures
Note that communications with the Examiner, be it over the phone, in email exchanges or in-person meetings, should always be handled by (1) the individual person who is the applicant; (2) a person with legal authority to bind an applicant that is a business entity (e.g., corporate officer); and/or (3) the applicant’s qualified practitioner as defined by TMEP §§ 602 – 602.03(e) (generally licensed attorneys authorized to practice before the USPTO, but not paralegals and legal assistants).TMEP § 708.02 This communications protocol is mandatory for certain matters such as an agreement to a priority action or to an examiner’s amendment. If an applicant is represented by a qualified practitioner, the Examiner must speak directly to the practitioner.
A response to an Office action must be personally signed by a qualified practitioner or, if the applicant is not represented by a qualified practitioner, by the individual applicant or someone with legal authority to bind a juristic applicant (e.g., a corporate officer, or a general partner of a partnership).TMEP § 712
The signatory must personally sign his or her name.37 C.F.R. § 2.193(a); TMEP § 611.01(b) For electronic signatures on documents filed through TExaminerS, the signatory must personally enter the elements of the electronic signature.37 C.F.R. § 2.193(c); TMEP § 611.01(b), (c)