The new signature methods use the "text" form and either an "E-Signature" or "Handwritten (pen-and-ink) signature" option. In the initial Form Wizard, you will be asked, "Will someone else be signing this application (via Text Form)?" If you answer YES, you must then pick either the "E-Signature" or "Handwritten (pen-and-ink) signature" option. (Note: both options are NOT available through the standard form).
The "text form" is a narrative, paragraph-style version of the application information, absent any "tagged" data fields. It most closely resembles a traditional "Word/WordPerfect" document, and is accessed from the Validation Screen once the application data is validated. The text form is designed to facilitate having the signature and date fields completed by another party (no other data can be manipulated in the text form); i.e., the "web-based" form may be completed and validated, and then the resulting "text form" may be either
e-mailed to the proper signatory as a "hyperlink" (no "downloading" of a portable form is required). The signatory will sign and date the application by affixing the "electronic signature," consisting of an arbitrary alpha-numeric combination placed between two forward slash symbols (e.g., /john smith/). The signed version automatically is returned to the original preparer, who can then complete the submission process to the USPTO; or
printed out and then mailed or faxed to the signatory, who will sign the form in the traditional "pen-and-ink" manner, and then mail or fax the signed form back to the preparer. The handwritten signed version should then be scanned and re-attached as a GIF or JPG image file to the original electronic application; the complete application can then be validated and filed electronically.
Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS)
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
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