Not only has the pandemic accelerated digital transformation for enterprises but also public sectors. The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (IPO) revised examination guidelines in December 2022 and electronic and digital signatures are now officially accepted by the IPO.
IPO Accepts Electronic and Digital Signatures
The IPO accepts electronic and digital signatures for documents since the revised Patent Examination Guidelines came into effect on 1 December 2022. Applicant may now electronically and digitally sign documents like Powers of Attorney, contracts, letter of consents, and assignment agreements. Nonetheless, the IPO specifically informed applicants that the electronic signature shall be presented in a way that is similar to a pen-and-paper signature, and cannot be presented in typed letters.
Although the IPO has not revised the Trademark Examination Guidelines yet, according to our past experience, the IPO also accepts electronic signature for trademark documents.
If the IPO needs to examine the authenticity of the signature, the IPO may require the applicant to submit a proof or certificate of electronic signature, or an original copy of the signed documents.
The IPO provided the following examples in the Patent Examination Guidelines.
Acceptable electronic signature:
Non-acceptable electronic signature:
Wisdom Suggested Strategies
The IPO has been putting continuous efforts in encouraging the use of electronic filing, and Wisdom is happy to see that the IPO took a great step forward in accepting electronic and digital signatures.