Qualified Electronic Signatures at the EPO.

The EPO now accepts qualified electronic signatures, in addition to handwritten signatures, for recording assignments and licenses – as outlined in the November 2021 issue of the EPO’s Official Journal.

This applies both to requests already pending when this Notice was originally published on 22 October 2021 and to requests filed thereafter.

The Notice defines a “qualified signature” with reference to EU Regulation No 910/2014 as an electronic signature that:

  1. is uniquely linked to and capable of identifying the person signing;
  2. is created by means that the person signing can use with a high level of confidence and over which they have sole control;
  3. is associated with the electronic document to be authenticated in such a way that any subsequent change in the data is detectable;
  4. is created by a qualified electronic signature device; and
  5. is based on a qualified certificate.

This is a welcome move to facilitate requests for registration of a transfer of rights under Rule 22 EPC and Rule 85 EPC and requests for registration of a licence or other rights under Rule 23 EPC, in these pandemic times!

For any further information on this, or any other Patent updates, please feel free to contact us.


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