Patent and Registration Office takes significant step towards simplified practice
As of October 1 2012, the Swedish Patent and Registration office (PRV) is applying a new practice concerning the examination of formalities in trademark and industrial design matters. In essence, the new practice simplifies the process for users in matters where the PRV used to require a signature in original handwriting.
In trademark and design cases, it is no longer necessary to submit signatures in original handwriting; from now on, certified copies are accepted. In cases where a copy is submitted to the PRV, a confirmation in handwriting is sufficient, accompanied by the name of the person in block or printed letters. Emails and faxes of scanned documents containing an original signature will normally be considered as certified copies.
The new practice applies to:
- letters of consent;
- legal documents;
- licences; and
The PRV still requests the submission of original documents with regard to powers of attorney.
Another change is that the authorisation of signatures will no longer be assessed to the same extent: for example, the PRV no longer requires the signature of a person formally recorded as a signatory in the Companies Register in matters involving consent by holders of earlier rights. Further, the PRV will no longer examine whether the signatories are formally entitled to represent Swedish legal entities. In other words, the practice for Swedish and foreign applicants will be the same. The signatories' entitlement will be examined only in case of doubt.
One of the main reasons for introducing these changes is to harmonise the practice for trademarks and industrial designs with the existing practice for patents. In addition, there had been calls to improve communication via the use of electronic communication.
Tom Kronhöffer and Joanna Eckeström, von lode advokat ab, Stockholm
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