The JPO announced a rule change for Change of Ownership documents as of January 1, 2022
November 11, 2021
The JPO announced that they will require an additional document for verifying handwritten signatures in government filings, such as assignment documents, when they are filed on or after January 1, 2022.
As part of COVID-19 relief measures, a measure was enacted on December 28, 2020, and a transitional period (until the end of December 2021) was set. After the transitional period, i.e., as of January 1, 2022, the JPO will require a seal (corporate stamp) registration certificate for domestic cases. Accordingly, a measure to verify the person who signs documents will also be required for foreign nationals.
Submission of either (1) or (2) will be required for foreign nationals:
(1) a deed of transfer or ownership with authentication pertaining to the authenticity of the signature (e.g., face-to-face authentication, self-recognition authentication); in other words, an Assignment document with notarization
(2) a certificate of signature issued by an official of a foreign country, or a certificate attested by a notary public as to the signature of the signer
In a case where obtaining a notarization or a certificate of signature is impossible, it must be otherwise indicated that the intention of the assignors was confirmed by a patent attorney or a general attorney (the attorney’s name required) in the application document at the time of recordation of the change of ownership. Therefore, if notarization is impossible and, as such, the signature line for notarization is left blank, the client’s attorney should directly confirm the intention of each assignor and let their Japanese representatives know accordingly.