Welcome to the new version of the Patents Manual. Please note there are changes to the numbering and sequence of the chapters and pages in the manual. You are encouraged to take the time to explore and familiarise yourself with this new structure.

5.3.4 Signature Requirements for Forms and Other Documents

Date Published

Key Legislation: 

Patents Act:

  • s14 Assignment of patent   
  • s141 Withdrawal of applications  

Patent Regulations:

  • reg 22.25 Requirements cannot be complied with for reasonable cause

​​​​Referenced Acts and Treaties:


Many documents and forms completed by applicants and attorneys for actions under the Act require a signature. However, there are certain situations where the typed name of the relevant person may be used in place of a signature.

Note that digital or electronic signatures are an acceptable means for signing documents (see s10 of the Electronic Transactions Act 1999).

Examination practice

Documents requiring a signature

Declarations made under the Act or other relevant legislation always require a signature. Documents relevant to examination that must have a signature include:

  • certificate of verification statements;
  • deposit receipts under the Budapest Treaty;
  • patent assignment forms (s14); and
  • notices of withdrawal of a patent application (s141).

Under reg 22.25, the Commissioner may dispense with the signature requirement if they are reasonably satisfied that the person cannot comply with the requirement. Where this appears to be the case, examiners should refer the matter to Patent Oppositions.

Typed name in prescribed forms

For prescribed forms, the typed name of the person completing the form, or of their agent, may be used in place of a signature.

However, the typed name of an attorney firm, or any other business name, is not acceptable in place of a signature.

The patent request and responses to examination reports are examples of documents where a typed name is acceptable.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Published for testing

Back to top