the firm's post-grant practitioners are some of the most experienced in the country.


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Artificial Intelligence (AI)
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Fast Facts

About Our

Law Firm

About Our Law Firm

Headquartered within steps of the USPTO with an affiliate office in Tokyo, Oblon is one of the largest law firms in the United States focused exclusively on intellectual property law.

Get to know our


Get to know our History

Norman Oblon with Stanley Fisher and Marvin Spivak launched what was to become Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, LLP, one of the nation's leading full-service intellectual property law firms.

Our Local and

Global Reach

Our Local and Global Reach

Outside the US, we service companies based in Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and farther corners of the world. Our culturally aware attorneys speak many languages, including Japanese, French, German, Mandarin, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Farsi, Chinese.

A few of our


A few of our ACCOLADES

Oblon's professionals provide industry-leading IP legal services to many of the world's most admired innovators and brands.




From the minute you walk through our doors, you'll become a valuable part of a team that fosters a culture of innovation, client service and collegiality.

A few ways to

GET In Touch

A few ways to GET In Touch
US Office

Telephone: 703-413-3000
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Tokyo Office

Telephone: +81-3-6212-0550
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Patent Forms

Downloadable Patent Forms

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued final rules implementing the inventor's oath or declaration provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) on August 14, 2012.

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Our Blogs

USPTO Updates Electronic Signature Rules

  • March 22, 2024
  • Firm News
  • by David Longo and Ismail Ahmadi

Associated People

Effective March 22, 2024, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is updating its patent correspondence signature regulations to “simplify and streamline” its processes and “to more closely align the signature requirements for patent and trademark correspondence.” Specifically, the USPTO is updating its current rule, 37 C.F.R. § 1.4(d), which encompasses handwritten signatures, S-signatures (non-handwritten signatures enclosed in forward slashes), and graphic representations of these signatures, with a new section, § 1.4(d)(4).  This new section expands the scope of permissible signatures to embrace a wider array of electronic signatures through popular document-signing platforms such as DocuSign® and Acrobat® Sign. 

Under the new Rule 1.4(d)(4), electronic signatures from third-party software are valid if they adhere to specific requirements:  they must be personally created by the signer, clearly identify the signer, include the patent practitioner's registration number if applicable, and be generated by software specially designed to secure the signature data with digital certificates, tokens, or audit trails.  Additionally, the software should indicate the use of document-signing technology and, preferably, record the date of the signature for patent matters (to align with trademark procedures that already require including the date).  According to the USPTO, an electronic signature under new Rule 1.4(d)(4) “may be used whether the correspondence is being submitted via the USPTO patent electronic filing system, mailed, faxed, or hand delivered.”

This is a notable change from previous USPTO regulations, which “did not permit patent correspondence to be electronically signed by methods other than the electronic entry of S-signatures under § 1.4(d)(2) and the graphic representation method of § 1.4(d)(3),” the latter being permitted only “if the correspondence was being submitted via the USPTO patent electronic filing system.” 

However, new Rule 1.4(d)(4) still does not permit “[s]ignatures created using other types of software, such as graphic editing software.”  The new rule also does not alter the existing USPTO requirement that “a signature must be personally inserted or generated by the named signer.  Another person may not use document-signing software to create or generate the electronic signature of the named signer.”

This update incorporates feedback from stakeholders and aligns USPTO’s practices with international intellectual property standards, particularly through cooperation with the IP5, the consortium of the world's five largest IP offices.

The final rule is available here:  Federal Register