May 6, 2020
In the current environment of remote working and social distancing derived from the measures adopted to avoid spreading the Covid-19, it has become challenging to have original documents executed.
Even though, the filing of e-signed documents before the IMPI is not a common practice, these should be regarded as originals and given the same legal effect as documents with handwritten signatures, taking into account that the Federal Civil Code provides that acknowledgment/consent can be expressed by electronic and/or optical means (which includes the use of electronic signatures), or by any other technology. This should also apply for any other declaration to be filed before IMPI.
While the requirements for POAs do not distinguish whether if they should bear a handwritten signature or an electronic signature, the criteria from the Examiners for the revision of formalities of POAs is formalistic.
In fact, the requirement for filing an original document of the POA during the prosecution of trademarks was eliminated from the IP Law a long time ago, but this requirement has not been eliminated for the prosecution of patents/designs, nor for all IP litigation, which reflects the importance that our legal framework attributes to the formalities of the POA.
Furthermore, our domestic law provides that the POA must be signed by the grantor before two witnesses. Following a formalistic approach, the Examiner could make an interpretation of these provisions in the sense that a handwritten signature is required.
Therefore, using e-signed agreements and declarations is something advisable but not POAs.