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The coronavirus pandemic is making European companies face new & unexpected challenges, one of which includes affixing signatures to documents. Modern technology makes it possible to quickly switch to remote work; however, remotely signing documents when registering a TM in Europe can take a lot more time & require careful planning.

While TM regulation in Europe doesn’t envisage observation of a lot of paper formalities, there are situations where paperwork is simply unavoidable. For instance, drawing up contracts with 3rd parties & remotely processing documents may prove to be a problem if there’s no software for affixing legally binding digital signatures.

The Use of Digital Signatures

Those interested in obtaining a license for European TMs should keep in mind that British & European legislation provide for the use of digital & handwritten signatures. A guide containing legal advice on registering a TM in Great Britain amid the COVID-19 pandemic has recently been published in Great Britain.

Forms of Acceptable Digital Signatures

Several kinds of digital signatures are allowed in Great britain. Let’s have a look at the most common forms of e-signatures:

  • typed names;
  • photos of signatures inserted into digital copies of documents;
  • signatures provided by digital signature platforms;
  • signing a name with a pens or finger on a screen of a tablet.

UK’s Legal Commission: Recommendations

Entrepreneurs planning on starting a business or seeking TM protection in Great Britain, should keep in mind the recommendations for the digital processing of documentation & use of digital signatures that have recently been published in Great Britain. According to them, they should:

  • reach an agreement on the best way of managing a transaction.
  • check each party’s credentials;
  • provide proof necessary for verification.
  • get information on the requirements for digital signatures in a respective jurisdiction.

Ways of Coping With the Paperwork Challenge

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has made managing paperwork much harder, entrepreneurs wishing to register a TM in Great Britain or obtain a TM license in Europe can still cope with this challenge. All they need to do is simply follow very simple & straightforward recommendations. In particular, they should:

  • agree on signature methods well in advance;
  • prepare scans, photos or printouts of digital signatures;
  • provide documents’ originals if digital signatures aren’t accepted;
  • verify in advance which certificates are necessary & which local certification requirements must be met;
  • notarize the necessary documents & inform 3rd parties about limited services provided in Great Britain.

Need more information on e-signatures in TM documents? Looking for legal advice on e-signature regulation in Great Britain & the EU? Why not reach out to IQ Decision UK? Our legal experts will be happy to give you a hand with any legal issues you’re facing.