What is an S-signature?

Answer

An S-signature is a non-handwritten type of signature that is placed between forward slash symbols, Bitlaw explains. Signatures made electronically, mechanically or by any other means aside from hand are S-signatures. According to Uspto.com, an S-signature is only acceptable if made in letters, Arabic numerals or both. The signature must have appropriate spaces and punctuation such as commas, periods, hyphens or apostrophes.

Electronic signatures carry more credible evidence that a particular individual signed a digital document at a specified time compared with conventional handwritten signs, PCWorld asserts. But digital signatures have been a subject of client disputes in courts, some of the issues raised including lack of compliance with the Federal E-Sign Act. Legal experts recommend the use of S-signatures on low value contracts. However, it is highly encouraged that a contract provide room for a concerned party to opt out and sign using their handwritten signature.

A lawyer who spoke to PCWorld recommends the inclusion of a Cadillac security level alongside an S-signature for high-value deals such as real estate contracts. That is possible via digital signature services such as Adobe EchoSign and DocuSign, which were developed in line with the E-Sign Act and take into account internal laws and procedures.

According to PatentablyDefined, an S-signature needs to take a specific shape or form provided that general USPTO requirements are met.

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