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What are Bates numbers?



Bates numbering or Bates stamping is used within the legal profession to sequentially assign a unique number/reference (sometimes including date and time) to each page of a document pertaining to a legal case.  The term “Bates numbering” is used mostly in the US.  In the UK documents pertaining to a case are commonly referred to as “court bundles”.  The term “Bates Number" comes from the Bates Manufacturing Co. which was incorporated on September 13, 1890 in New York State. The Bates Manufacturing Co. manufactured and sold automatic hand-held numbering machines.


Manual Bates stamping used a self inking stamp that incremented a sequential number each time it was pressed down on a document.  Zetadocs offers automatic Electronic Bates numbering enabling users to:


Specify a prefix for the unique Bates number e.g. Equisys/2006

Specify an integer to start numbering e.g. 00000001

Choose a typeface for the stamp

Choose a position on the page to apply the stamp


Bates Numbers can be automatically applied to all PDFs produced via the Save or Send function.