Applying for European Patent
No person shall be compelled to be represented by a professional representative in proceedings before EPO.
Natural or legal persons not having their residence or principal place of business in a Contracting State shall be represented by a professional representative and act through him in all proceedings established by this Convention, other than in filing a European patent application; the Implementing Regulations may permit other exceptions.
Natural or legal persons having their residence or principal place of business in a Contracting State may be represented in proceedings established by this Convention by an employee, who need not be a professional representative but who shall be authorized in accordance with the Implementing Regulations. The Implementing Regulations may provide whether and under what conditions an employee of a legal person may also represent other legal persons which have their principal place of business in a Contracting State and which have economic connections with the first legal person.
The Implementing Regulations may lay down special provisions concerning the common representation of parties acting in common.
Representation of natural or legal persons in proceedings established by Convention may only be undertaken by professional representatives whose names appear on a list maintained for this purpose by the European Patent Office.
Any natural person who
(a) is a national of a Contracting State,
(b) has his place of business or employment in a Contracting State and
(c) has passed the European qualifying examination
may be entered on the list of professional representatives.
Persons whose names appear on the list of professional representatives shall be entitled to act in all proceedings established by this Convention.
For the purpose of acting as a professional representative, any person whose name appears on the list of professional representatives shall be entitled to establish a place of business in any Contracting State in which proceedings established by Convention may be conducted, having regard to the Protocol on Centralisation annexed to this Convention. The authorities of such State may remove that entitlement in individual cases only in application of legal provisions adopted for the purpose of protecting public security and law and order. Before such action is taken, the President of the European Patent Office shall be consulted.
If there is more than one applicant and the request for grant of a European patent does not name a common representative, the applicant first named in the request shall be deemed to be the common representative. However, if one of the applicants is obliged to appoint a professional representative, this representative shall be deemed to be the common representative, unless the applicant first named has appointed a professional representative. The same shall apply to third parties acting in common in filing a notice of opposition or intervention and to joint proprietors of a European patent.
Where a representative fails to file an authorisation, the European Patent Office shall invite him to do so within a period to be specified. The authorisation may cover one or more European patent applications or European patents and shall be filed in the corresponding number of copies.
A general authorisation may be filed enabling a representative to act in respect of all the patent transactions of a party. A single copy shall suffice. A representative shall be deemed to be authorised until the termination of his authorisation has been communicated to the European Patent Office. Unless it expressly provides otherwise, an authorisation shall not terminate vis-à-vis the European Patent Office upon the death of the person who gave it. If a party appoints several representatives, they may act either jointly or singly, notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in the communication of their appointment or in the authorisation. The authorisation of an association of representatives shall be deemed to be an authorisation of any representative who can provide evidence that he practises within that association.