Rules on representation before the EPO

Applicants from EPO member states are not obliged to use a professional representative to act in proceedings before the EPO. You can represent yourself, and an enterprise can be represented by an employee. However if you wish to have a patent attorney represent you, the patent attorney must be authorised.


There is no obligation for applicants from EPC member states to have an attorney. Norway is a member of the EPC (European Patent Convention). All physical and legal persons with residence and principal place of business in an EPC member state can conduct their own cases before the EPO. The rule on self-representation applies to all aspects of the case.

Representation by an employee

Self-representation also means that employees can act on behalf of the enterprise. The employee concerned must in that case have power of attorney from a person authorised to sign for the company, and be entitled to act on its behalf in patent cases (separate power of attorney or general power of attorney).

The rule on self-representation does not allow an employee of a parent company to represent subsidiaries in patent cases where it is the subsidiary that holds the rights.

Representation by patent attorney

In order to be able to represent a patent applicant before the EPO, it is necessary to appear in the list of authorised attorneys.

Citizens of a member state may request inclusion on the list after having passed an examination known as the European Qualifying Exam (EQE).

More information on the EPO website:

Representation by a lawyer with a Norwegian licence to practise as a lawyer

Practising lawyers with a Norwegian licence to practise do not need to be authorised and can represent clients before the EPO. These will not be included on the list of authorised attorneys.

The lawyer concerned must have power of attorney from his or her client (separate power of attorney or general power of attorney).

Quality procedures at the EPO

The EPO has prepared a manual in cooperation with its users, especially epi and BusinessEurope. The manual is available on the EPO website.

Handbook of quality procedures before the EPO


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