When a Polish patent attorney is sufficient and when do you need a European patent attorney?

According to the European Patent Convention representation before the European Patent Office 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.
As a rule, no person shall be compelled to be represented by a professional representative in proceedings established by this Convention.

The only exception is a situation when natural or legal persons do not have their residence or principal place of business in a Contracting State. Such entities shall be represented by a professional representative and act through him in all proceedings established by the European Patent 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 the European Patent Convention by an employee, who need not be a professional representative but who shall be authorised in accordance with the Implementing Regulations.

According to the Polish Act of patent attorneys, patent attorney acts as an agent in proceedings before the Polish Patent Office, the courts and adjudicating authorities in matters of industrial property, with exception of criminal proceedings and penal – fiscal proceedings.

Polish patent attorney can be also professional representative before WIPO and EUIPO.

Representation of natural or legal persons before EUIPO may only be undertaken by:
(a) any legal practitioner qualified in one of the Member States and having his place of business within the Community, to the extent that he is entitled, within the said State, to act as a representative in trade mark matters;
(b) professional representatives whose names appear on the list maintained for this purpose by the Office. The Implementing Regulation shall specify whether and under what conditions the representatives before the Office must file with the Office a signed authorisation for insertion on the file.

Any natural person who fulfils the following conditions may be entered on the list of professional representatives:
(a) he must be a national of one of the Member States;
(b) he must have his place of business or employment in the Community;
(c) he must be entitled to represent natural or legal persons in trademark matters before the central industrial property office of a Member State. Where, in that State, the entitlement is not conditional upon the requirement of special professional qualifications, persons applying to be entered on the list who act in trademark matters before the central industrial property office of the said State must have habitually so acted for at least five years. However, persons whose professional qualification to represent natural or legal persons in trademark matters before the central industrial property office of one of the Member States is officially recognised in accordance with the regulations laid down by such State shall not be subject to the condition of having exercised the profession.

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