Sorry for the naive question.

I read the instructions by EPO and WIPO on how to file a PCT patent. The EPO documentations vaguely states that if the local legislation mandates a legal representative then it is mandatory when the patent is filed via the EPO office. But I could not find anywhere whether as a European resident I have to name a representative if I file a patent by myself as inventor and applicant. I mean an ePCT application via the EPO office.

2 Answers 2


Not if you reside in an EPC location -

Natural or legal persons having either their residence or their principal place of business in a contracting state to the EPC can undertake all procedural steps before the EPO themselves and are not obliged to appoint a representative.

From EPO.org

  • Thank you. I missed that.
    – FluidCode
    Feb 14, 2022 at 15:12
  • I am sorry to say but neither this nor the other answer are correct. European or non-European, what is decisive is where is the residence or place of business of the natural or legal person. A European person living in the US, or Japan, must appoint a representative. A US citizen living or working in a contracting state of the EPC does not require a representative. By the way, not all European countries are member states of the EPC, and maybe not all member states of the EPC are European (Cyprus is usually considered as being part of Asia), so the term European is not adequate. Feb 17, 2022 at 0:31
  • Does my edit fix my answer? And what is wrong with the more detailed answer from picibucor?
    – George White
    Feb 17, 2022 at 4:45
  • 1
    @GeorgeWhite Yes, it is, thank you. picibucor's answer relates representation to citizenship ("But for anything else, a non-European shall be represented:"). Feb 17, 2022 at 16:07
  • @theEuropeist - now both ok?
    – George White
    Feb 17, 2022 at 16:42

For filing an application no representation is required even if you are a non-European:

Art. 58 EPC:

A European patent application may be filed by any natural or legal person, or any body equivalent to a legal person by virtue of the law governing it.

But for anything else, an entity that doesn’t qualify, shall be represented:

Art. 133(2) EPC:

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.

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