Art. 134(1) EPC stipulates that professional representation of natural or legal persons in proceedings established by the EPC may only be undertaken by professional representatives whose names appear on a list maintained for this purpose by the EPO. The requirements for such entry are laid down in Art. 134(2) EPC.
The objective of the list of professional representatives is to provide a survey of particularly qualified representatives in patent matters (D 14/93, OJ 1997, 561).
In J 1/78 (OJ 1979, 285) the appellant was entered on the list of professional representatives before the EPO under the letter "V" as "von F., A.". The object of his appeal was to obtain a ruling which would enable him to be entered under the letter "F" as, for example, in the telephone directory. The decision found that the entry was made in accordance with the principles laid down by the President of the EPO whereby the full surname must be entered in alphabetical order. Under German law, former titles of nobility ("von") form part of the surname. The board noted that the purpose of entry on the list was to confer upon the person whose name was entered the right to appear in the European patent grant procedure. A distinction had to be made between entry for the purposes of conferring a right and publication of the list, which latter was not prescribed in the EPC 1973. The EPO issues a directory from time to time for the purposes of meeting public demand for information. In this directory, the person entered on the list could be allowed an additional entry under another letter should he so desire.