Regulation on the establishment of an Institute of professional representatives before the European Patent Office
as amended by Decision of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation of 5 March 1997 (OJ EPO 1997, 130 ff)
The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation,
having regard to Article 134, paragraph 8(b), of the Convention on the Grant of European Patents of 5 October 1973,
whereas it is desirable to establish an Institute constituted by persons entitled to act as professional representatives,
has adopted this regulation:
Establishment of the Institute
An Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office, hereinafter referred to as "the Institute", is hereby established.
(1) In each of the States party to the European Patent Convention, the Institute shall enjoy the most extensive legal capacity accorded to legal persons under the national law of that State; it may in particular acquire or dispose of movable and immovable property and may be party to legal proceedings.
(2) The Institute shall be non-profit making.
Cover for expenditure
The expenditure of the Institute shall be covered by its own resources, derived in particular from the subscriptions of its members.
Objects of the Institute
The objects of the Institute shall be to:
(a) collaborate with the European Patent Organisation on matters relating to the profession of professional representatives and in particular on disciplinary matters and on the European Qualifying Examination;
(b) aid in the dissemination of knowledge appertaining to the work of its members;
(c) promote compliance by its members with the Rules of Professional Conduct, inter alia through the formulation of recommendations;
(d) liaise as appropriate with the European Patent Organisation and other bodies on all matters relating to industrial property.
(1) All persons on the list of professional representatives shall be members of the Institute. No other persons shall be members.
(2) The European Patent Office shall inform the Institute of all changes in the list.
(1) Each member shall pay an annual subscription.
(2) The amount of the subscription and other arrangements relating to payment shall be laid down by the Council of the Institute.
(1) The members of the Institute shall elect a Council from among their number. Representatives and substitutes shall be elected in equal numbers. Elections shall take place every three* years.
(2) Each State party to the European Patent Convention shall be a constituency in which such members shall be entitled to vote as have their place of business or employment therein. Each member shall have one vote. A member who has places of business or employment in more than one constituency must choose the constituency in which he exercises his vote.
(3) The number of representatives to be elected in each constituency shall be determined by reference to the number of electors in accordance with the following table: **
Number of electors in constituency
Number of representatives to be elected
up to 25
26 to 500
(4) Depending on the constituency, representatives and substitutes shall either be elected by the votes of all the electors in the constituency taken together, or as to one half shall be elected by electors engaged in private practice and as to the other half by electors engaged in any other capacity.
(5) Constituencies with a unitary electorate shall be those of Liechtenstein, Monaco, the Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
(6) A constituency with a non-unitary electorate may adopt the other method of voting if a majority of the electors engaged in private practice and a majority of the electors otherwise engaged so decide. A constituency with a unitary electorate may adopt the other method of voting if a majority of the electors engaged in private practice or a majority of the electors otherwise engaged so decide. The Council shall organise a vote for this purpose if called upon to do so by at least ten electors in either category, or one half of the electors of a category if there are less than twenty.
(7) In each election in a constituency with a non-unitary electorate electors shall state the capacity in which they are engaged in their profession.
(8) The Council shall take the necessary measures to provide for elections and in particular for voting by post.
Meetings of the Council
(1) The Council shall meet as often as it considers necessary, and in any event at least once a year. It shall submit a report and accounts to the members of the Institute every year.
(2) On each election of the Council, it shall elect from among its members a President, two Vice-Presidents, a Secretary-General and a Treasurer. The offices of President and Vice-President may each be held for a maximum of two consecutive terms. However, the two offices may not be held for more than a total of three consecutive terms.
Powers of the Council
(1) The Council shall have the management and control of the affairs of the Institute.
(2) The Council shall have power to make regulations governing the conduct of the business of the Institute and its constituent and any subsidiary bodies.
(3) The Council may, within the terms of the Regulation on Discipline for Professional Representatives, make recommendations on conduct.
Duties of the President and Board
(1) The President of the Council shall represent the Institute.
(2) The Council shall set up from among its members a Board which shall include at least the President, the Vice-Presidents, the Secretary-General and the Treasurer.
(3) The Board shall perform the duties given to it by the Council.
The Disciplinary Committee
(1) The Council shall set up a Disciplinary Committee.
(2) On each election the Council shall appoint the members of the Committee from among the members of the Institute.
(3) The Disciplinary Committee shall not include any members of the Board.
The Council may set up other Committees and shall fix their terms of reference.
(1) General meetings of the whole membership of the Institute may be called by the Council at any time on 90 days' notice. They shall be called by the Council following a written request of not less than 5% of the members of the Institute and representing at least two constituencies.
(2) The provisional agenda for a general meeting shall be drawn up by the Board and communicated to the members at least 30 days before the opening of the meeting.
(3) The provisional agenda shall include all items which the Board deems it desirable to put before the general meeting. It shall also include all items proposed by at least 20 members of the Institute which are made at least 60 days before the opening of the meeting.
(4) The general meeting shall adopt its agenda at its opening session.
(5) Items proposed by members of the Institute for inclusion in the agenda less than 60 days before the opening of the meeting or during the meeting may be placed on the agenda if the general meeting so decides by a majority of members present. No such item may, unless the general meeting decides otherwise by a two-thirds majority of the members present, be considered until twenty-four hours have elapsed since it was placed on the agenda.
(6) The general meeting shall have power to adopt resolutions.
Amendment of this Regulation
Proposals for amendments to this Regulation shall be made by the Council acting by a two-thirds majority of its members. Amendments to this Regulation shall be adopted by the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation. The Administrative Council may also consider amendments acting of its own motion and after consulting the Council.
In each constituency created after the beginning of a term of office of the Council, representatives shall be appointed to the Council by the President of the European Patent Office acting on a proposal by the professional associations considered to be representative by the head of the central industrial property office of the Contracting State concerned. Their term of office shall expire at the same time as that of the Council to which they have been appointed.
Entry into force
This regulation shall enter into force on 21 October 1977.
Done at Munich, 21 October 1977
For the Administrative Council
* Changed by the Administrative Council on 5 March 1997 in accordance with the motion adopted by the Council of the Institute on 4 November 1996 at Vienna; applicable for the first time after the elections in 1999.
** Changed by the Administrative Council on 5 March 1997 in accordance with the motion adopted by the Council of the Institute on 4 November 1996 at Vienna; applicable for the first time after the elections in 1999.
*** Changed by the Administrative Council on 5 March 1997 in accordance with the motion adopted by the Council of the Institute on 4 November 1996 at Vienna.