According to Article 48 (2) of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court parties may be represented by European Patent Attorneys who are entitled to act as professional representatives before the European Patent Office pursuant to Article 134 of the EPC and who have appropriate qualifications such as a European Patent Litigation Certificate.

Clients of European Patent Attorney, who are registered in the list will profit from this rule as it will reduce their costs. In Germany for example Patent Attorneys are entiteled by the German patent law to the right of audience at an infringement court, but allways need the presence of a German attorney-at-law to represent their clients.

Qualifications accepted during a transition period

The requirements for qualifications are at the moment established by the Administrative Committee of the Unified Patent Court. According to Rule 12 of the current draft proposal "European Patent Litigation Certificate and other appropriate qualifications persuant to Article 48 of the Unified Patent Court" during a transistion period of three years from the entry into force of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court, any of the following shall also be deemed as appropriate qualifications for a European Patent Attorney to represent clients at a Unified Patent Court:

  1. the successful completion of one of the following courses:

    1. Centre d’Études Internationales de la Propriété Intellectuelle, courses leading to the Diploma on Patent litigation in Europe or to the Diploma of international studies in in-dustrial property (specialized in patents);
    2. FernUniversität in Hagen, course “Law for Patent Attorneys”;
    3. Nottingham Law School, course “Intellectual Property Litigation and Advocacy”;
    4. Queen Mary College London, courses “Certificate in Intellectual Property Law” or “MSc Management of Intellectual Property”;
    5. Brunel University London, course “Intellectual Property Law Postgraduate Certificate”
    6. Bournemouth University, course “Intellectual Property Postgraduate Certificate”;
    7. […]


  1. having represented a party on his own without the assistance of a lawyer admitted to the relevant court in at least three patent infringement actions, initiated before a national court of a Contracting Member State within the five years preceding the application for registration.

Only Certificates from accredited bodies will be accepted in the future

On a regular base European Patent Attorney who want to be registered on the list of entitled representatives under Article 48(3) of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court will have to provide a Certificate that are issued by an accredited body. Everyuniversity and other non-profit educational bodies of higher education in a Contracting Member State [as well as by the Unified Patent Court’s Training Centre in Budapest (hereinafter referred to as Training Centre)] may ask the Administrative Committee for accredidation of the course they offer for the European Patent Litigation Certificate. For the accredidation the applying universities and educational bodies have to meetl a list of criteria laid down in Rules 3-7. 


Rule 3 lays down the content of the course which has to be met as a minimum requirement to be accredited:


  1. The curriculum of the Course shall cover

    1. a general introduction into law, including main aspects of European law;
    2. basic knowledge of private law, including contract law, company law and tort law, in both common and continental law;
    3. basic knowledge of international private law;
    4. the role, organisation and patent-related case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, including case law on supplementary protection certificates;
    5. enforcement of patents, providing knowledge of Directive 2004/48 (EC) on the en-forcement of intellectual property rights and relevant case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union;
    6. unitary patent protection, providing advanced knowledge of Regulations 1157/2012 (EU) implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection and 1160/2012 (EU) implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements as well as the Rules relating to unitary patent protection;
    7. a comparative overview on patent infringement proceedings and revocation of patents in Contracting Member States;
    8. the operation of the Unified Patent Court, providing advanced knowledge of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court and the Unified Patent Court’s Statute;
    9. litigation before the Unified Patent Court, providing advanced knowledge of procedures, practice and case management before the Unified Patent Court, with special regard to the Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court.

  2. The Course shall focus in particular on the contents mentioned in points (f)-(i) of paragraph (1) and include practical exercise on litigation and negotiation.



The Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office (epi) is organising jointly with "Centre d'Études Internationales de la Propriété Intellectuelle" (CEIPI) being now in the eleventh year (academic year 2013/2014) a program to enable European patent representatives to develop their knowledge of national and European patent litigation procedures. After passing successfully an exam the participants are awarded a university diploma "Patent Litigation in Europe", which is accepted in the transistion period to register as a European Patent Attorney in the List. It is very likely that CEIPI and other universities will request accredidations of their courses.