In this case the patent proprietor questioned the authorisation of one of the professional representatives of the opponent:
 With letter dated 2 November 2012, the [opponent] informed the board and the [patent proprietor] that Mr S., a professional representative, would represent the [opponent] jointly with Mr M., the professional representative already acting on behalf of the [opponent]. Mr S.’s entitlement to act as a representative for the [opponent] was contested by the [patent proprietor] at the beginning of the oral proceedings. The [patent proprietor] argued that the authorisation dated 2 November 2012 did not indicate the signatory’s name and entitlement to sign contrary to the requirements set out on the reverse side of EPO Form 1003.
As can be inferred from R 152(10), a party may be jointly represented by several representatives. The question to be decided is whether the communication of Mr S.’s appointment by letter dated 2 November 2012 together with a copy of an authorisation signed by two employees of the [opponent] entitled Mr S. to act as joint representative for the [opponent] in the present appeal proceedings.
Professional representatives who identify themselves as such are required pursuant to R 152(1) together with Article 1 of the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 12 July 2007 on the filing of authorisations (OJ EPO 2007, Special edition No. 3, 128; hereinafter “decision”) to file a signed authorisation in particular cases only. On the one hand, the filing of a signed authorisation (original and one copy) is required in the event of a change of representative involving professional representatives who are not members of the same association (Article 1(2) of the decision). On the other hand, the EPO may require an authorisation to be produced if the circumstances of a particular case necessitate this, particularly in case of doubt as to the professional representative’s entitlement to act (Article 1(3) of the decision).
The appointment of Mr S. as joint representative is not a change of representative within the meaning of Article 1(2) of the decision. Thus, in order to represent the [opponent], Mr S. was not required to file a signed authorisation on the basis of Article 1(2) of the decision.
The [patent proprietor], however, argued that no indication of the signatories’ names and of their entitlement to sign was given in the authorisation dated 2 November 2012 appointing Mr S. It was therefore doubtful whether the signatories were entitled to sign the authorisation, either by law or in accordance with the articles of association or equivalent of the [opponent]. An authorisation bearing the signature of persons not entitled to sign was not valid.
In view of documents D66 to D68 submitted by the [opponent] on 4 December 2012, the board had however no reason to believe that the signatories of the authorisation dated 2 November 2012 were not empowered to appoint Mr S. as representative for the [opponent]. Consequently, the board also had no reason to doubt Mr S.’s entitlement to act for the [opponent]. The circumstances of the particular case thus did not necessitate the production of a (further) authorisation in accordance with Article 1(3) of the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 12 July 2007. The board thus concluded that Mr S. was duly authorised to represent the [opponent] in addition to Mr M.
The [patent proprietor] also referred to the communication on matters concerning representation before the EPO (OJ EPO 4/1978, 281) cited on the reverse side of EPO Form 1003. Leaving aside the question of whether this communication is still applicable in view of Article 7(1), second sentence, of the Revision Act of 29 November 2000 and the decisions of the Administrative Council of 28 June 2001 (OJ EPO 2007, Special edition No. 1, 197) and 7 December 2006 (OJ EPO 2007, Special edition No. 1, 89), it certainly does not impose stricter requirements on professional representatives regarding the communication of their appointment in proceedings before the EPO than the decision referred to above.
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