Saturday, 16 January 2010

T 230/06 – Post Mortem Appeal Proceedings

The present decision deals with what is to be done when a patent lapses during opposition appeal proceedings. In the present case, the opponent had filed an appeal after its opposition had been rejected. None of the parties reacted when the EPO announced that the patent had lapsed.

According to R 84(1), if the European patent has lapsed in all designated Contracting States, the opposition proceedings may be continued at the request of the opponent filed within two months of a communication informing of the lapse. Pursuant to R 100(1) this provision is also to be applied to appeal proceedings. As there was no request for continuation of the proceedings within the time limit following the communication on the lapse of the patent in all Contracting States, the proceedings are to be brought to an end. (See also T 714/93, T 749/01, and T 436/02). [1] 

To read the whole decision, click here.