Monday, 25 April 2011

T 189/06 – Nine Not One

Readers familiar with the case law of the Boards of appeal know that Boards are reluctant to change the dates of oral proceedings (OPs) once the summons have been sent. But what about the hour of beginning – is it possible to have afternoon proceedings?

In the present case, the appellant requested OPs on an auxiliary basis and that any OPs be held as close to 1.00 pm as possible in order to reduce its costs.

[16] The request to start the OPs as close as possible to 1.00 pm could not be granted for the following reasons:

Scheduling OPs to start at 1.00 pm can only be accepted in certain exceptional cases. In general this creates a risk that the OPs are not finished at a reasonable time and thus have to be adjourned.

In the present case five sets of claims (main request and four auxiliary requests) were submitted with the grounds of appeal and five prior-art documents (D1 to D5) might have had to be discussed during the OPs. The present case thus appeared inappropriate for making an exception.

The OPs therefore started at the usual time of 9.00 am.

To read the whole decision, click here.

The file wrapper can be found here.