Wednesday, 28 September 2011

T 1930/07 – A Call For Courtesy

The applicant filed an appeal against the decision of the Examining Division to refuse the application under consideration.

The appellant did not respond in any way to the summons to oral proceedings (OPs). When the registrar of the board contacted the appellant’s representative by telephone shortly before the OPs, no definite answer was received to the question whether the representative would attend.

[3] The board notes that a professional representative has a duty to inform the EPO as soon as possible of a party’s intention not to be represented at OPs (cf. e.g. T 653/91 [8] and T 1485/06 [2.8]). Article 6 of the code of conduct of members of the European Patent Institute (epi), of which the representative is obligatorily a member, stipulates that the members are required to act courteously in their dealings with the EPO. The epi Council also issued the explicit recommendation that
“if a party to an appeal decides that it will not attend a scheduled OPs, the representative of the party should, as soon as possible … before the OPs … inform the board of the party’s non-attendance” (epi Information 4/2009, pp. 133-134).
The board considers it discourteous of the representative in the present case not even to have informed the board in time for the start of the OPs that he would not attend.

Should you wish to download the whole decision, just click here.

The file wrapper can be found here.

NB: Other recent decisions on courtesy can be found here and here.