In this decision the Enlarged Board had to deal with a request for a postponement of oral proceedings (OPs) based on a nice accumulation of not so good reasons.
[1.1] As the reasons for requesting postponement of the OPs scheduled for 19 July 2013 the petitioner had indicated that Mr P., one of the petitioner’s representatives who had attended the OPs before the board, would only return on 16 July 2013 from a long-planned private trip. Thereafter he would face severe jet-lag. Due to a planned birthday party on the 20th he would have to travel to his country cottage on the 18th since he would have friends staying overnight to celebrate with him on the 20th. They also had opera tickets for that day.
[1.2] As the Enlarged Board communicated to the petitioner via its Registrar, no serious reasons which would have justified the fixing of a new date for OPs could be seen in the reasons advanced. The petitioner’s attention was drawn to the Notice of the Vice-President of DG3 of the EPO dated 16 July 2007 concerning OPs before the boards of appeal (see Special Edition No. 3, OJ EPO 2007, 115). That Notice mentions as an example of a serious reason holidays which have been firmly booked before the notification of the summons to OPs. However, Mr P.’s holiday already ended on 16 July 2013. Mr P.’s planned birthday party on 20 July could not be regarded as being a serious reason which would have justified the postponing of the OPs to a later date. In the interest of legal certainty petitions for review should be dealt with expeditiously (R 18/09 ). Postponement of OPs before the Enlarged Board is likely to lead to considerable delay, due to the commitments of the members of the Enlarged Board.
Should you wish to download the whole decision, just click here.
The file wrapper can be found here.