Content reproduced from the Website of the European Patent Office as permitted by their terms of use.

Notice of the President of the Boards of Appeal dated 1 May 2022 on
informing the parties of submissions made by other parties to the
proceedings and by third parties

This text is intended for publication in the
Official Journal (OJ) of the EPO. It is made available in advance on
the EPO website merely as a courtesy to the public. Only the text
subsequently published in the officially certified PDF file of the OJ is
authentic. It cannot be guaranteed that this advance version accurately
replicates that text.

In all inter partes appeal proceedings, the
Boards of Appeal will adapt their practice of informing the parties of
submissions and documents which are filed by a party to the proceedings
or by a third party.

1. Party submissions, in particular the
notice of appeal, the statement of grounds of appeal and the reply to
the statement of grounds, will continue to be communicated to the other
parties. However, copies of all documents attached to party submissions,
including patent and non-patent literature cited in party submissions
as well as documents containing amendments, such as an amended set of
claims, are no longer to be forwarded automatically.

All these documents contained in the
electronic file can be downloaded from the European Patent Register.
They will be provided to the parties free of charge in paper form upon
request only.

The Boards of Appeal’s practice of informing
the other parties of the filing of items or documents which are not
available for inspection in the electronic files of the European Patent
Register (e.g. non-scannable objects, non-public documents) or are not
easily legible (e.g. documents filed in colour) is retained.

If oral proceedings are to take place,
parties are advised to check the electronic file via the European Patent
Register in advance of the hearing to ensure that they are in
possession of all relevant documents.

2. Similarly, this practice will also be
extended to third-party observations. The Boards of Appeal will continue
to communicate such observations filed during pending proceedings to
all parties. However, the documents annexed to third-party observations
will not be forwarded automatically. They can be downloaded from the
European Patent Register.

3. This change in practice applies to
submissions filed on or after 1 June 2022. The present notice supersedes
point 2 of the notice published in
OJ EPO 2020, A131.


President of the Boards of Appeal