Monday, 13 April 2015

Mere Disagreement with Reasons of a Decison is not a Sufficent Ground of Appeal

The appeal in the case T 0972/13 has been held inadmissible because the grounds were considered insufficiently substantiated.

The appellant had filed grounds of appeal merely stating "We disagree with the OD [Opposition Division] in that ..... " followed by a repetition of the reasons of the decision given by the Opposition Division. No whatsoever reasons for the disagreement were given. The board concluded that the statement of the grounds of appeal did not comply with Rule 99(2) EPC because no reasons (other than plain disagreement) why the decision should be set aside were given.

After the decision reported here, the decision T 0972/13 puts further emphasizes the importance of discussing the reasons given the decision impugned in detail and not to merely re-iterate one's own arguments from the first instance or  state one's dissatisfaction with the reasons.

A further interesting point in this decision is that an order on apportionment of costs was issued, which is a fairly rare event. The appellant had indicated that it would not be represented in the oral proceedings without withdrawing its request to hold oral proceedings. This left open whether the appellant would attend to the oral proceedings without being represented by a representative or whether the appellant would not attend at all such that the defendants had to prepare and attend to the oral proceedings as a matter of due diligence. The board found that this justified an order that the appellant had to bear the costs for the defendant's preparation and attendance to the oral proceedinsg for reasons of equity (Art. 104(1) EPC).


Anonymous said...

Another case of an EPO Board being worryingly ignorant of the EPC.

The appellant was an Australian company and therefore required representation under A. 133(2) EPC. The representative had announced in advance that the appellant would not be represented. Nevertheless, the Board dreamt up an excuse for awarding costs on the grounds that it could not be excluded that the appellant itself would attend. "Dream on" is all I can say.

Wrote H. Bosch

MaxDrei said...

OD decides patent should be revoked. Patent owner appeals, requesting oral proceedings.

TBA cannot issue a decision to dismissthe appeal on the written file for as long as patentee declines to withdraw its request for oral proceedings.

So oral proceedings have to take place. Everybody travels to them, except patentee.

Why didn't the patent owner's representative withdraw its request for oral proceedings? Anybody know? Was it deliberate or was it careless, I wonder.