OJ EPO 2008, 221 - Notice from the European Patent Office dated 17 March 2008 concerning acceler- ated processing of opposi- tions where infringement proceedings have been instituted1

1. In cases where an infringement action in respect of a European patent is pending before a national court of a contracting state, a party to the opposi- tion proceedings may request acceler- ated processing. The request may be filed at any time. It must be filed in written reasoned form. The Office will then make every effort to issue the next procedural action (e.g. communication, summons to oral proceedings) within three months of receipt of the request, or, where the request is filed within the opposition period, within three months after receipt of the patent proprietor's response to the notice of opposition (whichever is the later).

2. In addition, the EPO will also acceler- ate the processing of the opposition if it is informed by the national court or

1 This notice replaces without any changes to the substance the notice from the EPO of 19 May 1998 (OJ EPO 1998, 361).

competent authority of a contracting state that infringement actions are pending.

3.However,theEPOhastorelyon theco-operationofthepartiestothe proceedings,whoareexpectedin particulartomaketheirsubmissions promptlyandinfullandinanycase strictlytoadheretothetimelimitssetby theEPOfo rreplyingtocommunications orcommentingonwrittensubmissions fromtheotherparties.Requeststo extendtimelimitsoverandabovethe normalfour-monthperiodcanonlybe grantedinexceptional,dulysubstan- tiatedcases.

References: ar101;

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