If a notice of opposition is filed within the prescribed time limit, the opposition division must communicate it to the proprietor of the patent (Rule 79(1) EPC). Similarly, if several notices of opposition are filed, or observations are submitted by the patent proprietor or the opponent(s), the EPO communicates them to the other parties (Rule 79(2) and (3) EPC).
The EPO will continue to communicate notices of opposition and observations to the other parties for information, together with the cited documents, but it will no longer automatically transmit copies of documents specified as patent documents. Parties to opposition proceedings thus have to expect that patent documents will be provided free of charge in paper form only upon request. However, all documents will be available for inspection via the Register Plus online service at http://www.epoline.org (see Special edition No. 3, OJ EPO 2007, J.2.).
If oral proceedings are to take place, parties are advised to check the electro- nic file via the Register Plus online service in advance of the hearing to ensure they are in possession of all relevant documents.
Date retrieved: May 20, 2014