R 0002/14 (Objections to the Chairman and Members of the Enlarged Board of … of 17.2.2015

European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:EP:BA:2015:R000214.20150217
Date of decision: 17 February 2015
Case number: R 0002/14
Application number: -
IPC class: -
Language of proceedings: EN
Distribution: B
Download and more information:
Decision text in EN (PDF, 228.402K)
Bibliographic information is available in: EN
Versions: Unpublished | Unpublished v2
Title of application: -
Applicant name: -
Opponent name: -
Board: EBA
Headnote: -
Relevant legal provisions:
European Patent Convention Art 10(2)
European Patent Convention Art 10(3)
European Patent Convention Art 11
European Patent Convention Art 21(3)
European Patent Convention Art 23(1)
European Patent Convention Art 23(3)
European Patent Convention Art 24
European Patent Convention Art 111
European Patent Convention Art 112
European Patent Convention Art 112a
European Patent Convention Art 113
European Patent Convention Art 114
European Patent Convention Art 116(4)
European Patent Convention Art 128(4)
European Patent Convention Art 131
European Patent Convention R 9(2)
European Patent Convention R 12(4)
European Patent Convention R 13(1)
European Patent Convention R 109(2)
European Patent Convention R 144(a)
RPBEA 004(1)
RPBEA 004(2)
RPBEA 014(2)
RPBEA 014(6)
RPBEA 014(7)
Business Distribution Scheme EBA 2014 Art 1, 5, 6
Business Distribution Scheme of the Boards of Appeal 2014 Art . 2(1)
Service Regulation EPO Art 001(5), 15, 93
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms Art 6(1)
ECHR De Cubber v. Belgium (no. 9186/80), ETTL v. Austria (no. 9273/81), Hauschildt v. Denmark (no. 10486/83), Academy Trading Ltd et al. v. Greece (no. 30342/96), Pfeiffer v. Austria (no. 12556/03), Micallef v. Malta (no. 17056/06)
Keywords: Suspicion of partiality against all members of the Enlarged Board of Appeal
institutional/functional conflict
normative conflict between Art. 10(2)(f), (3) and Art. 23(3) EPC as equal-ranking rules
normative concordance
suspicion partly not admissible
suspicion not justified
obligation of the party to prepare its case before trial
obligation of the party to present its complete case at the outset of the proceedings
submissions and requests after the closure of the oral proceedings – re-opening of the oral proceedings and the debate (not admitted)
request to initiate new proceedings pursuant to Article 24 EPC (rejected)
request to consider late submissions and requests of a party to proceedings as amicus curiae brief (rejected)

1. The simultaneous entrustment of the Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal with judicial tasks in his capacity as judge appointed in accordance with Article 11(3) EPC and with executive tasks in his capacity as Vice-President Appeals appointed pursuant to Article 11(2) EPC causes an inherent "normative conflict" between the institutional provisions of Article 10(2)(f)and (3) EPC and Article 23(3) EPC, which cannot be completely resolved without changes to the current institutional structure of the European Patent Organisation. However, in the meantime, its impact can and must be mitigated by a continuous balancing of these potentially conflicting duties ("normative concordance") (points 36 to 40).

2. The factual scope of an objection pursuant to Article 24(3) EPC is defined in the statement of grounds of objection initiating the interlocutory proceedings under Article 24(4) EPC. Apart from a subsequent elaboration of said objection by supporting facts, evidence and arguments, the subject-matter of the proceedings, in principle, cannot be extended or changed, whether by new facts or by a new objection (points 56.3 to 56.6).

Cited decisions:
G 0005/91
G 0001/05
G 0002/08
R 0012/09
R 0002/12
R 0019/12
T 1028/96
Citing decisions:
R 0005/15
R 0003/16
R 0005/16
T 1627/09
T 2160/12

51 references found.

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EPC Articles

EPC Implementing Rules

Offical Journal of the EPO

Case Law Book: III Amendments

Case Law Book: IV Divisional Applications

Case Law Book: VII Proceedings before the EPO

Case Law of the Enlarged Board

General Case Law