31 July 2019

A flurry of activity from the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal

The European Patent Office (EPO) has issued updates for two cases being considered by the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA); G 2/19 and G 1/18.

In the Autumn of 2017, the EPO’s Boards of Appeal moved from their location in central Munich to Haar, a suburb near to Munich but which is a separate municipality. In G 2/19, the EBA was, in essence, asked to decide whether holding oral proceedings in Haar was compliant with the EPC. The board has now said yes, it is compliant.

The decision in G 2/19 was good news for G 1/18, which was heard in Haar. This case relates to a point of law referred to the EBA by the President of the EPO, namely whether an appeal filed outside the two-month time limit of Article 108 EPC is to be deemed as ‘not filed’ or as ‘inadmissible’ – this determines whether or not the appeal fee (currently €2,255) can be reimbursed. The EBA has now issued an opinion that a failure to meet the two-month deadline of Article 108 EPC means that the appeal is deemed not to have been filed, and that an appeal fee paid under those circumstances should be reimbursed by the EPO.

For further information about these recent cases, or for any other general queries about EPO prosecution, opposition and appeal work, please get in touch with the Mathys & Squire team.