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Guide for applicants, Part 1: How to get a European patent

Filing an appeal
Appeals may be filed against decisions of the Receiving Section, the examining divisions, the opposition divisions and the Legal Division. An appeal has suspensive effect, which means that the contested decision is not yet final (no formal res judicata) and its effects are suspended.
Notice of appeal must be filed in written form within two months after the date of notification of the contested decision. It is not deemed to have been filed until the appeal fee has been paid. Within four months after the date of notification of the decision, a written statement setting out the grounds of appeal must be filed. The above time limits cannot be extended. Further processing under Article 121 is excluded.
The notice of appeal and the statement of grounds may also be filed by fax, or electronically using the Online filing software. The Registry of the boards of appeal as a rule requests written confirmation only if the quality of the document filed is deficient. Information about valid electronic signature can be obtained from the EPO. 
OJ 2003, 419
OJ 2009, 182
The notice of appeal must contain: 
the name and address of the appellant  
an indication of the appealed decision, and 
a request defining the subject of the appeal. 
In the statement of grounds the appellant should indicate the reasons why the decision should be set aside, or the extent to which it is to be amended. Similarly, the facts and evidence on which the appeal is based should also be filed. All arguments should be presented in writing and not reserved for possible oral proceedings.  
The Registry gives each appeal its own reference number, which must be used throughout the appeal proceedings.