European Round-Table on Patent Practice (EUROTAB)
|European Case Law Identifier:||ECLI:EP:BA:1988:J001288.19881107|
|Date of decision:||07 November 1988|
|Case number:||J 0012/88|
|IPC class:||A61M 1/16|
|Language of proceedings:||EN|
|Download and more information:||
|Title of application:||A pump|
|Applicant name:||University of St. Andrews|
|Relevant legal provisions:||
Proceedings before the EPO null and void
Reimbursement of fees
Proceedings before the EPO are null and void if the applicant's representative acted without any instructions an without filing any valid authorisation.
Summary of Facts and Submissions
I. In its decision of 5 February 1988 the Receiving Section of the EPO declared Euro-PCT application No. 85902071.1 deemed to be withdrawn under Article 94(3) EPC, because no request for examination had been made in due time, and rejected an application for the re-establishment of the right to make such a request.
II. A notice of appeal was filed on 12 April 1988 and the appeal fee was paid in due time. No statement of grounds of appeal was filed.
III. By letter of 8 June 1988 the Appellant's present representative, Mr. Fitzpatrick, informed the Board that the Appellant did not wish to pursue the appeal and that the Appeallant in fact was completely unaware of the proceedings before the EPO im this case. It than turned out that the former representative of the Appellant had acted before the EPO on behalf of the Appellant without being instructed to do so and using a forged authorisation.
IV. The Appellant has requested reimbursement of the appeal fee.
V. The former representative of the Appellant has commented upon the situation at the invitation of the Board without disputing the above allegations made by the Appellant.
Reasons for the Decision
The Board is satisfied that in all proceedings before the EPO in this case, the Appellant's former representative acted without any instructions and without filing any valid authorisation. All these proceedings are therefore to be considered as null and void. Consequently, there has never been a valid European patent application before the EPO. In these circumstances, it follows from general principles of law that all fees paid to the EPO on behalf of the Appellant were never due and must be reimbursed.
For these reasons, it is decided that:
1. The decision under appeal is set aside and the Board declares that there has never been any valid European patent application in existence.
2. Reimbursement of the appeal fee as well as all other fees paid to the EPO in the course of the proceedings in this case is ordered.