European Round-Table on Patent Practice (EUROTAB)
|European Case Law Identifier:||ECLI:EP:BA:2006:T086606.20061127|
|Date of decision:||27 November 2006|
|Case number:||T 0866/06|
|IPC class:||G07F 7/00|
|Language of proceedings:||EN|
|Download and more information:||
|Title of application:||ATMS/POS based electronic mail system|
|Applicant name:||ATM COMMUNICATIONS INTERNATIONAL INC.|
|Relevant legal provisions:||
|Keywords:||Missing statement of grounds|
Summary of Facts and Submissions
I. This is an appeal against the revocation of European patent 0 605 418 posted 14 December 2005.
The appellant proprietor filed a notice of appeal on
22 February 2006, paid the fee for appeal on the same day and stated that a statement setting out the grounds of appeal would be filed in due course. The notice of appeal included a request for oral proceedings.
No written statement setting out the grounds of appeal was filed within the four-month time limit prescribed by Article 108 EPC in conjunction with Rule 78(2) EPC.
II. By a communication dated 16 June 2006, sent by registered letter with advice of delivery, the board informed the representative of the appellant that it appeared that no written statement of grounds of appeal had been filed and that it was therefore to be expected that the appeal would be rejected as inadmissible. The appellant was invited to file observations within two months and attention was drawn to the possibility of filing a request for reestablishment of rights under Article 122 EPC.
III. There was no reply to the board's communication. In response to a telephone inquiry from the registrar of the board 13 November 2006 regarding the outstanding request for oral proceedings, the representative of the appellant declared that he had no instructions from the appellant to prosecute the appeal further.
Reasons for the Decision
1. Having regard to the facts set out above and, in addition, to the fact that the proprietor is a legal person not having their principal place of business within the territory of one of the Contracting States of the EPC and must therefore be represented by a professional representative pursuant to Article 134(1) EPC and that no change of representative has been communicated to the European Patent Office, the board regards the request for oral proceedings as implicitly withdrawn. This conclusion is also supported by decision T 3/90 (OJ EPO 1992, 737) according to which a statement of a party that it would not be represented at the oral proceedings should normally be treated as equivalent to a withdrawal of the request for oral proceedings.
2. As no written statement setting out the grounds of appeal has been filed and as the notice of appeal contains nothing that could be regarded as a statement of grounds of appeal pursuant to Article 108 EPC, the appeal has to be rejected as inadmissible (Article 108 EPC in conjunction with Rule 65(1) EPC).
For these reasons it is decided that:
The appeal is rejected as inadmissible.