|European Case Law Identifier:||ECLI:EP:BA:2015:T121810.20150204|
|Date of decision:||04 February 2015|
|Case number:||T 1218/10|
|IPC class:||H01H 19/20
|Language of proceedings:||EN|
|Download and more information:||
|Title of application:||Switch mechanism|
|Applicant name:||Valeo Thermal Systems Japan Corporation|
|Opponent name:||Delphi France SAS
Behr-Hella Thermocontrol GmbH
|Relevant legal provisions:||
|Keywords:||Lapse of patent in all designated states - continuation of appeal proceedings (no)|
Summary of Facts and Submissions
I. The patent proprietor has appealed against the decision of the Opposition Division of 29 March 2010 revoking the European patent No. 1708217.
II. The patent has meanwhile lapsed in all designated Contracting States.
III. By a communication of the Board of 14 August 2014, the attention of the parties was drawn to Rule 84(1) EPC and the appellant (patent proprietor) was invited to inform the Board within two months from notification of the communication whether it was requested that the appeal proceedings be continued, or whether the appeal was withdrawn. The parties were advised that if no request for continuation of the appeal proceedings was received, the Board intended to terminate the appeal proceedings.
IV. Within the time period set in the above communication no reply was filed.
Reasons for the Decision
1. If a European patent has lapsed in all designated Contracting States, opposition proceedings may be continued at the request of the opponent, Rule 84(1) EPC. It follows from Rule 100(1) EPC that this also applies in appeal proceedings following opposition proceedings.
However, if, as in the present case, the patent proprietor is the appellant, it would be inappropriate to allow the opponent to determine whether or not the appeal proceedings are to be continued. For this reason, Rule 84(1) has to be applied in such cases so that the patent proprietor can request that the appeal proceedings be continued (see decision 708/01, not published in OJ EPO, and Case Law of the Boards of Appeal, seventh edition, IV.C.6.4 - Cases concerning continuation of opposition appeal proceedings).
2. The patent proprietor has been invited to file such a request for continuation, but has not done so.
3. The appeal proceedings are consequently terminated by this decision of the Board.
For these reasons it is decided that:
The appeal proceedings are terminated.