Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal, OJ EPO 1983, 7 as amended in OJ EPO 1989, 361, OJ EPO 2000, 316, OJ EPO 2003, 61, OJ EPO 2003, 89 and OJ EPO 2004, 541
Business distribution and composition
Attendance of interpreters
If required, the Chairman of any Board shall make arrangements for interpretation during oral proceedings, the taking of evidence or the deliberations of his Board.
Change in the composition of the Board
Enlargement of a Board of Appeal
If a Board of Appeal consisting of two technically qualified members and one legally qualified member considers that the nature of the appeal requires that the Board should consist of three technically qualified members and two legally qualified members, the decision to enlarge the Board shall be taken at the earliest possible stage in the examination of that appeal.
Consolidation of appeal proceedings
Remission to the department of first instance
A Board shall remit a case to the department of first instance if fundamental deficiencies are apparent in the first instance proceedings, unless special reasons present themselves for doing otherwise.
Amendment to a party's case
Articles 12 and 13 shall apply mutatis mutandis to interventions commenced while an appeal is pending.
Communications to the parties
EPO President's right to comment
The Board may, on its own initiative or at the written, reasoned request of the President of the European Patent Office, invite him to comment in writing or orally on questions of general interest which arise in the course of proceedings pending before it. The parties shall be entitled to submit their observations on the President's comments.
Deviations from an earlier decision of any Board or from the Guidelines
Deviation from an earlier decision or opinion of the Enlarged Board of Appeal l
Should a Board consider it necessary to deviate from an interpretation or explanation of the Convention contained in an earlier opinion or decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, the question shall be referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal.
Referral of a question to the Enlarged Board of Appeal
Binding nature of the Rules of Procedure
These Rules of Procedure shall be binding upon the Boards of Appeal, provided that they do not lead to a situation which would be incompatible with the spirit and purpose of the Convention.