The board noted that the need for legal certainty required a presumption of validity in favour of a written decision which was notified to the parties by an opposition division in accordance with the formal requirements of the EPC 1973, in particular R. 68
to R. 70 EPC 1973
(now R. 111
to 113 EPC
). Once the decision was pronounced and the (first) written decision, in the case at issue, notified to the parties, the opposition division was bound by it even if it considered its decision not to "have any legal effect" (see T 371/92
, OJ 1995, 324). The decision could be set aside only by the second instance on the condition that an allowable appeal was filed under Art. 106 EPC 1973
. With the filing of the first notice of appeal, the power to deal with the issues involved in this case passed from the department of first instance to the appeal instance (devolutive effect of the appeal).