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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
1.1. Sources of legitimate expectations

Sources of legitimate expectations include information provided by the EPO in individual cases (e.g. in the form of communications to the party), information contained in official statements of general applicability and published by the EPO (e.g. the Guidelines and the Official Journal), established practice of departments of the EPO, and decisions taken by the Enlarged Board because of its special role (see J 25/95 and the decisions given on the same day, namely J 14/95, J 15/95, J 16/95, J 17/95 and J 24/95; see also T 905/90, OJ 1994, 306, Corr. 556). The case law of the boards of appeal may also be a source of legitimate expectation, in particular, if it is established case law which has become enshrined in the consistent practice of the department of first instance (see J 27/94, OJ 1995, 831; see also below point 5). Courtesy services provided by the EPO may also be a source of legitimate expectation (see J 1/89, OJ 1992, 17; see also below point 2.2).