2.4. Information provided by telephone

Both T 160/92 (OJ 1995, 35) and T 428/98 (OJ 2001, 494) concerned information provided by EPO employees by telephone. In T 160/92 the board did not deny that the principle of legitimate expectations should govern all the actions of EPO employees towards parties to the proceedings, including telephone conversations which were not provided for in the Convention and did not, as such, form part of the formal procedure before the EPO. However, since telephone conversations did not form part of the said formal procedure, the board did not consider it necessary to conduct a detailed investigation seeking to clear up what had been said in the relevant telephone conversations, the sequence of procedurally relevant facts having been clearly established in the file. In T 428/98 (OJ 2001, 494) the board held that an appellant might rely on information which the board's registrar could be proved to have provided by telephone concerning the method for calculating a time limit the appellant had to observe before the board if the point of law on which that information was based had at that time not yet been clarified in the case law of the boards of appeal.

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