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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
5. Legitimate expectation and case law

There might be cases in which the public has a legitimate expectation that the department of first instance will not deviate from the established case law which has become enshrined in the consistent practice of the department of first instance (see J 27/94, OJ 1995, 831). A single decision of a board of appeal cannot, however, create a legitimate expectation that it will be followed in future (J 25/95, T 500/00).The users' confidence in the continuity of a practice based on a decision of the Enlarged Board might be considered particularly legitimate since all boards of appeal were expected to follow the Enlarged Board's interpretation of the EPC (J 25/95).