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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

2.3.2 Silence in response to communication

Silence on the part of the appellant cannot be interpreted as withdrawal of the subsidiary request for oral proceedings. A request within the meaning of Art. 116(1) EPC 1973 could only be withdrawn by a declaration to that effect (T 35/92). Silence following a communication from the opposition division, asking whether the appellant was maintaining the request for oral proceedings, can also not been interpreted as a withdrawal of that request (T 686/92). A withdrawal requires an unambiguous expression of the party's wish to withdraw (T 795/91, see also T 766/90, T 879/92).

In T 1042/07 the board stated that in the absence of anything that can be regarded as a statement of grounds of appeal, the lack of any substantive response to a notification of the inadmissibility of the appeal is considered as equivalent to an abandonment of a request for oral proceedings initially made in the notice of appeal.