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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
2.1. The meaning of "time limit"

For re-establishment of rights to be possible, there must be a failure to meet a time limit vis-à-vis the EPO (Art. 122(1) EPC), i.e. a time limit given specifically to the applicant pursuant to the Convention or by an official of the EPO within which he must accomplish a certain act (consolidated cases J 11/91 and J 16/91, OJ 1994, 28; J 21/96). Not every "time limit", "time limitation" or "time restriction" under the EPC is also a time limit pursuant to Art. 122 EPC (J 10/01). Time limits in the EPC have two conceptual elements: (1) a period of time determined in years, months or days, and (2) a relevant date, which serves as the starting date of the time limit, and from which the period of time is counted. Time restrictions imposed on applicants by the EPC, but not having these conceptual elements cannot be regarded as time limits for the purposes of Art. 122 EPC 1973 (J 18/04, OJ 2006, 560).