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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
4.4.1 A system operating efficiently for many years as evidence that it was normally satisfactory

The fact that this system operated efficiently for many years was evidence in many decisions that it was normally satisfactory (see J 31/90, J 32/90, T 309/88 and T 30/90). In T 130/83 the board stated that if a proper reminder system had been instituted by a representative, in order to guard against the consequences of oversight in a busy office, this was itself strong prima facie evidence of the taking of care by the representative (see also T 869/90, T 715/91, T 111/92).

However, in T 1465/07, the board disagreed with the view that a monitoring system of time limits can be held to have been normally satisfactory because it worked without previous problems and consequently accept that all due care had been taken even though doubts exist. Evidence that such a monitoring system operated efficiently for many years will weigh in favour of a finding of a normally satisfactory character but will be counterbalanced by evidence that main features of such a character, such as an independent cross-check, go missing. In that case a satisfactory character will be excluded (see also T 1962/08).

In T 1764/08 the board considered that the mere allegation that the case at issue was the first instance of unintended failure in filing an appeal does not show that all due care was normally observed and does not prove that a satisfactory system was in place in the representative's office.