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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
c)
Technically qualified assistant 

In T 715/91 the board held that the consequences of an error by a technically qualified assistant (an engineer training for the European qualifying examination) imputed to the representative would also have to be borne by the appellants. The task of writing, or at least supervising, the despatch of important submissions, such as grounds of appeal, would normally fall to the representative himself. Furthermore, given that the assistant had only recently been taken on, the representative could not be expected to have been able to ascertain in such a short time to what degree the assistant did know the rules and regulations of the EPC.

In T 828/94 the board found inter alia that the technical assistant in charge was not supervised well enough and had not been properly instructed.

Referring to the required standard in exercising due care, the board decided in T 832/99 that a technical employee working in a firm of patent attorneys was not an assistant but was carrying out de facto the work of a patent attorney. This meant that the same strict requirements for due care would have to be applied to the technical employee as were applied to the appellant and the appellant's representative.