7.1. Competence of the board in its original composition

In T 1028/96 (OJ 2000, 475) the board stated that, if an objection under Art. 24(1) or (3) EPC 1973 was made by a party, Art. 24(3), second sentence, EPC 1973 clearly required a preliminary examination of admissibility. The board stated that, generally speaking, in the EPC, the purpose of the preliminary examination for admissibility was to determine whether the objection could go forward for substantive examination and decision. If, from the former board's point of view, the objection was admissible, then the procedure under Art. 24(4) EPC 1973 applied. Thus, the issue of admissibility before the former board was only relevant to the opening of the procedure under Art. 24(4) EPC 1973 and had no bearing on the future decision of the new board nominated in accordance with Art. 24(4) EPC 1973.

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