7.2. Formal conditions for admissibility

In T 1028/96 (OJ 2000, 475) the board went on and stated that even if it was not expressly stated in Art. 24(3) EPC 1973, the EPC required, as a general rule, that objections be reasoned, i.e. indicated facts and arguments which were alleged to support such an objection. From this requirement it followed, firstly, that an objection based on purely subjective unreasonable doubts which existed only in the mind of the objecting party should be rejected as inadmissible. It also followed that if facts and arguments filed could not support the objection of suspected partiality raised, the objection was likewise inadmissible. Thus, the threshold to be crossed over by a party calling the composition of the Board into question also comprised this formal precondition.

In interlocutory decision R 12/09, the Enlarged Board of Appeal held that there was more to determining admissibility than just examining whether this precondition was met. It also had to be established whether the objection had been duly substantiated. However, according to the Enlarged Board, this merely meant ascertaining whether it met the minimum standard for objective reasoning, and not whether that reasoning was also persuasive (see T 1028/96, OJ 2000, 475, point 2 of the Reasons).

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