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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
1.3. Duties not entrusted to formalities officers

The act of informing an opponent under R. 112(2) EPC does not belong to the duties entrusted to formalities officers of the opposition divisions by virtue of the powers transferred to the Vice­President of Directorate­General 2 of the EPO by order of the President of the EPO under R. 11(2) EPC (see T 161/96; OJ 1999, 331). An appellant is not therefore entitled to rely on the formalities officer’s communication that no loss of rights has occurred.

In T 808/03 the board found that a formalities officer was not empowered to grant restitutio in integrum in relation to the filing of a notice of appeal (apart from the exception of the granting of interlocutory revision pursuant to Art. 109(1) EPC 1973) and that the purported decision was accordingly null and void. The department competent to decide whether an appeal was admissible and thus inter alia whether a notice of appeal met the requirements of the EPC 1973 was, subject to the exception mentioned, the board of appeal of the EPO (R. 65(1) EPC 1973; see T 949/94 of 24.3.1995 and T 473/91, OJ 1993, 630).