4.5.1 Decisions to be signed

In T 390/86 (OJ 1989, 30) the board noted that although R. 70 EPC 1973 (now R. 113 EPC) states that "any communication from the EPO is to be signed by and to state the name of the employee responsible", there was nothing in R. 68 EPC 1973 (now R. 111 EPC) or elsewhere in the EPC which specifically required the decision of a first-instance department of the EPO (i.e. one open to appeal) to be signed by the employee(s) responsible. The board held that if the decision of a particular division was to be legally valid it had to bear the signatures of the members who had been appointed to that division to decide the issue. (See also e.g. T 999/93).

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