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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
1. General

The Rules relating to Fees (RFees) determine the amounts of the fees levied by the EPO and the ways in which they are to be paid (Art. 51(4) EPC), They also contain provisions regulating the due date for fees, the particulars to be indicated concerning payments, the date of payment, insufficient payments and certain refunds and reductions.

According to the Legal Board of Appeal in J 7/07, no provision of the EPC states explicitly that the EPC takes precedence over the Rules relating to Fees in cases of conflict between them. However, the EPC is clearly the higher legal norm, and in case of conflict, by analogy with Art. 164(2) EPC 1973, the provisions of the EPC should take precedence over the provisions of the Rules relating to Fees. Also on general legal principles, the Implementing Regulations should take precedence over the Rules relating to Fees. See also Chapter III.D.1.2.2 "Applicability of R. 132 EPC to the Rules relating to Fees".

The EPC 2000 required a revised version of the Rules relating to Fees, which also entered into force on 13.12.2007 (see Administrative Council decision of 7.12.2006, OJ 2007, 10; also Administrative Council decision of 25.10.2007, OJ 2007, 533). Since then, further amendments have come into effect (see European Patent Convention, 14th edition 2010 and OJ 2010, 637).

The relevant chapter of the Guidelines for Examination (June 2012 version) is Part A-X.

Besides the cases set out below, decisions concerning individual procedural fees are to be found in the relevant chapters of this book.