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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
e)
Change of representative 

In T 430/89 the explanation for the late submission of arguments and a document was that the representative had only recently taken over the case. The board held that this could not be accepted as a justification for tardiness.

In T 785/96, under cover of a letter sent just one month before the oral proceedings before the board, the appellant filed additional experiments. The appellant stated that the reason for this late filing was a change of representative, after which the necessity of the experiments had appeared. The board confirmed the decision T 97/94 (OJ 1998, 467) and stated that a change of representative did not form an acceptable ground for late filing unless it was due to force majeure. The new representative was obliged to continue the proceedings from the point they had reached when he took over from his predecessor (see also T 552/98).

In T 736/99, prior-art document D4 was submitted two years and eight months after expiry of the term set by Art. 108 EPC 1973. As the appellant (opponent) accepted unreservedly, a change of professional representative was not an objective excuse for delay.