3.1.1 Any third party

In the case before the board in T 305/08, the appellant (opponent I) had filed an appeal against the decision of the opposition division to reject the opposition. Two separate interventions were subsequently filed (by opponents II and III), which also raised fresh grounds of opposition under Art. 100(c) EPC 1973. The board stated that the term 'any third party' in Art. 105(1) EPC could not be given an interpretation other than that each party had to be a separate legal entity and that it was irrelevant whether they belonged to the same group of companies. Nor was allowing the interventions tantamount to allowing the appellant to late-file oppositions via opponents II and III under its control and thus introduce new evidence. The interventions were therefore admissible.

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