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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
6.2. Interlocutory decisions of a board

The finding that an appeal is admissible may be given in an interlocutory decision. Art. 110 EPC and R. 101 EPC show that the boards have to examine whether an appeal is admissible before considering its merits. An interlocutory decision might be appropriate where the points of law concerning admissibility are of general significance and require a speedy decision (see T 152/82, OJ 1984, 301; and also T 109/86 of 20.7.1987). (There is an exception where the appeal is clearly unallowable but admissibility cannot be checked, see IV.E.2.8 "Cases where admissibility of appeal need not be considered").

The boards have also issued interlocutory decisions on re-establishment in respect of the time limits for appeal (T 315/87 of 14.2.1989 and T 369/91, OJ 1993, 561), on the admissibility of an opposition (T 152/95 of 3.7.1996), and to inform the public rapidly (pending the final decision) that a mention of grant in the European Patent Bulletin was incorrect because of the appeal's suspensive effect (J 28/94, OJ 1995, 742). Referral of a point of law to the Enlarged Board is also an interlocutory decision.