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European Patent Convention (EPC 1973)

 
 

Rule 13 13/14

Suspension of proceedings

Art. 86, 93, 99
R. 92



(1) If a third party provides proof to the European Patent Office that he has opened proceedings against the applicant for the purpose of seeking a judgment that he is entitled to the grant of the European patent, the European Patent Office shall stay the proceedings for grant unless the third party consents to the continuation of such proceedings. Such consent must be communicated in writing to the European Patent Office; it shall be irrevocable. However, proceedings for grant may not be stayed before the publication of the European patent application.


(2) Where proof is provided to the European Patent Office that a decision which has become final has been given in the proceedings concerning entitlement to the grant of the European patent, the European Patent Office shall communicate to the applicant and any other party that the proceedings for grant shall be resumed as from the date stated in the communication unless a new European patent application pursuant to Article 61, paragraph 1(b), has been filed for all the designated Contracting States. If the decision is in favour of the third party, the proceedings may only be resumed after a period of three months of that decision becoming final unless the third party requests the resumption of the proceedings for grant.


(3) When giving a decision on the suspension of proceedings or thereafter the European Patent Office may set a date on which it intends to continue the proceedings pending before it regardless of the stage reached in the proceedings referred to in paragraph 1 opened against the applicant. The date is to be communicated to the third party, the applicant and any other party. If no proof has been provided by that date that a decision which has become final has been given, the European Patent Office may continue proceedings.


(4) If a third party provides proof to the European Patent Office during opposition proceedings or during the opposition period that he has opened proceedings against the proprietor of the European patent for the purpose of seeking a judgment that he is entitled to the European patent, the European Patent Office shall stay the opposition proceedings unless the third party consents to the continuation of such proceedings. Such comment must be communicated in writing to the European Patent Office; it shall be irrevocable. However, the suspension of the proceedings may not be ordered until the Opposition Division has deemed the opposition admissible. Paragraphs 2 and 3 shall apply mutatis mutandis.


(5) The time limits in force at the date of suspension other than time limits for payment of renewal fees shall be interrupted by such suspension. The time which has not yet elapsed shall begin to run as from the date on which proceedings are resumed; however, the time still to run after the resumption of the proceedings shall not be less than two months.



13 See decision of the President of the EPO dated 10.03.1989 concerning the responsibilities of the Legal Division (OJ EPO 1989, 177 f) and the notice of the Vice-President DG 5 of the EPO dated 05.07.1990 concerning correspondence with the Legal Division (OJ EPO 1990, 404 f).

14 See decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 3/92 (Annex I).

Cross-reference list
R. 13(1), (2), (3), (5) R. 14
R. 13(4) R. 78