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European Patent Convention (EPC 1973)

 
 
A revised version of the European Patent Convention entered into force on 13 December 2007. The provisions of the revised Convention apply unless the transitional provisions provide for the applicability of the EPC 1973.

Rule 58

Examination of opposition

Art. 102, 105, 123



(1) All communications issued pursuant to Article 101, paragraph 2, and all replies thereto shall be communicated to all parties.


(2)86 In any communication to the proprietor of the European patent pursuant to Article 101, paragraph 2, he shall, where appropriate, be invited to file, where necessary, the description, claims and drawings in amended form.


(3) Where necessary, any communication to the proprietor of the European patent pursuant to Article 101, paragraph 2, shall contain a reasoned statement. Where appropriate, this statement shall cover all the grounds against the maintenance of the European patent.


(4)87 Before the Opposition Division decides on the maintenance of the European patent in the amended form, it shall inform the parties that it intends to maintain the patent as amended and shall invite them to state their observations within a period of two months if they disapprove of the text in which it is intended to maintain the patent.


(5)88 If disapproval of the text communicated by the Opposition Division is expressed, examination of the opposition may be continued; otherwise, the Opposition Division shall, on expiry of the period referred to in paragraph 4, request the proprietor of the patent to pay, within three months, the fee for the printing of a new specification of the European patent and to file a translation of any amended claims in the two official languages of the European Patent Office other than the language of the proceedings.


(6)89 If the acts requested under paragraph 5 are not performed in due time they may still be validly performed within two months of notification of a communication pointing out the failure to observe the time limit, provided that within this two-month period a surcharge equal to twice the fee for printing a new specification of the European patent is paid.


(7) The communication of the Opposition Division under paragraph 5 shall indicate the designated Contracting States which require a translation pursuant to Article 65, paragraph 1.


(8) The decision to maintain the European patent as amended shall state which text of the European patent forms the basis for the maintenance thereof.



86 See decisions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 9/92, G 1/99 (Annex I).

87 Amended by decision of the Administrative Council of 10.06.1988 which entered into force on 01.10.1988 (OJ EPO 1988, 290 ff). See decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 1/88 (Annex I).

88 Last amended by decision of the Administrative Council of 07.12.1990 which entered into force on 01.06.1991 (OJ EPO 1991, 4 ff). See decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 1/90 (Annex I).

89 Inserted by decision of the Administrative Council of 08.12.1988 which entered into force on 01.04.1989 (OJ EPO 1989, 1).

Cross-reference list
R. 58(1), (2), (3) R. 81
R. 58(4), (5), (6), (7), (8) R. 82