If a third party provides proof to the EPO that he has opened proceedings against the applicant for the purpose of seeking a judgement that he is entitled to the grant of the European patent – which proof may take the form of confirmation by the court – the EPO will 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 EPO; it is irrevocable. However, proceedings for grant may not be stayed before the publication of the European patent application. Staying must be ordered by decision. This is an interim decision, which under Art. 106(2) may only be appealed together with the final decision. These matters are dealt with by the Legal Division (see the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 12 July 2007, Special edition No. 3, OJ EPO 2007, G.1).
Under Art. 164(1), the Protocol on Recognition is an integral part of the European Patent Convention. It governs the jurisdiction and recognition of decisions for EPC Contracting States.