Quick Navigation

 

Guidelines for Examination

 
 

4.7.1 Communications/oral proceedings after resumption

Where the grounds or evidence behind the finding of non-allowability or inadmissibility of the amendments have not yet been dealt with in examination proceedings, before issuing a summons to oral proceedings or a decision to refuse (see C‑V, 4.7.3) the Examining Division will send a communication according to Art. 94(3) and Rule 71(1) and (2) explaining this finding.

If one of the following situations applies, the Examining Division will have to appoint oral proceedings before issuing a decision to refuse (see C‑V, 4.7.3):

(i)
oral proceedings have been requested, but have not yet been held, or 
(ii)
oral proceedings have been held, but: 
– 
the subject of the proceedings has changed such that a right to subsequent oral proceedings arises under Art. 116(1) (e.g. as a result of the amendments filed in response to the Rule 71(3) communication), and
– 
the applicant has requested subsequent oral proceedings. 

If the grounds and evidence behind the finding of non-allowability or inadmissibility of the amendments have been dealt with in examination proceedings, but not yet in oral proceedings, a summons to oral proceedings can be issued directly, provided at least one communication under Art. 94(3) and Rule 71(1) and (2) has been issued.

Requests for oral proceedings must be allowed as long as proceedings before the EPO are still pending, i.e. until the decision to grant has been handed over to the internal post (see G 12/91 and T 556/95, especially reasons for the decision 4.4).

If the following criteria are satisfied, the application may be refused directly:

(i)
the grounds and evidence behind the non-allowance or non-admittance of the request filed in response to the Rule 71(3) communication have already been dealt with in examination proceedings (Art. 113(1));
(ii)
the applicant has received at least one communication according to Art. 94(3) and Rule 71(1) and (2) (see C‑III, 4); and
(iii)
the applicant's right to oral proceedings on request has been respected (Art. 116(1)).