The notice of opposition must be forwarded directly to the formalities officer, who then places it in the electronic file of the European patent concerned in accordance with the relevant administrative instructions and communicates it without delay to the proprietor for information. If a notice of opposition is received prior to the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, the formalities officer informs the opponent that his document cannot be treated as an opposition. This document becomes part of the files and, as such, is also available for inspection under Art. 128(4), and is brought to the attention of the applicant for or the proprietor of the patent as an observation by a third party in accordance with Art. 115 (for details, see E-V, 3). If an opposition fee has been paid, it will in this case be refunded.
Examinations, observations, communications and, where appropriate, invitations to the parties will be the responsibility of the formalities officer who has been entrusted with this task of the Opposition Division (see D-II, 7).