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Guidelines for Examination


1.2 Exceptions

Notwithstanding D‑VII, 1.1 above, oppositions are to be given priority:

if the earlier examination proceedings were of considerably longer duration than usual; 
if the opposition proceedings have already extended over a considerably longer period than usual; 
if a party to the proceedings has submitted a reasoned request for accelerated processing in a case where an infringement action in respect of the European patent is pending before a national court of a Contracting Statecontracting state, or if the EPO is informed by a national court or competent authority of a Contracting Statecontracting state that infringement actions are pending (Notice from the EPO dated 17 March 2008, OJ EPO 2008, 221);
if other matters to be dealt with, e.g. divisional applications, hinge upon the final decision concerning the opposition; or 
if the next procedural step can be dealt with relatively quickly.