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Guidelines for Examination

Continuation of proceedings 

When giving a decision on the stay of proceedings or thereafter, the Opposition Division may set a date on which it intends to continue the proceedings pending before it, regardless of the stage reached in the proceedings opened against the proprietor of the patent, as referred to in D-VII, 4.1. The date is to be communicated to the third party, the proprietor of the patent and any other party. If no proof has been provided by that date that a decision which has become final has been given, the Opposition Division may continue proceedings.

If a date is set for the resumption of proceedings, it should be chosen, with due consideration for the interests of the third party who only becomes a party to the proceedings after a judgment has been given in his favour, on the basis of the probable duration of the court proceedings so as to enable them to be concluded within that period of time. If, by the date set, the court has not given a judgment, the opposition proceedings must at all events be further stayed if the judgment is expected in the near future. However, the opposition proceedings should be resumed if it is evident that delaying tactics are being employed by the third party or if the proceedings in the court of first instance have concluded with a judgment in favour of the proprietor of the patent and the legal procedure is extended by the filing of an appeal. Opposition proceedings may also be resumed in the absence of a judgment if the patent can be maintained unamended.

Where proof is provided to the Opposition Division that a decision which has become final has been given in the proceedings concerning entitlement to the European patent, the Opposition Division must communicate to the proprietor and any other party that the opposition proceedings are to be resumed as from the date stated in the communication. If the decision is in favour of the third party, the proceedings may only be resumed after a period of three months of that decision becoming final unless the third party requests the resumption of the opposition proceedings.