1.11.3
Keeping the model 

Even if the division does inspect the model, the EPO is not obliged to keep it. It is for the division to decide whether a model is to be kept by the EPO. However, as a general rule, models which would require special precautions or security measures if kept in the EPO are returned to the party.

The formalities officer is responsible for implementing the decision to keep or return the model. If the model is to be kept, the formalities officer notes this on a label on the file. If it is to be returned, the formalities officer informs the submitter that the model should be preserved in view of possible opposition or appeal proceedings and notes the date of return on the label.

Thus practical considerations determine whether the EPO keeps a model if the party does not wish to do so. This decision is taken by the Division. However, models which would require special precautions or security measures if kept in the EPO must be returned at once. Generally, the EPO should keep models admitted as evidence only if they are crucial to the decision.

1.11.4
Procedure

On receipt, the model is sent to the primary examiner, who decides whether to keep it. Models useful in examination proceedings are likely to be useful for opposition proceedings too. They should therefore be kept until the opposition period expires or a final decision is taken on any opposition filed.

The formalities officer is responsible for implementing the decision to keep or return the model. If the model is to be kept, the formalities officer notes this on the label. If it is to be returned, the formalities officer informs the submitter accordingly and notes the date of return on the label.

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