T 0179/11 (Honeycomb/IBIDEN) 09-08-2011
Honeycomb filter and ceramic filter assembly
I. The patent proprietor (hereinafter "the appellant") filed on 19 January 2011 a notice of appeal against the decision of the opposition division dated 9 November 2010, whereby the European patent No. 1 142 619 was revoked under Article 101(2) and (3)(b) EPC. The appeal fee was paid on the same day. In its notice of appeal, the appellant requested oral proceedings if the board of appeal intended not to allow the appeal. No statement of grounds of appeal was filed within the time limit set for by Article 108 EPC.
II. By a communication dated 9 May 2011 sent by registered letter with advice of delivery, the appellant was informed that no statement of grounds of appeal had been filed and that, therefore, it was to be expected that the appeal would be rejected as inadmissible pursuant to Article 108, third sentence, in conjunction with Rule 101(1) EPC. The appellant was invited to file observations within two months but it did not reply to said communication, and no request for re-establishment of rights was filed.
1. As no written statement setting out the grounds of appeal has been filed, and as the notice of appeal does not contain any statement that could be regarded as a statement of grounds of appeal pursuant to Article 108 EPC, the appeal has to be rejected as inadmissible (Article 108 EPC in conjunction with Rule 101(1) EPC).
2. Since the appellant has not provided any statement as to the substantive merits of its appeal, nor has it given any explanation or comment as to why no statement of grounds had been filed, and has not reacted to the board's notification of an impending rejection of the appeal as inadmissible, the board considers the initial auxiliary request for oral proceedings to have become obsolete as a consequence of the subsequent course of action taken. The lack of any response to the board's notification is considered to be equivalent to an abandonment of the request for oral proceedings (see T 1042/07 of 22 August 2008, point 3 of the reasons; T 234/10 of 25 November 2010, point 2 of the reasons).
For these reasons it is decided that:
The appeal is rejected as inadmissible.