T 0558/93 09-11-1994
Gas supply system for variable demand application
Proprietors' request for revocation of the patent
Termination of appeal proceedings - request for revocation of the patent
I. In a decision dated 13 April 1993 the Opposition Division rejected the opposition filed against European patent No. 0 216 382
II. The Appellants filed an appeal against this decision on 15. June 1993 paid the fee for appeal on the same date and filed a Statement of Grounds of Appeal on 25. June 1993,in which they requested that the patent be revoked. They also requested refund of the appeal fee.
III. In a letter dated 17 October 1994 the Respondents (Proprietors of the patent) stated that they no longer approved the text in which the patent was granted and did not intend to submit an amended text.
1. The appeal complies with Articles 106 to 108 and Rules 1(1) and 64 EPC. It is therefore admissible.
2. The Respondents have stated that they no longer approved the text in which the patent was granted and that they would also refrain from submitting an amended test. Since it follows from the provision according to Article 113(2) EPC that a European patent cannot be maintained against the Proprietors' will, the present European patent has to be revoked (cf. T 73/84; OJ EPO 1985, 241).
3. The request for refund of the appeal fee is based on the contention of the Appellants that the Opposition Division did not take proper account of their submission of 19 February 1993 relating to the interpretation of a prior art document. However, having regard to points 4.5 and 4.6 of the contested decision it is apparent that the Opposition Division has given this document proper consideration and merely come to a different conclusion as to its teachings than the Appellants, that conclusion corresponding in essence to the one put forward by the Respondents in their submission of 14 October 1992. The fact that the contested decision does not go into detail to refute the arguments put forward by the Appellants does not mean they were ignored. There has therefore not been any substantial procedural violation here which could justify the refund of the appeal fee.
For these reasons it is decided that:
1. The decision under appeal is set aside.
2. The European patent No. 0 216 382 is revoked.
3. The request for refund of the appeal fee is refused.