In T 36/19 the application was pending for more than 20 years. As the term of a European patent amounts to 20 years from the date of filing (Art. 63(1) EPC), a patent which may eventually be granted for the present application will have already expired. The board nevertheless considered that the appellant still had a legitimate interest in the continuation of the grant and the appeal proceedings. Since a European patent application already confers rights after its publication pursuant to Art. 67 EPC, a grant decision by the European Patent Office, even if taken only after expiry of the patent term, might become relevant for the determination of these rights.