(1) If a third party provides evidence that he has instituted proceedings against the applicant seeking a decision within the meaning of Article 61, paragraph 1, the proceedings for grant shall be stayed unless the third party communicates to the European Patent Office in writing his consent to the continuation of such proceedings. Such consent shall be irrevocable. However, proceedings for grant shall not be stayed before the publication of the European patent application.
(2) Where evidence is provided that a final decision within the meaning of Article 61, paragraph 1, has been taken, the European Patent Office shall inform the applicant and any other party that the proceedings for grant shall be resumed as from the date stated in the communication, unless a new European patent application under Article 61, paragraph 1(b), has been filed for all the designated Contracting States. If the decision is in favour of the third party, the proceedings may not be resumed earlier than three months after the decision has become final, unless the third party requests the resumption.
(3) Upon staying the proceedings for grant, or thereafter, the European Patent Office may set a date on which it intends to resume the proceedings for grant, regardless of the stage reached in the national proceedings instituted under paragraph 1. It shall communicate this date to the third party, the applicant and any other party. If no evidence has been provided by that date that a final decision has been taken, the European Patent Office may resume proceedings.
(4) All periods, other than those for the payment of renewal fees, running at the date of the stay of proceedings shall be interrupted by such stay. The time which has not yet elapsed shall begin to run from the date on which proceedings are resumed. However, the time still to run after such resumption shall not be less than two months.