|European Case Law Identifier:||ECLI:EP:BA:2005:T060700.20050221|
|Date of decision:||21 February 2005|
|Case number:||T 0607/00|
|IPC class:||B32B 27/32|
|Language of proceedings:||EN|
|Download and more information:||
|Title of application:||Resin laminates|
|Applicant name:||IDEMITSU PETROCHEMICAL CO., LTD.|
|Opponent name:||W.R. Grace & Co.-Comm|
|Relevant legal provisions:||
|Keywords:||Non-payment of the renewal fees - lapse of the patent - termination of the appeal proceedings|
Summary of Facts and Submissions
I. The Appellant (Opponent) lodged an appeal against the decision of the Opposition Division to reject the opposition against the European Patent 0 353 655.
II. Oral proceedings were scheduled for 7 March 2005 and provisional comments of the Board were transmitted to the Parties with a communication dated 22 November 2004.
III. In a letter dated 29 November 2004 the Appellant informed the Board that he had obtained information from all those Patent Offices from which such information was readily available, that the national patents derived from the European patent had lapsed because the renewal fees had not been paid, and that from the Italian Patent Office, however, information about the payment of renewal fees was not readily available.
The Appellant requested that the Patent Proprietor be asked to inform the European Patent Office whether or not the patent in suit had lapsed for all the designated states. Furthermore, the Appellant expressed his intention not to file a request under Rule 60 EPC and agreed to the termination of the present proceedings if it was confirmed that the European Patent had lapsed for all designated states.
IV. According to the European Patent Register the European Patent has lapsed for BE, CH, LI, DE, FR, GB, NL and SE, i.e. for all Designated Contracting States except for Italy. The Respondent (Patent Proprietor) was asked to inform the Board whether the renewal fee for Italy had been validly paid.
V. In response, the Respondent notified the Board that the renewal fee for Italy had not been validly effected and that therefore the European Patent 0 353 655 had lapsed for all Designated Contracting States.
In a further letter dated 7 January 2005 the Appellant confirmed that he did not request the continuation of the proceedings.
VI. The oral proceedings arranged for 7 March 2005 were cancelled.
Reasons for the Decision
1. According to Rule 60(1) EPC in combination with Rule 66(1) EPC the proceedings have to be closed after lapse of the European Patent for all the Designated Contracting States in the absence of a request for continuation of the proceedings by the Opponent ("special case" of closure of the opposition proceedings, see G 1/90, OJ EPO, 1991, 275, point 7 of the reasons).
2. The lapse of the European Patent for the Designated Contracting States except for Italy is evident from the European Patent Register. Moreover, the Respondent has declared that the renewal fees for Italy had also not validly been effected and that the European Patent has therefore lapsed for all Designated Contracting States. This statement is not called into question by the Appellant.
Since the Board has no reason to doubt this, there is no legal basis for a continuation of the appeal proceedings.
For these reasons it is decided that:
The appeal proceedings are terminated.