T 0596/15 (DSRNA-mediated regulation/SYNGENTA PARTICIPATIONS) of 24.1.2020

European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:EP:BA:2020:T059615.20200124
Date of decision: 24 January 2020
Case number: T 0596/15
Application number: 04030122.8
IPC class: C12N 15/63
Language of proceedings: EN
Distribution: D
Download and more information:
Decision text in EN (PDF, 243 KB)
Documentation of the appeal procedure can be found in the Register
Bibliographic information is available in: EN
Versions: Unpublished
Title of application: DSRNA-mediated regulation of gene expression in plants
Applicant name: Syngenta Participations AG
Opponent name: Pajaro Limited
Bayer CropScience NV
Board: 3.3.08
Headnote: -
Relevant legal provisions:
European Patent Convention R 84(1)
European Patent Convention R 101(1)
Keywords: Lapse of patent in all designated states - termination of appeal proceedings


Cited decisions:
T 0329/88
T 0949/09
T 0520/10
T 0480/13
Citing decisions:

Summary of Facts and Submissions

I. The appeal of the patent proprietor (appellant) lies from a decision of an opposition division posted on 21 January 2015, revoking the European patent No. 1 516 931 (application No. 04030122.8) with the title "DSRNA-mediated regulation of gene expression in plants".

II. The patent had been opposed by four opponents. However, during the appeal proceedings opponent 4 withdrew its opposition.

III. By a communication pursuant to Rule 84(1) EPC dated 29 October 2019, the board informed the parties that the European patent had lapsed in all the designated Contracting States and that, pursuant to Rule 84(1) EPC the appeal proceedings would be discontinued, unless a request for continuation was filed by any of the parties within two months from notification of the board's communication.

IV. By letter dated 4 November 2019, opponent 1 (respondent I) informed the board that it did not intend to further proceed with the appeal.

V. By letter dated 4 December 2019, opponent 3 (respondent III) submitted that it did not see any need for the continuation of the appeal proceedings.

VI. No request for continuation of the appeal proceedings was received from either the appellant or opponent 2 (respondent II).

Reasons for the Decision

1. Pursuant to Rule 84(1) EPC in conjunction with Rule 100(1) EPC, appeal proceedings may be continued after the European patent has lapsed, if the opponent files a request to this effect within two months of a communication informing him of the lapse (see, inter alia, decisions T 329/88 of 22 June 1993; T 949/09 of 17 October 2012; and T 480/13 of 5 November 2014).

2. According to the jurisprudence of the Boards of Appeal (see, e.g., decision T 520/10 of 11 June 2013), when the patent proprietor has filed an appeal, by analogy to Rule 84(1) in connection with Rule 100(1) EPC the appeal proceedings may be continued also upon request of the patent proprietor.

3. Since no request for continuation of the appeal proceedings was received from any of the parties, the board decides to terminate the appeal proceedings.


For these reasons it is decided that:

The appeal proceedings are terminated.

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