T 1082/17 () of 16.6.2020

European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:EP:BA:2020:T108217.20200616
Date of decision: 16 June 2020
Case number: T 1082/17
Application number: 09757635.9
IPC class: H01R25/14
Language of proceedings: EN
Distribution: D
Download and more information:
Decision text in EN (PDF, 251 KB)
Documentation of the appeal procedure can be found in the Register
Bibliographic information is available in: EN
Versions: Unpublished
Title of application: Connectors with brushes and pins which slide along electrical guides for home, business or industrial installations
Applicant name: Sistemas Metalper, S.L.
Opponent name: Fabricacion de Material Electrico, S.A.
Board: 3.5.02
Headnote: -
Relevant legal provisions:
European Patent Convention R 84(1) (2007)
European Patent Convention R 100(1) (2007)
Keywords: Lapse of patent in all designated states - termination of appeal proceedings
Lapse of patent in all designated states - Patent proprietor sole appellant


Cited decisions:
T 0520/10
T 2020/14
Citing decisions:

Summary of Facts and Submissions

I. The present appeal was lodged by the patent proprietor against the decision of the Opposition Division revoking European patent No. 2 290 763.

II. In a communication of the board dated 29 November 2019 the parties were informed that as could be seen from the European Patent Register, European patent No. 2 290 763 had lapsed in all designated Contracting States.

The patent proprietor, who is the sole appellant in the present appeal case, was requested to indicate, within a period of two months from notification of the communication, whether it wished to pursue its appeal.

It was stated inter alia that if, within the above-mentioned period, no answer was received, the proceedings would be terminated without a decision on the merits of the appeal.

III. No reply was received by the board in response to the above-mentioned communication.

Reasons for the Decision

1. Rule 84(1) EPC provides that if the European patent has been surrendered in all the designated Contracting States or has lapsed in all those States, the opposition proceedings may be continued at the request of the opponent filed within two months of a communication from the European Patent Office informing him of the surrender or lapse.

2. Pursuant to Rule 100(1) EPC and in the absence of provisions stating otherwise, Rule 84(1) EPC applies to opposition appeal proceedings, i.e. the appeal proceedings may be continued at the request of the appellant/opponent filed within two months as from notification of the surrender or lapse. Furthermore, according to an interpretation argumentum e contrario, if no request for continuation of the proceedings is filed within the set time limit and the state of the file gives no grounds for the proceedings to be continued by the board of its own motion, the appeal proceedings will be terminated.

3. However, if the patent proprietor is the sole appellant, as in the present case, it would be inappropriate to allow the respondent/opponent to decide whether the appeal proceedings shall be continued. For this reason, Rule 84(1) EPC has to be applied mutatis mutandis in such opposition appeal proceedings. Thus, it is the patent proprietor as the appellant who can request that the appeal proceedings be continued (cf. e.g. T 520/10, T 2020/14).

4. No request for continuation of the appeal proceedings has been received within the set time limit. Furthermore, the board sees no reason to continue the appeal proceedings of its own motion. Hence, the appeal proceedings are to be terminated.


For these reasons it is decided that:

The appeal proceedings are terminated.

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