|European Case Law Identifier:||ECLI:EP:BA:2022:T071119.20220520|
|Date of decision:||20 May 2022|
|Case number:||T 0711/19|
|IPC class:||F16L 55/165
|Language of proceedings:||EN|
|Download and more information:||
|Title of application:||Apparatus and method to repair the junction of a sewer main line and lateral pipe|
|Applicant name:||LMK Technologies, LLC|
|Opponent name:||Per Aarsleff A/S|
|Relevant legal provisions:||
|Keywords:||Surrender of patent in all designated states - continuation of appeal proceedings (no)|
Summary of Facts and Submissions
I. The opponent lodged an appeal against the decision of the opposition division, by which the opposition was rejected.
II. On 30 November 2021 the board issued a communication pursuant to Rule 84(1) EPC, in which the parties' attention was drawn to the fact that the patent had meanwhile lapsed with effect for all the designated Contracting States, and that the appeal proceedings may be continued at the request of the appellant/opponent, provided that a request to this effect was filed within two months from notification of this communication.
The parties were informed that if no request for continuation was received in due time, the appeal proceedings would be discontinued.
III. The appellant did not reply within the time limit of two months. No further reply was received.
Reasons for the Decision
1. Pursuant to Rule 84(1) EPC, if a 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 it of the surrender or lapse. According to Rule 100(1) EPC, Rule 84(1) EPC also applies to opposition appeal proceedings. If no request for continuation of the proceedings is filed within the set time period and the state of the file gives no grounds for the proceedings to be continued by the board on its own motion, the appeal proceedings are terminated (see e.g. decisions T 329/88 of 22 June 1993; and T 289/06 of 17 December 2007).
2. In the case at hand, on 30 November 2021 the board notified the appellant/opponent that the European patent subject to the present appeal proceedings had lapsed with effect for all the designated Contracting States. The appellant did not reply to the board's communication within the given time limit. This is interpreted as meaning that the appellant did not wish to request continuation of the opposition appeal proceedings. Under these circumstances, the board sees no reason to continue the appeal proceedings of its own motion. Therefore, the appeal proceedings are terminated.
For these reasons it is decided that:
The appeal proceedings are terminated.