T 0563/92 (Statement of Grounds/VOLVO) of 24.2.1993

European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:EP:BA:1993:T056392.19930224
Date of decision: 24 February 1993
Case number: T 0563/92
Application number: 85905124.5
IPC class: C21D 9/00
Language of proceedings: EN
Distribution: C
Download and more information:
Decision text in EN (PDF, 133 KB)
Documentation of the appeal procedure can be found in the Register
Bibliographic information is available in: EN
Versions: Unpublished
Title of application: Method and installation for heat treatment, especially case-hardening
Applicant name: AB VOLVO
Opponent name: Möbius, Hans-Eberhard Dr.-Ing.
Caterpillar Inc.
Board: 3.2.02
Headnote: -
Relevant legal provisions:
European Patent Convention 1973 Art 108
European Patent Convention 1973 R 65(1)
Keywords: Form of appeal - grounds - substantiation (no)


Cited decisions:
J 0022/86
T 0220/83
T 0145/88
Citing decisions:
T 0847/93
T 0349/00

Summary of Facts and Submissions

I. On 12 June 1992, the Appellant gave Notice of Appeal against the decision of the Opposition Division of the European Patent Office dated 14 April 1992 by which the Appellant's European patent No. 0 198 871 was revoked. The appeal fee was duly paid.

II. In the letter giving Notice of Appeal, the Appellant stated "The grounds for appeal are those presented in my letter of 29 October 1991". This letter had been submitted to the Opposition Division during the course of the opposition proceedings. No further submissions have been made within the period prescribed for filing a Statement of Grounds by the Appellant.

III. By letter dated 13 November 1992, the Respondent (Opponent) objected that the purported grounds of appeal could not be considered as "a written statement setting out the grounds of appeal" as required by Article 108 EPC, and submitted that, as no written statement setting out the grounds of appeal had been filed within the relevant time limit, the appeal was inadmissible. The Respondent also requested that the Appellant be required to bear the entire costs of the appeal proceedings, as, in his opinion, the way the appeal had been filed should be regarded as an abuse of the appeal procedure. The Appellant subsequently failed to file any reply to the objection concerning the inadequacy of his submissions.

Reasons for the Decision

1. It is the established case law of the Boards of Appeal that grounds of appeal should state the legal and factual reasons why the decision under appeal should be set aside and the appeal allowed (see decisions J 22/86 OJ EPO, 1987, 280; T 220/83 OJ EPO 1986, 249 and T 145/88 OJ EPO, 1991, 251). Whether a document complies with the requirements of Article 108, last sentence, is considered to depend upon its substance and not upon its heading or form.

2. In the present case, the Appellant purported to file grounds of appeal by referring to a previous letter sent to the Opposition Division. This letter, however, was sent prior to the decision being reached and thus did not take issue with the reasoning of the Opposition Division in coming to its conclusion. It merely set out the case put to and subsequently dealt with by the Opposition Division in the decision under appeal. Thus it cannot be said to give any legal or factual reasons why the decision under appeal should be set aside.

3. Accordingly, as no written statement setting out the grounds of appeal has been filed in conformity with Article 108 EPC, last sentence, the Board is required to reject this appeal as inadmissible, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 65(1) EPC.

4. As far as the Respondent's request that the Appellant be required to bear the full cost of the appeal proceedings is concerned, the Board cannot agree that the filing of an inadmissible appeal in this case constitutes an abuse of the appeal procedure. This request is accordingly refused.


For these reasons, it is decided that:

The appeal is rejected as inadmissible.

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