Inability to observe a time limit 

The word "unable" in Art. 122(1) EPC implies an objective fact or obstacle preventing the required action, e.g. a wrong date inadvertently being entered into a monitoring system (T 413/91, see also T 1054/03, T 1026/06, T 493/08, T 1962/08, T 836/09, T 592/11). Unawareness of the expiry of the time limit must be distinguished from a deliberate act on the part of the applicant (representative) which is, for example, attributable to tactical considerations (see in this chapter III.E.4.2.1). Persistent financial difficulties incurred by the persons concerned through no fault of their own have also been recognised as such an obstacle (see in this chapter III.E.4.2.2).

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