a)
General 

Under Art. 107 EPC, any party to proceedings adversely affected by a decision may appeal. A party is adversely affected within the meaning of Art. 107 EPC if the decision fails to meet that party's wishes (see T 244/85, OJ 1988, 216; T 1682/13). According to T 234/86 (OJ 1989, 79) a party is adversely affected if the decision does not accede to his main requests or to auxiliary requests preceding the allowed auxiliary request (see also T 392/91). This is not the case if the patent proprietor withdraws his main request or preceding auxiliary requests and agrees with the allowed auxiliary request (T 506/91, T 528/93, T 613/97, T 54/00, T 434/00). In these cases the patent had been maintained in amended form by the opposition division (for more details about the relationship between main and auxiliary requests, see also Chapter III.I. "Main and auxiliary requests").

The question of whether or not a party is adversely affected by a decision taken by an authority as defined in Art. 106 EPC arises in connection with Art. 107 EPC in order to establish who may appeal.

An appeal is inadmissible where the appellant is seeking only to amend not the decision itself but the reasons for it (T 84/02) or the sole aim is to settle a point of law not relevant to the case (J 7/00), although here the board did decide to rule on the issue (see also T 1790/08). Abandoning claims to have a prompt decision in order to be in a position to appeal also results in the appeal being inadmissible where the patentee's requests were actually granted (T 848/00).

In T 298/97 (OJ 2002, 83), the board held that where the notice of appeal is filed by an adversely affected party but the grounds of appeal are filed by a natural or legal person who, although having economic connections with that adversely affected party, is not itself that party, the appeal cannot be held admissible.

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