8. Interpretation of the various language texts of the EPC (Article 177 EPC)

In J 8/95 it was held that even if one language version of a provision of the EPC were found to differ from the other two versions, no legal consequences could be derived from that version other than those which could be derived from the other two versions – regardless of the language of the proceedings. A difference in the wording in one language would have to be considered only in so far as it could form one element of the interpretation. In the case at issue, however, the provision under consideration, even in the allegedly different version, could readily be understood in context in the same way as the other two official languages, with the result that all three versions of the provision corresponded as far as content was concerned (see also T 2321/08).

Observing that, while the EPC did not actually define the terms "fact" and "argument", Art. 114(1) EPC, albeit in its English version only, distinguished facts, evidence and arguments, the board in T 1914/12 concluded that the legislature must have considered them to be three distinct categories. Taking the English version of Art. 114(1) and (2) EPC, which seemed to it to reflect the legislative intention more accurately, it held that arguments had to be treated differently from facts and evidence and that the discretion provided for in paragraph 2 did not extend to late-filed arguments.

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