2.2. Objection by other board members of the same board of appeal

In J 15/04 the notices of self-recusation of the two legal members contained information concerning a possible reason for exclusion of the chairman (which did not originate from the chairman himself). The board stated that for one of the originally appointed members of the board to be replaced by his alternate, the individual member had to have informed the board that he should not take part in the appeal or have been objected to by one of the parties. However, according to Art. 3(1) RPBA 2003, the application of Art. 24(4) EPC 1973 extended to cases in which the board had knowledge of a possible reason for exclusion or objection which did not originate from a member himself or from any party to the proceedings. Thus, Art. 3 RPBA 2003 established the possibility of an objection by other members of the same board. In the case at hand, the replacement of the originally appointed chairman by an alternate chairman for the purposes of taking a decision under Art. 24(4) EPC 1973 was justified under Art. 3(1) RPBA 2003.

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