Draft decisions 

In T 225/96, only the first examiner on the opposition division had signed the contested decision. The board sent the case back to the division for regularisation, but the three non-signing members replied that they were not prepared to put their names to a text issued without their knowledge or approval. The board observed that, in general, the decision as notified to the parties was presumed to be authentic. See also T 837/01, where it was clear that the document sent to the parties was merely a draft. This amounted in the board's view to a substantial procedural violation. Had the signatures simply been missing, this could have been corrected under R. 89 EPC 1973 (now R. 140 EPC).

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