4.8.3 Illness of representative

In T 1032/96, the board held that the late transfer of the case to the representative owing to the illness of a colleague was not sufficient justification for the failure to submit the set of claims until just three days before the date of the oral proceedings. The claims were deemed to be late.

In T 336/11 the opponent filed its reply to the statement of grounds of appeal by the patent proprietor on 10 November 2011. The reply was signed by the representative then in charge, who passed away shortly thereafter. In an ensuing letter dated 23 March 2012, the opponent's new representative filed further submissions which were said to complete the opponent's previous reply. In view of these exceptional circumstances the board admitted the new objections into the proceedings which were filed late due to the representative’s severe illness and death.

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