Composition of opposition division 

(i) Under Article 19(2) EPC

The board of appeal ordered reimbursement of the appeal fee in T 382/92 because the composition of the opposition division had not complied with the requirements of Art. 19(2) EPC 1973. The chairman and one member of the opposition division had already been members of the examining division which had decided on the application leading to the patent concerned (see also T 939/91, T 960/94, T 825/08, T 1349/10, T 1700/10, T 79/12, T 1788/14). See also chapter III.K.1.3.3.

(ii) During opposition proceedings

In T 2175/16 the person who signed the decision of the opposition division as first examiner had not been the first examiner at the oral proceedings. Thus, a change in the composition of the opposition division had taken place between holding the oral proceedings, at the end of which a decision was given orally, and issuing the written decision. The board considered the change of composition to be a substantial procedural violation, which justified that the appeal fee be reimbursed (see also chapter III.K.1.3.2).

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