1. Introduction

The Enlarged Board of Appeal is responsible for proceedings under Art. 112 EPC (referral of points of law by boards of appeal or the President of the EPO), proceedings under Art. 112a EPC (petitions for review against decisions of the boards of appeal) and proceedings under Art. 23(1), first sentence, EPC (removal from office of a member of the boards of appeal).

The provisions governing the procedure before the Enlarged Board are set out in the EPC, the Implementing Regulations and the RPEBA. The latter are binding upon the Enlarged Board, provided that they do not lead to a situation which would be incompatible with the spirit and purpose of the Convention (Art. 19 RPEBA).

The members of the Enlarged Board are mainly appointed from among the members of the boards of appeal, who continue to exercise their functions in the Legal Board or their respective technical boards ("internal members"). This double function is in itself not a reason for exclusion or objection under Art. 24 EPC (see R 12/09 of 3 December 2009, R 19/12 of 25 April 2014 and R 2/14 of 17 February 2015 for petition for review proceedings). Legally qualified members of national courts or quasi-judicial authorities may also be appointed as members of the Enlarged Board ("external members"), and may continue their judicial activities at national level (Art. 11(5) EPC).

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