1.5. Nature of the case law of the boards of appeal – no binding precedents

In R 14/11 the Enlarged Board stated that, like any other decisions of boards of appeal, its decisions in petition for review cases do not have the legal nature of creating a precedent in the sense that it would have to show in which respect a later decision differs from an earlier one in order for that later decision to be legally justified. Referring to R 11/08 the Enlarged Board stated that such differences are normal and that the usefulness of case law is not confined to similar or identical facts but lies in the principles or guidance (such as interpretation of legislative provisions) which, whether the facts are similar or not, can be extracted from earlier cases.

Quick Navigation