General remarks 

In proceedings before it, the EPO examines the facts of its own motion; it is not restricted in this examination to the facts, evidence and arguments provided by the parties and the relief sought. This principle of examination by the EPO of its own motion must be complied with by the competent department during all proceedings pending before it. Thus, once proceedings have been initiated, e.g. once a valid request for examination has been filed or an admissible notice of opposition has been filed (although it may subsequently be withdrawn), if there is reason to believe, e.g. from personal knowledge or from observations presented by third parties, that there are facts and evidence not yet considered in the proceedings which in whole or in part prejudice the granting or maintenance of the European patent, such facts and evidence must be included in those examined by the EPO of its own motion pursuant to Art. 114(1). See D‑V, 2 for the extent of substantive examination of the facts and evidence in opposition proceedings.

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