Where a referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal is pending and the outcome of examination or opposition proceedings depends entirely on the answer to the questions referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal, the proceedings may be stayed by the examining or opposition division on its own initiative or on request of a party or the parties.
The party/ies will be informed of the intention to stay the proceedings. If no reply is received from the party/ies with regard to the intention to stay, or if the party/ies explicitly agree(s), the proceedings will be stayed and the party/ies will be informed thereof. If the party/ies do(es) not agree in writing with the intention to stay, and if the examining or opposition division maintains its opinion, a decision to stay will be despatched. A decision to stay the proceedings or refusing a request to stay is not separately appealable; it can only be appealed together with the final decision on the application/patent (see E‑X, 3).
During the stay of proceedings, a PACE request will have no effect. After their resumption, proceedings are again accelerated. Where the proceedings are not stayed, they will be decided according to existing practice.