Requirements as to form 

Decisions taken by the examining or opposition divisions have to adhere to the principles laid down in E‑X, 1. Where a decision is produced by means of a computer, the file copy contains the names and the actual signature(s) of the employee(s) responsible.

If, exceptionally, one or more division members cannot sign the decision, e.g. owing to extended illness, only a division member who was present at the oral proceedings (preferably the chair) may sign it on their behalf (see T 243/87). However, in such a situation, a brief written explanation as to why one member is signing on behalf of another must be provided (T 2348/19). A written decision signed by someone who did not take part in the oral proceedings at which the decision was pronounced is not legally valid (see T 390/86).

The presentation of the facts and the submissions, the reasoning and the communication of the means of redress are generally omitted when a decision merely meets the requests of all the parties concerned; this applies in particular to the decision to grant, which is based on the documents that the applicant has approved (Rule 71(5)). The same applies when the patent is maintained in an amended form, because this is preceded by a final interlocutory decision pursuant to Art. 106(2) concerning the documents on which the maintenance of the patent is to be based (see D‑VI, 7.2.2).

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