In accordance with Article 112(1)(a) EPC, Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.03 has referred the following points of law to the Enlarged Board of Appeal by interlocutory decision of 25 February 2019 in case T 831/17:
1. In appeal proceedings, is the right to oral proceedings under Article 116 EPC limited if the appeal is manifestly inadmissible?
2. If the answer to the first question is yes, is an appeal against the grant of a patent filed by a third party within the meaning of Article 115 EPC, relying on the argument that there is no alternative legal remedy under the EPC against the examining division's decision to disregard its observations concerning an alleged infringement of Article 84 EPC, such a case of an appeal which is manifestly inadmissible?
3. If the answer to either of the first two questions is no, can a board hold oral proceedings in Haar without infringing Article 116 EPC if the appellant objects to this site as not being in conformity with the EPC and requests that the oral proceedings be held in Munich instead?
The text of the referral in German is available on the EPO website under www.epo.org/law-practice/case-law-appeals/recent/t170831dx1.html.
The Enlarged Board of Appeal considering the referral will be composed as follows: C. Josefsson (Chairman), I. Beckedorf, M. Sachs, G. Weiss, J. Gröning, G. Eliasson, P. Gryczka.