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T 0069/07: Don't forget to call....

Article 6 of the Code of Conduct of the European Patent Institute, of which Professional Representatives are obligatory a member reads :

"In all dealings with the European Patent Office and its employees, a member shall act courteously, and shall do everything possible to uphold the good reputation of this Institute and its Members."

In this particular case a party decided on the day before not to attend Oral Proceedings (before the Board of Appeal) taking place the next day. However the representative did not inform the EPO about this non-attendance so that obviously the Board of Appeal did not become aware of it on forehand.

During (or just before the actual opening) the Oral Proceedings the Board allowed waiting some time for a possible small delay in arrival. Then, later on the Board had the registrar telephone the Professional Representative, who only then informed the registrar of the non-attendance.

The Board then says (Reason 1.4 and 1.5) :

"The representative of the respondent had sufficient time to inform the Board of its intended non-appearance at the oral proceedings, i.e. by informing the Board by telephone immediately after the decision not to attend was taken. This would have avoided that the other party and the Board first of all courteously waited for the representative of the respondent in case he had unintentionally been delayed, and then that the registrar of the Board had to carry out enquiries to establish if it was intended that the representative would attend the oral proceedings."

"The facts of [..] T 954/93 [..] were similar to those of the present case in that a party did not appear at the oral proceedings without informing the Board beforehand, causing telephone calls and a delay in the start of the oral proceedings. In that case the deciding board considered that the actions of the representative were "reprehensible" [..].
The present Board agrees with that decision and considers that the views of that Board also apply in the present case."

In other words, it seems the Board was "not amused" ...

Read the "code of conduct" here.

Not an important decision for the EQE by the way .....

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1 comment:

  1. This happens all the time before the first instance departments at the EPO and as far as I know, no-one ever got disciplined or admonished for it.


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