Board of the Appeal of the EPO

2 April 2002

Case number: G0003/99
Application Number: 83307553.4
Date of decision: 18.02.2002

1. An opposition filed in common by two or more persons, which otherwise meets the requirements of Article 99 EPC and Rules 1 and 55 EPC, is admissible on payment of only one opposition fee.

2. If the opposing party consists of a plurality of persons, an appeal must be filed by the common representative under Rule 100 EPC. Where the appeal is filed by a non-entitled person, the Board of Appeal shall consider it not to be duly signed and consequently invite the common representative to sign it within a given time limit. The non-entitled person who filed the appeal shall be informed of this invitation. If the previous common representative is no longer participating in the proceedings, a new common representative shall be determined pursuant to Rule 100 EPC.

3. In order to safeguard the rights of the patent proprietor and in the interests of procedural efficiency, it has to be clear throughout the procedure who belongs to the group of common opponents or common appellants. If either a common opponent or appellant (including the common representative) intends to withdraw from the proceedings, the EPO shall be notified accordingly by the common representative or by a new common representative determined under Rule 100(1) EPC in order for the withdrawal to take effect.


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