An International Guide to
Patent Case Management for Judges

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11.6.3 Statements of case Appellant’s statement setting out the grounds of appeal, and the respondent’s reply thereto

An appellant who seeks to impugn the decision of the EPO’s departments of first instance must file a notice of appeal within two months of the notification of the decision and, additionally, a statement setting out the grounds of appeal within four months of the notification of the decision.58

The notice of appeal must contain the name and the address of the appellant, an indication of the decision impugned and a request defining the subject of the appeal, such as that the patent be revoked or that it be maintained in amended form.59

The statement of grounds of appeal must contain the reasons for setting aside the decision being impugned – or state the extent to which it is to be amended (e.g., in which version the patent should be maintained, in particular with which set of claims) – and the facts and evidence on which the appeal is based.60

The respondent (i.e., the non-appealing party in opposition-appeals proceedings) may file a reply to the appellant’s grounds of appeal. The reply must be filed four months after the grounds of appeal are notified to the respondent.61 Parties’ complete appeal cases

An appellant’s statement of grounds of appeal and the respondent’s reply thereto must contain each party’s complete appeal case.62 This ensures a “front-loading” of the appeal proceedings so that the members of the Board, particularly the rapporteur responsible for the case, have all facts and requests on the table when they start examining the cases.

Since the first exchange of briefs must already contain a party’s complete appeal case, the possibility of amending the appeal case later in the appeals proceedings is limited. During the later stages of the proceedings, opponents might attempt to attack the patent by submitting new facts or new evidence, and the patent proprietor might seek to defend the patent in an amended form by filing new auxiliary requests (i.e., new sets of claims). However, such amendments made by the parties to their respective initial pleadings may be admitted only at the discretion of the Board (see the following section).63