An International Guide to
Patent Case Management for Judges

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11.6.9 Decisions of the Board of Appeal Decisions announced in oral proceedings

In the great majority of cases, the final decision of the Board is announced at the end of the oral proceedings.125 After the chair closes the debate, they announce the order of the decision – for example, that the appeal is dismissed, that the patent is revoked, that the patent is maintained in a version different from the one granted or that the case is remitted for further prosecution. Once the decision is announced by the chair, it can no longer be changed by the Board. Written decision within three months

The written decision, which includes the summary of the facts, the reasons and the order,126 is issued in a timely manner.127 For the usual case, where the decision is announced at the oral proceedings, this means that the Board must despatch it within three months of the date of the oral proceedings.128

However, it may be that the Board is unable to meet this deadline: for example, because of the sickness of a member or because the case is particularly complex. In such cases, the Board should then inform the parties of the delay and when the decision is likely to be despatched.129

The written decision is (electronically) signed by both the chair and the registrar of the Board.130 It is notified to all parties.131 Reasons given for decision in abridged form

A Board may put the reasons for a decision, the order of which was announced in the oral proceedings, in an abridged form. However, this is possible only under the condition that the parties have given their consent.132 A Board cannot give the reasons in an abridged form if a third party or a court has informed the Board that it has a legitimate interest in the reasons for the decision not being in abridged form.133

A Board may also decide to put the reasons for the decision in an abridged form if it agrees with all the findings and reasoning of the decision under appeal or with only the findings on one or more specific issues.134 In practice, however, written decisions rarely contain the reasons in an abridged form.