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Artikel 29 jul 2021

Lessen uit de nieuwe regels van het EPO over het toelaten van bewijs in beroepszaken

-Dit artikel is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar- We’re now seeing the first batch of decisions implementing the EPO’s 2020 rules on the admittance of new evidence during appeal proceedings. Diego Alonso-Martinez and Wannes Weymiens of NLO report on what patent owners and opponents need to know.
At this first stage of the appeal proceedings, the board can base its discretion of not admitting new evidence or objections on three criteria.

The European Patent Office’s (EPO) new Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA) 2020 entered into force on January 1, 2020. The RPBA imposed more rigorous restrictions with regard to the admittance of new evidence, objections, arguments and claim requests than under the previous rules (referred to as RPBA 2007).

Although this legal framework applies to all these issues only when raised on appeal, the present article focuses on decisions on the admittance of new objections and new evidence.

The first decisions by the Board of Appeal wherein the new RPBA 2020 are applied have appeared, which indeed show the stricter regime, and also evidence that the admittance of new evidence and objections has a higher dependence on the specific stage of the appeal proceedings wherein those are brought forward for the first time.