Non-Attendance at Oral Proceedings: Be Courteous [T1930/07]

A little case law snippet (from T1930/07) to remind parties that are not turning up at Oral Proceedings to inform the EPO beforehand. Manners maketh the man (or woman):

3. The board notes that a professional representative has a duty to inform the European Patent Office as soon as possible of a party’s intention not to be represented at oral proceedings (cf. e.g. T 653/91, reasons 8, and T 1485/06, reasons 2.8; both not published).

Article 6 of the code of conduct of members of the European Patent Institute (epi), of which the representa tive is obligatorily a member, stipulates that the mem bers are required to act courteously in their dealings with the European Patent Office. The epi Council also issued the explicit recommendation that “if a party to an appeal decides that it will not attend a scheduled oral proceedings, the representative of the party should, as soon as possible … before the oral proceedings … inform the board of the party’s non-attendance” (epi Informa tion 4/2009, pp. 133-134).

The board considers it discourteous of the representative in the present case not even to have informed the board in time for the start of the oral proceedings that he would not attend.

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