Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO delivered its judgment
in the G1/14 referral on 19 November 2015 (so far only available in
German). The decision is short, but not sweet for the referring Technical Board
of Appeal 3.2.06: the EBO held that the question was unnecessary, because if
the Technical Board had applied the law correctly, the question would not have
|Merpel is searching for advice of delivery|
Decisions incurring a period for appeal or a petition for review, summonses and other such documents as determined by the President of the European Patent Office shall be notified by registered letter with advice of delivery. All other notifications by post shall be by registered letter.The Enlarged Board of Appeal held that the Technical Board had not complied with Rule 126(1): Rule 126(1) required notification by post with “registered letter with advice of delivery”. UPS was not the post and incapable of serving registered letters with advice of delivery, and “Tracking Information” by UPS was not “advice of delivery” in the sense of Rule 126(1). Had the Technical Board correctly applied the law, the question whether a late filed notice of appeal was to be deemed inadmissible or not filed was moot, because the notice was filed timely.
Decisions incurring a period for appeal or a petition for review, summonses and other such documents as determined by the President of the European Patent Office shall be notified by registered letter with advice of delivery or equivalent. All other notifications by postal services shall be by registered letter.The change was effected to allow the EPO to choose any postal service provider it considers suitable for notifying its decisions, summonses, communications and notices (see Notice A36 of 30 March 2015). In other words, in the future the relevant question is whether UPS “Tracking Information” is an “equivalent” of an advice of delivery, which this Kat would answer with a tentative “yes”. But this question was not before the EBA,** and the question that was was unnecessary indeed.
** further typos corrected - see comments