Judgment No. 3785
1. The decision of 24 June 2015 is set aside.
2. The case is sent back to the EPO for examination by an Appeals Committee composed in accordance with the applicable rules.
3. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant impugns the decision to reject his request for review of an EPO notice concerning patent applications, having regard to the composition of the Appeals Committee.
complaint allowed; decision quashed; case sent back to organisation; impugned decision
As to the complainant’s request for oral proceedings, the Tribunal notes that the parties have presented their case extensively and comprehensively in their written submissions, which are sufficient to enable the Tribunal to reach a reasoned and informed decision on the only issue that must be determined at this stage. The request for oral proceedings is therefore rejected.
Two members of the Appeals Committee were volunteers who were not appointed by the Staff Committee as specifically required by the applicable provisions and therefore the composition of the Appeals Committee cannot be considered to be the balanced composition as provided for by the rules.
The Staff Committee, which is directly elected by staff, is responsible for appointing two full members and two alternate members of the Appeals Committee as representative of the collective interests of the staff. The two volunteers did not have that representative capacity.
internal appeals body
The impugned decision [...] must be set aside. The case will be sent back to the EPO for the Appeals Committee, composed in accordance with the applicable rules, to examine the appeal.
case sent back to organisation