Judgment No. 2416
1. The EPO shall pay the complainant an amount of 1,500 euros in moral damages.
2. It shall pay her a sum of 408.10 euros, together with interest at the rate of 8 per cent per annum from 19 September 2002 until the date of payment, as an additional cost of the hearing before the Appeals Committee.
3. It shall also pay her the costs of this proceeding in an amount of 2,000 euros.
Considerations 8 and 11
"The EPO's position is that because the claim for damages was made as an oral submission during the [Appeals] Committee hearings [...], rather than being included in the complainant's original written submissions, it was not actually part of the internal appeal and therefore cannot now be claimed before the Tribunal. [...]
The objection to receivability is misconceived. The Appeals Committee accepted that the complainant could make a claim for damages and heard both parties on the question. The reason that the Tribunal insists that any claim made before it must first have been asserted in the internal appeal process is that Article VII(1) of its Statute demands that the complainant first exhaust any available internal means of redress. The EPO has not shown that there is any equivalent provision relating to internal appeals, and it is desirable that such appeals should be as unencumbered as possible by procedural obstacles provided that elementary fairness is observed."
ILOAT reference: Article VII(1) of the Statute of the Tribunal
claim; new claim; complaint allowed; receivability of the complaint; internal appeals body; internal appeal; internal remedies exhausted; oral proceedings; general principle; adversarial proceedings; equity; iloat statute; moral damages