Judgment No. 4256
The complaints are dismissed, as are the applications to intervene.
The complainants challenge decisions taken by the President of the Office following a recommendation of the Internal Appeals Committee.
withdrawal of decision; complaint dismissed
The 57 complainants [...] challenged decisions taken within the EPO. While the subject matter of those challenges differs, the 135 complaints before the Tribunal are similar in that the impugned decision in each case is a decision of the President of the Office taken following a recommendation of the internal Appeals Committee. Accordingly, they will be joined by the Tribunal to form the subject of a single judgment.
As a result of the withdrawal of the impugned decisions, the Tribunal can only conclude that the complaints are now without object. The legal foundation for the complainants’ claims no longer exists, and their complaints must therefore be dismissed in their entirety.
withdrawal of decision
[T]he complainants may have incurred costs in filing complaints against a decision which was presented to them as a final decision that could be impugned before the Tribunal. As the withdrawal of the impugned decisions was not caused by the complainants but by the way in which the EPO interpreted its rules, the complainants may be entitled to costs (see Judgment 2853, considerations 6 to 8). Such costs should be considered in the resumed internal appeal proceedings.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 2853