Judgment No. 4632
The complaints are dismissed, as is the EPO’s counterclaim for costs.
The complainant challenges the implied rejections of his requests for decision on the disciplinary proceedings initiated against him.
receivability of the complaint; step in the procedure; complaint dismissed
The complainant seeks an oral hearing but the Tribunal is satisfied it can reasonably and fairly determine the issues by reference to the written submissions of the parties. Accordingly, the request for an oral hearing is rejected.
The complainant seeks the joinder of these two complaints filed on 5 May 2017 and on 19 May 2017 respectively and this is not opposed by the EPO. Accordingly, the two complaints are joined so that one judgment can be rendered.
The complainant’s request did not proceed on the premise that there had been a final decision on the disciplinary case brought against him. Rather it was to terminate prematurely (the complainant would say appropriately) the disciplinary proceedings. This was only a step in the process and the complainant has no cause of action to challenge its rejection even if only implicitly. Accordingly, his two complaints are irreceivable and should be dismissed.
cause of action; direct appeal to tribunal; step in the procedure
The EPO seeks to recover some of its legal costs from the complainant. Judgment 3961 [...] is relevant in two respects. Firstly, there is a discussion on when costs may be awarded against a complainant, which includes circumstances where the complaint is vexatious (see considerations 6 and 7). Secondly, the Tribunal’s reasoning should have made it clear that these complaints had no real prospects of succeeding. Judgment 3961 was delivered in public on 24 January 2018. These complaints were filed in May 2017. Had these complaints been filed after Judgment 3961 had been delivered, there would be a comparatively compelling case for requiring the complainant to pay some or all of the EPO’s legal costs of these proceedings. But they were not. Accordingly, the EPO’s counterclaim for costs is rejected.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3961