Part VII – Implementing Regulations to Part VII of the Convention
Chapter VIII – Interruption of proceedings
(1) Proceedings before the European Patent Office shall be interrupted:
(a) in the event of the death or legal incapacity of the applicant for or proprietor of a European patent or of the person authorised by national law to act on his behalf. To the extent that the above events do not affect the authorisation of a representative appointed under Article 134, proceedings shall be interrupted only on application by such representative;
(b) in the event of the applicant for or proprietor of a patent, as a result of some action taken against his property, being prevented by legal reasons from continuing the proceedings;
(c) in the event of the death or legal incapacity of the representative of an applicant for or proprietor of a patent, or of his being prevented for legal reasons resulting from action taken against his property from continuing the proceedings.
(2)155 When, in the cases referred to in paragraph 1(a) or (b)paragraph 1, the European Patent Office has been informed of the identity of the person authorised to continue the proceedings, it shall notify such person and, where applicable, any third party, that the proceedings will be resumed as from a specified date. If, three years after the publication of the date of interruption in the European Patent Bulletin, the European Patent Office has not been informed of the identity of the person authorised to continue the proceedings, it may set a date on which it intends to resume the proceedings of its own motion.
(3) In the case referred to in paragraph 1(c), the proceedings shall be resumed when the European Patent Office has been informed of the appointment of a new representative of the applicant or when the Office has informed the other parties of the appointment of a new representative of the proprietor of the patent. If, three months after the beginning of the interruption of the proceedings, the European Patent Office has not been informed of the appointment of a new representative, it shall communicate to the applicant for or proprietor of the patent:
(a) where Article 133, paragraph 2, is applicable, that the European patent application will be deemed to be withdrawn or the European patent will be revoked if the information is not submitted within two months of this communication; or
(b) otherwise, that the proceedings will be resumed with the applicant for or proprietor of the patent as from the notification of this communication.
(4) Any periods, other than those for requesting examination and paying renewal fees, in force at the date of interruption of the proceedings, shall begin again as from the day on which the proceedings are resumed. If such date is less than two months before the end of the period within which the request for examination must be filed, such a request may be filed within two months of such date.
154See decision of the President of the EPO of 21.11.2013 (OJ EPO 2013, 600).
155Amended by decision of the Administrative Council CA/D 2/20 of 27.03.2020 (OJ EPO 2020, A36), which entered into force on 01.07.2020. See notice from the EPO of 29.05.2020 (OJ EPO 2020, A76).