If formalities officers consider that no further ex-officio objection to the admissibility of each or the only opposition remains, they will invite the patent proprietor, immediately after expiry of the opposition period or the period laid down by the formalities officer for the remedying of the deficiencies in accordance with Rule 77(2) (see D‑IV, 126.96.36.199), or for the presentation of evidence (see D‑IV, 188.8.131.52(v)), to file observations concerning the oppositions communicated earlier and to file amendments, where appropriate, to the description, claims and drawings within a four-month period. Extension of the time limit will only be granted in exceptional cases on the basis of a duly substantiated request (see E‑VIII, 1.6, and the notice from the EPO dated 31 May 2016, OJ EPO 2016, A42). The above procedure also applies to oppositions where a decision to the effect that they are deemed not to have been filed or are inadmissible has not yet been taken or has not yet become final.
If several notices of opposition have been filed, the formalities officer will communicate them to the other opponent(s) at the same time as the communication provided for in the previous paragraph. This will not be combined with an invitation to file observations or the setting of a time limit.
However, copies of documents supporting the parties' submissions which are available for inspection in the Register will no longer be transmitted (see A‑XI, 2 and the notice from the EPO dated 28 August 2020, OJ EPO 2020, A106).
Rule 79(1) and Rule 79(2)