Decisions subject to appeal are taken by the Receiving Section, the examining divisions, the opposition divisions and the Legal Division. Unless otherwise specified, the principles described in this chapter apply to all such decisions. They also apply to decisions taken by formalities officers to whom this work is entrusted (see the decisions of the President of the EPO dated 12 December 2013, OJ EPO 2014, A6, and 23 November 2015, OJ EPO 2015, A104).
According to Art. 113(1) EPC, decisions of the EPO may only be based on grounds or evidence on which the parties concerned have had an opportunity to present their comments.
This provision is intended to ensure that no party can be taken by surprise by grounds for a decision against their application on which they did not have an opportunity to present their comments.