Eighth Granted Petition for Review

Last month, the EPO published it's eighth ever decision granting a petition for review (R 4/17). Granted petitions for review are notoriously difficult to obtain, as the EPO attempts to balance the need for the legal certainty of Board of Appeal (BoA) decisions, and the right to challenge flagrant violations of EPO procedure.  Offices of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, HaarThe right to a petition for review is established by Article 112a and Article 22(1) EPC, which allow the limited judicial review of BoA decisions by the Enlarged BoAas an extraordinary legal remedy. The EPO has repeatedly stressed the strictly limited nature of this remedy:"decisions of the boards of appeal must remain final decisions which are res judicata. However, under certain circumstances many legal systems offer a possibility to review final decisions of a court which are res judicata. It is acknowledged that even a final court decision must be set aside if…

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