SONN Patentanwälte – IP Attorneys

Infringement of the right to be heard by the threat of refusal

A statement such as "the next procedural step will be the summons to oral proceedings during which the application will be refused" made before a final decision to refuse a patent application may infringe a party’s right to be heard and thus may lead to a substantial procedural violation (EPO Board of Appeal, 15 July 2020, T 1414/18, Refund of a further search fee/HTC).