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Judgment No. 4642


1. The impugned decision, dated 18 January 2019, is set aside.
2. All other claims are dismissed.


The complainant contends that the EPO failed to keep records of his administrative status.

Judgment keywords


complaint allowed; personal file

Consideration 9


Much of the argument of the complainant in his pleas concerning moral damages appears to proceed on the premise that if there was a legal error attending a decision, or delay in the making of a decision, or delay in the finalisation of an appeal or proceedings in the Tribunal, then, without more, an entitlement to moral damages arises. As noted in another judgment adopted at this session (Judgment 4644, consideration 7), this premise is incorrect. Moral damages are awarded for moral injury and the complainant bears the burden of proving that injury and the causal link with the unlawful conduct of the defendant organisation (see, for example, Judgments 4157, consideration 7, 4156, consideration 5, 3778, consideration 4, and 2471, consideration 5). Delay, of itself, does not entitle a complainant to moral damages (see, for example, Judgments 4487, consideration 14, 4396, consideration 12, 4231, consideration 15, and 4147, consideration 13). Without attempting to describe, exhaustively, what might constitute moral injury, it includes emotional distress, anxiety, stress, anguish and hardship (see, for example, Judgments 4519, consideration 14, 4156, consideration 6, and 3138, considerations 8 and 14). There is no persuasive evidence of moral injury to the complainant in respect of any of the events for which he seeks moral damages caused by the conduct of the EPO, even if unlawful. Accordingly, his complaint should, insofar as the complainant seeks moral damages, be dismissed.


ILOAT Judgment(s): 2471, 3138, 3778, 4147, 4156, 4157, 4231, 4396, 4487, 4519, 4644


moral injury; moral damages; delay in internal procedure

Last updated: 27.06.2023 ^ top