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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
b)
Right to oral proceedings even if no new arguments are presented 

In T 383/87 the board pointed out that Art. 116(1) EPC 1973 guaranteed the right of any party to request oral proceedings, i.e. to argue its case orally before the relevant department of the EPO. A party might feel that it could present its case better orally than in writing, even if it had no new arguments. It was then its genuine right to request oral proceedings without being inhibited by the fear of having to pay additional costs, unless the request for oral proceedings was a clear abuse of the law. In T 125/89 the board also emphasised that Art. 113(1) and 116(1) EPC 1973 were clearly not restricted to "new and substantial arguments". Parties also had the right to repeat known arguments or to stress arguments which had already been brought forward or to link such arguments in a specific combination or series.