2.4.1 Same subject of proceedings

In T 298/97 (OJ 2002, 83) the board observed that as a matter of law, the right to oral proceedings was not to two oral proceedings on the same subject. Any further oral proceedings on the issue of admissibility would therefore be a matter for the board's discretion.

If no substantially new situation has arisen, no further oral proceedings is justified (see T 748/91, T 692/90, T 755/90, T 25/91 and T 327/91).

In T 547/88 too the board rejected the request for further oral proceedings since the parties and the subject were the same. The purpose of continuing the proceedings in writing after the first oral hearing was merely to provide further clarification of the same facts. In T 614/90 the board rejected the request for further oral proceedings. In addition, the board also rejected the request to comment in writing on the board's reasons for refusing further oral proceedings because the reasons for the refusal had already been given in a communication.

In T 529/94 the examining division, in exercising its discretionary power under R. 86(3) EPC 1973, had considered newly filed claims 3 and 4 as inadmissible. The board held that the legal consequence of this was that claims 3 and 4 were never integrated into the text of the application and never became part of it. For this reason, refusing to hold oral proceedings a second time, during which proceedings it was intended to discuss the allowability of proposed amendments already judged as inadmissible, could not constitute a procedural violation.

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