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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

4.3. Practice of proposing one main and one or more auxiliary requests

The board in T 1351/06 referred to the decisions T 79/89 (OJ 1992, 283), T 169/96, T 1105/96, (OJ 1998, 249) and to Legal Advice No. 15/05 (Rev. 2, OJ 2005, 357; now incorporated into the Guidelines, see Guidelines H-III, 3. – June 2012 version), where it was held that it was standard practice at the EPO that the applicant was able to propose one main and one or more auxiliary requests at the examination stage, to amend the text of the application. The board saw no reason why the applicant should not also be able to do so in response to a communication under R. 51(4) EPC 1973, especially in cases where that communication had not been preceded by a communication under Art. 96(2) EPC 1973 and thus constituted a "first communication" within the meaning of R. 86(3) EPC 1973.