1.1.2 Legal basis

What is meant by "in due time" for the purposes of Art. 114(2) EPC requires interpretation. The parties in inter partes cases are subject to a particular duty to facilitate due and swift conduct of the proceedings, as is reflected in the EPC provisions governing the handling of late submissions: Art. 114(2) EPC as a general provision; R. 137 EPC for the grant procedure; and R. 76(2)(c) EPC for the opposition procedure. For procedures at first instance, R. 116(1) EPC additionally provides that, when issuing the summons to oral proceedings, the EPO must fix a final date for making written submissions in preparation for those proceedings. Precise rules governing appeal proceedings are also laid down in the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal, which were comprehensively amended in 2003 (RPBA 2003), and revised again in 2007, when the provisions on subsequent amendments were renumbered but left unchanged in substance (see, in particular, Art. 12 and 13 RPBA).

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