1.4.1 Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal

In appeal proceedings, account must taken of Art. 12 and 13 RPBA in particular. Under Art. 12(2) RPBA, the statement of grounds of appeal and the reply must contain a party's complete case and should, inter alia, specify expressly all the facts, arguments and evidence relied on. Under Art. 13(1) RPBA, the boards have discretion to admit and consider any amendment to a party's case after it has filed its grounds of appeal or reply. Art. 13(3) RPBA adds that amendments sought to be made after oral proceedings have been arranged may not be admitted "if they raise issues which the Board or the other party or parties cannot reasonably be expected to deal with without adjournment of the oral proceedings". Art. 12(4) RPBA points out that in exercising this discretion the board can also disregard late submissions which were not admitted as late filed in the first-instance proceedings. Art. 12(4) RPBA also instructs us that consideration is unlikely to be given to new submissions that should have been presented in the first-instance proceedings.

Further information on the filing of amended claims in appeal procedures is contained in Chapter IV.E.4.

The criteria laid down in the RPBA for the admission of new submissions take account of the other parties' right to fair proceedings, and are aimed at having proceedings conducted more pragmatically and reliably. The parties' should concentrate their filing of submissions at an early stage of the proceedings and so help the board reach an appropriate decision within a reasonable period. The RPBA provisions on amendments to a party's case essentially codify the boards' comprehensive case law (on this point, see T 87/05).

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