1.2. ‍‍Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA)

The RPBA too contain key provisions governing the appeal procedure. They were thoroughly revised in 2003, the revisions relating to the "core" of the appeal procedure, i.e. written and oral proceedings and various related aspects, such as late filing and costs (for details, see CA/133/02). In 2007 they were revised again, to reflect the EPC 2000 (OJ 2007, 536); the provisions on written and oral proceedings were largely left unchanged, but renumbered. Another substantial revision is planned for 2019.

It follows from the RPBA that appeal proceedings are to be conducted primarily in writing. Art. 12(2) RPBA 2007 requires the parties to proceedings to submit their complete cases at the outset, and Art. 13 RPBA 2007 leaves it to the board's discretion to admit any changes to their cases after that. The purpose of these provisions is to ensure fair proceedings, free of tactical behaviour, for all the parties and to enable the board to start work on a case on the basis of both parties' complete submissions (T 217/10, T 713/11, T 1098/11).

Under Art. 23 RPBA 2007, the RPBA are binding on the boards unless they lead to a situation which would be incompatible with the spirit and purpose of the EPC (on this, see T 2227/12).

See also in this chapter V.A.4.1.2 "Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA)".

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