4.4.1 General

It is the established case law of the boards of appeal that the appeal procedure is designed to ensure that the proceedings are as brief and concentrated as possible and ready for decision at the conclusion of oral proceedings, if scheduled. An important aim of Art. 12 and 13 RPBA 2007 is that the parties' submissions are concentrated at as early a stage as possible so that the case is as complete as possible when it comes to processing it (T 1315/08, see also T 727/14). Therefore, amendments to the claims are to be filed at the earliest possible moment (T 214/05, T 382/05).

Under Art. 12(2) RPBA 2007, the statement of grounds of appeal and the reply must contain the party's complete case. In addition to all facts, arguments and evidence, they should include all requests (T 764/03). They must set out clearly and concisely the reasons why it is requested that the decision under appeal be reversed. This provision provides a cut-off point after which any further submission is ipso facto late and subjected to the discretionary power of the board. The intended overall effect of this article is to require the parties to present a complete case at the outset of the proceedings in order to provide the board with an appeal file containing comprehensive submissions from each party and to prevent procedural tactical abuses (T 1488/08).

Art. 13 RPBA 2007 leaves it to the board's discretion to consider amendments made to a party's case after filing of the statement of grounds of appeal. In particular, new submissions will not be considered if this would require an adjournment of already scheduled oral proceedings (Art. 13(3) RPBA 2007). The subject‑matter to be examined on appeal is thus determined by the statement of grounds for appeal and the reply.

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