Reimbursement held to be equitable 

In T 281/03 of 17 May 2006 the board held that reimbursement of the appeal fee was equitable despite the fact that the appellant had continuously delayed his case on inventive step until the last moment. The board noted that delaying detailed substantiation of the ground of inventive step raised in the notice of opposition until the last moment of opposition proceedings should be avoided if possible, since it created an unexpected situation for the other parties and the opposition division. However, the board noted that the case in hand was special, not just in that the inventive step argument was based on the same document as the novelty argument, but that the novelty of the features depended on how D1 was interpreted as a whole. The board held that it was not efficient to expect an opponent to provide a multitude of speculative arguments covering each possibility, nor did it seem sensible to the board to place a formal requirement to provide at least one argument, which may turn out to be completely wrong.

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