The Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office refuses new arguments in appeal pro-ceedings

In a decision of March 7, 2013 (T 0494/11) a board of appeal of the EPO has not admitted the amendment of a parties case during appeal proceedings. An opponent has introduced one month before the scheduled oral proceedings a patent application to show that the claimed prior-ity was not the first application in the sense of Article 87 (1) EPC. Consequently the opponent raised further objections relating to lack of novelty and lack of inventive step. Independently of this priority issue further objections with regards to an inventive step were raised, objections which the reasons of appeal of this opponent did not contain. The Board of Appeal concluded that the introduction of these objections at such late state of the proceedings would be contrary to the spirit of the appeal proceedings as for seen in the Rules of Procedure which prescribes that the statement of grounds and the reply to it must contain a parties complete case. Conse-quently all late filed arguments were not admitted to the proceedings.