Oral proceedings before the examining divisions of the EPO are now to be held by default by vidéoconférence
In the wake of the CoVid-19 outbreak, the EPO took a further measure to limit the impact of travel restrictions and lockdowns on the operation of the EPO and its users.
By decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 1 April 2020 oral proceedings before the Examining Divisions of the EPO are to be held by videoconference. These oral proceedings are equivalent to oral proceedings on the premises of the EPO.
Deviating from the above principle, it is possible that oral proceedings are held on the premises of the European Patent Office, either at the request of the applicant or at the instigation of the examining division if there are serious reasons against holding the oral proceedings by videoconference such as, in particular, the need to take evidence directly.
If a request to hold oral proceedings on the premises of the European Patent Office is refused, the applicant will be informed of the reasons; such a refusal is not separately appealable.
The applicant, its representative, upon request, and each of the members of the Examining Division may be connected from different locations.
Submissions during the oral proceedings are to be made in principle by email.
The complete dispositions of the decision is available here
This IP Alert is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.