Recommendations of Council
Attendance and Use of Simultaneous Translation at Oral Proceedings
At the 67th epi Council meeting, the Council passed a Recommendation regarding the attendance at oral proceedings before the European Patent Office's boards of appeal. The Recommendation came as a response of the epi to the problems and concerns reported by the EPO, namely the problem of non-attendance at oral proceeding before the Boards and the non-use of simultaneous translation.
It now appears that non-attendance at oral proceedings is also becoming a problem for Examining and Opposition Divisions. Therefore, during its C82 meeting held last 24th and 25th April 2017 in Munich, the epi Council revised the above mention recommendation to extend its scope of application to proceedings held before the Examining and Opposition Divisions. The revised version of the Recommendation is published below.
If practitioners do not follow this recommendation, the EPO may take steps to recoup wasted costs for non-attendance at oral proceedings or non-use of simultaneous translation. This could add significantly to costs incurred by parties to proceedings before the EPO and should be avoided. Please, therefore, act on the Council's Recommendation.
Recommendation regarding non-attendance at oral proceedings
(i) all epi members are obliged to act in a professional and courteous manner, in particular in respect of their interactions with the EPO; and
(ii) keeping the cost of oral proceedings before the EPO to a reasonable level requires epi members to inform the EPO or the Boards of their intentions at as early a stage as possible,
COUNCIL NOW HEREBY RESOLVES THAT:
(1) If a party decides that it will not attend a scheduled oral proceedings, the representative of the party should, as soon as possible, preferably at least one month, before the oral proceedings:
(a) inform the EPO or the Board of the party's non-attendance,
(b) if appropriate, inform the EPO or the Board whether that party withdraws its request for oral proceedings and
(c) if the party is an appellant, inform the Board whether the party withdraws its appeal, and
(2) If a party has requested simultaneous translation, but it is no longer required, the representative of the party should inform the EPO or the Board, as soon as possible and preferably one month before the oral proceedings that it withdraws its request for such translation.