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Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office

EBA referral G 1/21- Oral Proceedings by Videoconference

March 26, 2021

In the interlocutory decision T 1807/15 of 12 March 2021, the Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.02 referred the following question to the Enlarged Board of Appeal, which will be handled under G 1/21:

“Is the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference compatible with the right to oral proceedings as enshrined in Article 116 (1) EPC if not all of the parties to the proceedings have given their consent to the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference?”

In probably the quickest appointment of an EBA oral proceedings date in history, oral proceedings before the Enlarged Board are scheduled for 28 May 2021. Interestingly, the oral proceedings will be held by videoconference. Under Article 9 of its Rules of Procedure the Enlarged Board has invited the EPO president to comment in writing on the points of law referred to it, by 27 April 2021.

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