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Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office

Oral proceedings before examination and opposition divisions and Boards of Appeal

July 29, 2020

The EPO has decided to postpone until further notice all oral proceedings in opposition scheduled until 31 December 2020 (previously until 14 September 2020) unless held by videoconference with the parties' consent under the pilot project. Oral proceedings in examination will continue to be held by videoconference. The parties will be informed about the postponement of oral proceedings in affected cases as soon as possible.
For details, see the notice of 29 July https://www.epo.org/news-events/covid-19/oral-proceedings-examination-opposition.html

The Boards of Appeal have reassessed the measures for the arrangement and conduct of oral proceedings. Please note that these measures are different from those decided by the EPO.
For details, see the notice of 29 July https://www.epo.org/law-practice/case-law-appeals/communications/2020/20200729.html
In particular:

  • If parties cannot attend oral proceedings for which they have been summoned, they will now have to request a change of date.
  • As a general rule, parties will not be informed them of a change of venue or starting time, the Boards leave it to the parties to consult the online calendar.
  • Parties wishing to attend with more than two people should submit a reasoned request in advance.
  • Access to the building is refused to those who have been to a high-risk area in the past 14 days (as published by the Robert-Koch-Institut). https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html Note that the list may include Member States (on 20 July AL, BH, LU, MK, RS, TR)
  • Oral proceedings can also be held by videoconference but only if the parties concerned agree.
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