Friday, 16 July 2021

G 1/21 - oral proceedings by videoconference also if a party objects: limited to OP before the Board during the pandemic or similar circumstances

Today, a Press Communiqué was issued by Spokespersons of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office on the decision of the Enlarged Board in G 1/21. The press release is cited below in full (emphasis added). The Enlarged Board of Appeal "limited the scope of its answer  by confining its order to oral proceedings that are held during a period of general emergency impairing the parties' possibilities to attend in-person oral proceedings at the EPO premises and moreover are conducted specifically before the Boards of AppealAccordingly, in its order the Enlarged Board did not address the question whether oral proceedings by videoconference may be held without the consent of the parties in the absence of a period of general emergency. Nor did the order address the question whether oral proceedings by videoconference may be held without the consent of the parties in examination or opposition proceedings before the EPO's departments of first instance." Many interested persons will feel disappointed by the limitation of the scope, as the question remains undecided for oral proceedings in first instance proceedings.

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