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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
1.3.10 Oral submissions in languages other than the language of proceedings

In R 3/08 the petitioner alleged that its right to be heard had been breached in that one of its employees had not been allowed to make submissions in English at the oral proceedings (although the language of proceedings was English, the oral proceedings were conducted in German). The Enlarged Board disagreed. The employee had to be considered an accompanying person within the meaning of G 4/95 (OJ 1996, 412). According to this decision, oral submissions could not be made as of right, but only with the permission of and at the discretion of the EPO. Moreover, the petitioner's representative had himself cancelled his own request for German interpreting, albeit before it was known that the employee would be attending, by which time the period for requesting interpreting under R. 4 EPC had already lapsed. The employee's submissions could have been presented by the professional representative in German. Thus the board's decision neither constituted a misuse of its discretion nor unduly restricted the petitioner's right to be heard.

For the application of R. 4 EPC see Chapter III.F.4. "Derogations from the language of proceedings in written proceedings and in oral proceedings".