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European Patent Convention (EPC 1973)

 
 
A revised version of the European Patent Convention entered into force on 13 December 2007. The provisions of the revised Convention apply unless the transitional provisions provide for the applicability of the EPC 1973.

Article 117 86

Taking of evidence

R. 2, 72-76, 99



(1) In any proceedings before an Examining Division, an Opposition Division, the Legal Division or a Board of Appeal the means of giving or obtaining evidence shall include the following:


(a) hearing the parties;


(b) requests for information;


(c) the production of documents;


(d) hearing the witnesses;


(e) opinions by experts;


(f) inspection;


(g) sworn statements in writing.


(2) The Examining Division, Opposition Division or Board of Appeal may commission one of its members to examine the evidence adduced.


(3) If the European Patent Office considers it necessary for a party, witness or expert to give evidence orally, it shall either:


(a) issue a summons to the person concerned to appear before it, or


(b) request, in accordance with the provisions of Article 131, paragraph 2, the competent court in the country of residence of the person concerned to take such evidence.


(4) A party, witness or expert who is summoned before the European Patent Office may request the latter to allow his evidence to be heard by a competent court in his country of residence. On receipt of such a request, or if there has been no reply to the summons by the expiry of a period fixed by the European Patent Office in the summons, the European Patent Office may, in accordance with the provisions of Article 131, paragraph 2, request the competent court to hear the person concerned.


(5) If a party, witness or expert gives evidence before the European Patent Office, the latter may, if it considers it advisable for the evidence to be given on oath or in an equally binding form, request the competent court in the country of residence of the person concerned to re-examine his evidence under such conditions.


(6) When the European Patent Office requests a competent court to take evidence, it may request the court to take the evidence on oath or in an equally binding form and to permit a member of the department concerned to attend the hearing and question the party, witness or expert either through the intermediary of the court or directly.



86 See decisions/opinions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 3/89, G 11/91, G 4/95 (Annex I).

Cross-reference list
Art. 117(2) R. 119
Art. 117(4), (5), (6) R. 120