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The European Patent Convention

 
 

Rule 4
Language in oral proceedings

(1)
Any party to oral proceedings before the European Patent Office may use an official language of the European Patent Office other than the language of the proceedings, if such party gives notice to the European Patent Office at least one month before the date of such oral proceedings or provides for interpretation into the language of the proceedings. Any party may use an official language of a Contracting State, if he provides for interpretation into the language of the proceedings. The European Patent Office may permit derogations from these provisions.  
(2)
In the course of oral proceedings, employees of the European Patent Office may use an official language of the European Patent Office other than the language of the proceedings. 
(3)
Where evidence is taken, any party, witness or expert to be heard who is unable to express himself adequately in an official language of the European Patent Office or of a Contracting State may use another language. Where evidence is taken upon request of a party, parties, witnesses or experts expressing themselves in a language other than an official language of the European Patent Office shall be heard only if that party provides for interpretation into the language of the proceedings. The European Patent Office may, however, permit interpretation into one of its other official languages. 
(4)
If the parties and the European Patent Office agree, any language may be used.  
(5)
The European Patent Office shall, if necessary, provide at its own expense interpretation into the language of the proceedings, or, where appropriate, into its other official languages, unless such interpretation is the responsibility of one of the parties.  
(6)
Statements by employees of the European Patent Office, parties, witnesses or experts, made in an official language of the European Patent Office, shall be entered in the minutes in that language. Statements made in any other language shall be entered in the official language into which they are translated. Amendments to a European patent application or European patent shall be entered in the minutes in the language of the proceedings. 
References

Art. 14, 116, 117, 123
R. 120

 
Cross-reference list
EPC EPC 1973
R. 4R. 2