There are instances where personal consultation, by telephone or interview, can be helpful in advancing the procedure. A telephone conversation can be held between the applicant and the formalities officer and/or the examiner, whereas an interview is held only between the applicant and the examiner.
Personal consultation is at the discretion of the formalities officer or examiner.The circumstances in which it may be appropriate for the examiner to communicate with the applicant by telephone or propose an interview rather than send a further written action are considered in C‑IV, 3. If the applicant requests personal consultationan interview, the request should be granted unless the nature of the issue to be discussed requires formal proceedings or the examiner believes that no useful purpose would be served by such a discussion. For example, where substantial differences of opinion exist in examination, written procedure or oral proceedings are normally more appropriate.
With regard to consultations the issue of telephone conversations and personal interviews in response to the EESR, before the application has entered the examination phase, see B‑XI, 8.
When a consultationan interview is arranged, whether by telephone, by e-mail or in writing, and whether by the examiner or the applicant, the matters for discussion should be stated. If the arrangement is made by telephone, the examiner should record the particulars and briefly indicate, in the file, the matters to be discussed.
A decision cannot be taken during a personal consultation with an examiner, as all decisions must be taken by the whole Examining Division.