The primary examiner will conduct the examination of the opposition. If oral proceedings have been requested, they are normally arranged as first action, possibly in conjunction with the taking of evidence (see E‑III, 1 to E‑III, 4; and E‑IV, 1.6.1). The primary examiner will prepare the communication accompanying the summons to oral proceedings and submit it to the other members. If the primary examiner considers that communications to the parties preceding the summons for oral proceedings are necessary, he should submit the communication to the opposition division before despatch.
If there are differences of opinion within the opposition division, the primary examiner should confer with the other members to discuss the points at issue. The Chairman will preside at the meeting and, following a discussion, will take a vote on the decision or the further course of the procedure.
Voting will be on the basis of a simple majority. In the event of parity of votes, the vote of the Chairman of the division is decisive.
Any further measures necessary will as a rule be entrusted to the primary examiner. If no further measures are necessary, the primary examiner will draft a decision on the opposition and will distribute the draft to the other members of the opposition division for examination and signature. If any changes are proposed by a member and there are differences of opinion on such changes, the Chairman must arrange a meeting.
Where reference is made hereinafter to the opposition division, this should be taken to mean the primary examiner where such a member has been appointed and insofar as he is entitled to act alone under the EPC.