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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
7.1
General remarks 

If the Opposition Division does not consider it expedient to arrange for oral proceedings of its own motion (see E-II, 4) or for the taking of evidence even where the latter is requested (see E-III), and if no admissible request for oral proceedings has been received from a party (see E-II, 2), the decision must be reached on the basis of written proceedings. In this case there is no obligation to arrange for oral proceedings before a decision is reached.

If the case is decided on the basis of written proceedings, submissions filed after the decision has been handed over to the EPO internal postal service for remittal to the parties can no longer be considered, as from that moment the Division cannot amend the decision (see G 12/91), except to the limited extent provided for in Rule 140 (see  H-VI, 5.1).

The decision, whether or not preceded by oral proceedings or the taking of evidence, may be to revoke the patent (see D-VIII, 1.2), to reject the opposition (see D-VIII, 1.3) or to maintain the patent as amended (see D-VIII, 1.4).