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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

10.1 Formal requirements

Minutes of oral proceedings must be drawn up.

The person conducting the proceedings must ensure that during the whole proceedings an employee is available to keep minutes. If necessary, during oral proceedings different employees may carry out the task of minute-writing in sequence. In this case it must be made clear in the minutes which section was drawn up by which employee. The employees are normally members of the competent department, e.g. the Examining or Opposition Division. The minutes are normally taken down by hand by the member of the Division charged with this task. Following the proceedings, the handwritten minutes are typed out.

The minutes must be signed by the employee responsible for drawing them up and by the employee who conducted the oral proceedings. They are not signed by the parties. The parties must be provided with a copy of the minutes. Copies must be notified to them as soon as possible after the oral proceedings.

Provided the parties have been informed, oral proceedings may be recorded on sound recording apparatus. However, no person other than an EPO employee is allowed to introduce any such apparatus into the hearing room (see Notice of the Vice-Presidents of the Directorates-General 2 and 3 dated 25 February 1986 concerning sound recording devices in oral proceedings before the EPO, OJ EPO 1986, 63).

Sound-recordings should be made only in specific exceptional circumstances, for example if the Division expects

(a)
witness testimony 
(b)
complex proceedings (e.g. because of the subject-matter or number of parties) 
(c)
requests for amendments to the minutes because of the importance of the case. 

The recording should be kept until the end of any possible proceedings. Copies of the recording will not be provided to the parties.

The minutes must first include the date of the proceedings, the names of the members of the department, e.g. the Opposition Division, present and the name or names of the minute-writer or writers. Minutes must also include the details referred to in E‑II, 10.3.