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Guidelines for Examination

Summons to oral proceedings 

All parties must be duly summoned to oral proceedings by notification. The summons must state the subject and the date and time of the oral proceedings.

The Division should set a single date for the oral proceedings, i.e. one day or, in particular cases, more than one consecutive days. No pre-announcement of the date by phone or fax will be made.

The summons will also be accompanied by a note drawing attention to the points which need to be discussed, will normally contain the provisional and non-binding opinion of the Division and will also fix a date up to which written submissions may be filed or amendments which meet the requirements of the EPC may be submitted (see also D-VI, 3.2).

At least two months' notice of the summons must be given unless the parties agree to a shorter period. The summons must state that if a party duly summoned does not appear as summoned, the proceedings may continue without him.

In opposition proceedings as a rule, even oral proceedings requested on the basis of totally different grounds for opposition should be conducted as a single set of proceedings.

In cases of multiple oppositions, all oral proceedings requested should be dealt with in a single session, even if the oppositions are based on different grounds. This means that all the parties must be summoned to attend them and may present comments on all grounds raised.