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 be accompanied by a note drawing attention to the points which need to be discussed, normally containing the provisional and non-binding opinion of the Division. The summons 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).
Harmonised with the standards applied in the written procedure (E‑VII, 1.2), the practice outlined below should be followed in setting the date of the oral proceedings to allow the parties sufficient time for preparing and filing submissions:
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.