Quick Navigation


Guidelines for Examination

Use of laptops or other electronic devices during either ex parte or inter partes oral proceedings

As a general rule, Thethe use of laptops or other electronic devices during oral proceedings should be is allowed provided they do not cause disturbance to the participants and are not used for sound recording (see the Notice of the Vice-Presidents Directorates General 2 and 3 dated 25 February 1986 and issued in OJ EPO 1986, 63).

The decision to admit these devices is at the discretion of the Division and is primarily the responsibility of the chairperson, who is in charge of the order of the proceedings (E-II, 8.2). When exercising this discretion Only in exceptional circumstances, where, for example, the use of an electronic device disturbs the oral proceedings and despite warning of the Division the disturbance is not remedied, can the Division decide not to admit the use of the incriminated device. itIt should be considered taken into consideration that it is normal for a representative to relying in good faith on electronically stored documents to present his case and he may be put in a difficult position if the Division denies him the right to use his laptop.

If a party intends to use a laptop or other electronic device during oral proceedings, the chairperson should announce beforehand the conditions of use set out above. He should in particular point out to the parties that no recording or transmission of conversations taking place during the oral proceedings or during breaks is allowed, by any means. If these conditions are not met, the chairperson is entitled to forbid further use for the rest of the oral proceedings.