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Guidelines for Examination

General remarks 

Where the Examining or Opposition Division holds hearings for the purpose of taking evidence (see E-III, 1.3) and if the case in question is expected to give rise to particular legal issues, it is advisable that the Division should be enlarged by the addition of a legally qualified examiner, if this is not already the case (see D-II, 2.2).

The evidence of witnesses is normally taken at oral proceedings.

The hearing will be either public or non-public, depending on the oral proceedings themselves (Art. 116(3) and (4)).

Where a hearing is held in connection with oral proceedings, the considerations set out in E-II, 8.2, 8.3, 8.9 and 8.10 are directly applicable, and where this is not the case they apply mutatis mutandis.

The hearing of an "expert" in the sense of Rule 117 requires as a precondition a decision to take evidence (see E-III, 1.4). This is different from hearing oral submissions by a person accompanying the representative during oral proceedings, which can be allowed at the discretion of the Division (see G 4/95 and E-II, 8.5).