With regard to the current spread of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), the EPO would like to inform parties and their representatives that oral proceedings before examining and opposition divisions will in principle take place as scheduled.
Oral proceedings involving parties or representatives who have recently visited high risk areas* will be held by videoconference or postponed, upon request.
In other cases where the general spread of Coronavirus prevents a party or representative from attending oral proceedings, for instance in case of travel restrictions in companies or patent attorney firms, the EPO will do everything feasible to remove the need for the party or representative to travel to oral proceedings. In particular, oral proceedings by videoconference will be offered in examination and, to the extent possible, in opposition proceedings. The relevant party or representative should indicate in each particular case which alternative measures they request."
*Please note that the definition of areas affected by the spread of the Coronavirus may be subject to change. Please go to www.epo.org/corona-virus to find the latest list of regions.