Oral proceedings held as a video-conference at the European Patent Office – technical guidelines

As announced in the Updated notice from the European Patent Office dated 15 November 2018 concerning interviews and oral proceedings to be held as a video-conference (OJ EPO 2018, A96), since 2019 video-conferences with the EPO are conducted using IP technology only. Users interested in holding an interview or oral proceedings before an examining division as a video-conference should familiarise themselves with the following technical requirements and recommendations.

Supported systems

The EPO supports the following technologies for connecting to interviews and oral proceedings held as a video-conference:

  • Microsoft Skype for Business (SfB) Clients and SfB Room Systems
  • Browser based Web Meeting via Skype for Business Web App
  • SIP/H.323 video-conferencing systems

If you have a Skype for Business or SIP/H.323 setup you are advised to run a compatibility test of your equipment with the EPO well before the oral proceedings are due to take place (see "Test call" below).

If you prefer to connect to the EPO via web browser and the Skype for Business Web App, please consider the following points:

Skype Web App requirements

The Skype Web App is a free download.

  • System
    Please make sure a powerful computer running a recent Windows or Macintosh operating system combined with any up-to-date web browser is used to prevent resource issues.
  • Bandwidth
    Please make sure enough Internet bandwidth is available. You should have at least 2Mbps of free up- and download bandwidth.
  • Camera
    Please use a good quality webcam (HD 720p or above), preferably a PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) model.
    Please be advised that most built-in webcams don't deliver the required quality and flexibility.
  • Audio
    Please use a good quality audio device (microphone and speaker).
    If you are taking part in the oral proceedings on your own you should achieve a good audio experience by using a (wireless) headset, preferably one certified by Skype for Business.
  • Monitor/Screen
    Please make sure a good quality monitor/screen is used; the larger the screen the better the legibility. If you participate in the oral proceedings with several people you are advised to use at least a 42 inch (106 cm) screen.

For more information see Skype Meetings App help and Skype for Business certification program.

Test call

Users are strongly advised to perform a test call in good time prior to the date of the oral proceedings, i.e. at least 10 working days in advance.

The EPO offers the possibility for test calls on Mondays to Fridays (except days on which the EPO filing offices are closed) from 13:00 to 16:00 hours CET.

A test call can be arranged by contacting the EPO Serviceline on Mondays to Fridays (except days on which the EPO filing offices are closed) from 7:30 to 18:00 hours CET, by telephone +31703404444 or by e-mail serviceline@epo.org.

EPO Serviceline will schedule a 30 minutes test session and send you an invitation with the connection details for the call.

Goals that need to be met in the test are:

  • A stable connection, both audio and video should be of adequate quality
  • Presentation of content should be possible in both directions

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