Oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal – pandemic measures cease; oral proceedings by VICO still provided

In the light of the developments in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, measures in the Boards of Appeal regulating the arrangement and conduct of oral proceedings cease from 1 February 2023. The conduct of oral proceedings using videoconferencing (VICO) continues to be provided, see the section "Oral proceedings conducted by VICO" below.

Access to oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal on the premises of the EPO

Reference is made to the regular security and safety regulations relating to your visit to the EPO.

Protecting the health and safety of external persons and staff remains a top priority for the Boards of Appeal. To that end, please observe the following recommendations:

  • If you have symptoms that indicate a cold or COVID-19 infection, please inform the board without delay.
  • Observe hand hygiene and further preventive measures to limit the spread of disease.
  • Act considerately if other visitors wish to wear a mask and prefer to maintain social distancing.

Please be informed that self-tests and masks remain available at the reception desk.

As a general rule oral proceedings that have currently been planned to take place in the Isar building in 2023, will not be relocated. Please consult the online calendar approximately three days before the oral proceedings to check whether they will take place on the Haar premises or in the Isar building, and when exactly they are scheduled to start.

Oral proceedings conducted by VICO

It is at the discretion of a board in each case to summon parties to and conduct oral proceedings either in person or by VICO. The conduct of oral proceedings using VICO contributes towards reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 13 - Climate Action - by 2030. Parties may, prior and/or after the issuance of summons, submit reasons to the board why they have a preference for a particular type of oral proceedings. A board has discretion in deciding on those issues.

Oral proceedings to be conducted by VICO are also listed in the online oral proceedings calendar.

For information on technical aspects of the use of VICO technology, please see the information provided by the EPO.

Members of the public may always follow oral proceedings held by VICO remotely upon giving prior notice by email to

Members of the public are asked to log on in good time to avoid disturbing the conduct of the oral proceedings and to refrain from joining and leaving the proceedings while they are ongoing.

It is not permitted to make photographic images or sound recordings or to retransmit any part of the oral proceedings. Nor is it permitted to forward the link received for connecting to the oral proceedings.

Mixed-mode oral proceedings

In "mixed-mode oral proceedings", some parties, representatives and/or accompanying persons attend by videoconference while others are physically present in the oral proceedings room together with board members. Mixed-mode oral proceedings may be requested; a board has discretion in deciding whether to allow this request. Members of the public can only attend in person. For those attending oral proceedings on the premises, please see the section on access to oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal on the premises.

Carl Josefsson
President of the Boards of Appeal