It is for the competent division to decide whether to take evidence by way of inspection of a model. If it considers this to be necessary, it must take a decision in the form of an order to take evidence (see E‑IV, 1.4), setting out the relevant facts to be proved as well as the date, time and place of the inspection.
Where possible, the inspection is to be carried out on the premises of the EPO. However, if in view of the characteristics of the model (e.g. form, size, material) or due to security constraints an inspection cannot be carried out on EPO premises (see also the notice from the EPO dated 20 December 2016, OJ EPO 2017, A6), the model may be inspected at a different location. In particular if such undertakings are located far away, the division may commission one of its members to carry out the inspection on its behalf (see E‑IV, 1.3).
In general, any object which can be made available for inspection on the premises of the EPO can also be inspected during oral proceedings by videoconference unless such inspection would result in a disadvantage for a party where, e.g. the haptic feel, texture or handling experience of the object is of relevance.
In accordance with Rule 124(1), minutes must be taken, including the essential aspects and the result of the inspection.