EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE
Information from the EPO
Notice from the EPO about the deployment of non-examining staff as support for Examining and Opposition Divisions
From March 2014, Examining and Opposition Divisions may rely on paralegal support before/during/after oral proceedings in examination and opposition procedures. This includes the preparation of facts and submissions or other documents for the division, the drafting of the minutes of the oral proceedings for the division as well as any administrative support as appropriate.
It should be noted that the supporting non-examining staff members are not members of the Examining or Opposition Divisions and are not vested with the power to participate in the decision making process. Neither are they entrusted with the finalisation of or decision on any tasks falling within the responsibility of Examining or Opposition Divisions. Nevertheless, in the light of their tasks they may be present during oral proceedings. The parties will be informed about the presence of the paralegal.