5.2.2 Trainee patent attorneys

In T 1431/12, the reason given for Mr W.'s making submissions was that he was a trainee patent attorney familiar with the case. It was therefore unlikely that his submissions (unlike, for example, an expert's) would go beyond those of a patent attorney specialising in the subject-matter and so would not mean that the appellant would have to commission an expert to counter them. Given those circumstances, the board exercised its discretion to permit Mr W. to provide any technical information necessary to supplement the submissions made by the professional representative supervising him. As his submissions were indeed confined to providing such additional technical information, the board saw no reason to restrict or even revoke this permission during the oral proceedings.

For a classic application of the requirements set out in G 4/95 to a party's contention that, since the accompanying person was preparing for the European qualifying examination, he ought to be given a training opportunity, see T 378/08.

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