In exceptional cases, the examining division may issue a summons to oral proceedings as the first action in examination. The division may decide to do so only if
The annex to the summons issued as the first action in examination must deal with the applicant's requests in their entirety and be as detailed as a communication under Art. 94(3) EPC (see, in particular, C‑III, 4.1). It must not include any new objections or cite new documents. All objections to the application must be covered and substantiated by giving the essential legal and factual reasons. In addition, it must include the reasons why the division decided to directly summon to oral proceedings as the first action in examination. The division may inform the applicant in a telephone call if it is considering issuing a summons to oral proceedings as the first action in examination (C‑VII, 2.7C‑VII, 2.5).
In order to allow the applicant sufficient time to prepare any submissions ahead of the oral proceedings, the summons should be issued with at least six months' notice.
In accordance with the principles applicable to the summons to oral proceedings, the applicant applicants may avail himself themselves of the possibility to submit any arguments and amendments by expiry of the deadline set under Rule 116(1) EPC. Requests filed after the date set under Rule 116(1) are not to be treated as late-filed (H‑II, 2.7) in the case of a summons to oral proceedings issued as first action in examination.
Should the applicant's submissions contain a genuine effort to overcome the examining division's objections, oral proceedings may be cancelled or postponed. Otherwise, a decision on the substance of the application will in principle be taken during the oral proceedings, even if the applicant does not attend them (see E‑III, 6, and E‑III, 220.127.116.11).