Oral proceedings 

If a request for oral proceedings, even conditional, was filed before the examining division became responsible for the application (see C‑II, 1), the division must honour the request, even if it was not repeated in examination.

On dealing with new requests filed in reply to a summons to oral proceedings, see C‑IV, 8.

As a rule, oral proceedings in examination proceedings are held by videoconference unless the direct taking of evidence is required or if there are other serious reasons for not doing so, e.g. where an impediment prevents an applicant or representative from participating in oral proceedings held by videoconference. Sweeping objections against the reliability of videoconferencing technology or the non-availability of videoconferencing equipment will, as a rule, not qualify as serious reasons in this regard. Equally, the need to consider written evidence will not qualify as a serious reason (see E‑III, 1.3 E‑III, 2.2, OJ EPO 2020, A134 and A40).

The general considerations relating to oral proceedings are set out in E‑III.

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