A request that oral proceedings before the examining division be held by way of exception on the premises of the EPO (see E‑III, 1) needs to be filed as early as possible, preferably together with the request for oral proceedings. The granting of a request for oral proceedings to be held on the premises of the EPO will be at the discretion of the competent division.
If the request for oral proceedings on the premises of the EPO cannot be allowed and is received after the summons to oral proceedings, the division will inform the parties that the oral proceedings will take place by videoconference as set out in the summons and include a brief reasoning as to why the request cannot be granted. If the request is received before the summons has been issued, the reasons for the refusal will be given in the annex to the summons. In either case, a refusal of this type is not separately appealable (OJ EPO 2020, A134, Article 1(2)).
If a request for oral proceedings on the premises of the EPO is allowable and is received after the summons to oral proceedings by videoconference has been issued, the parties will be informed that oral proceedings will be held on the premises of the EPO as requested; where possible, the date of the oral proceedings will remain unchanged.