Oral proceedings at the instance of the EPO 

The competent department of the EPO may arrange for oral proceedings to take place without a request from a party if it considers this to be expedient.

Oral proceedings will normally only be expedient if after an attempt at written clarification there are still questions or doubts which have a crucial bearing on the decision to be reached and which may be more efficiently or surely settled by oral discussion with the party or parties, or if it is necessary to take evidence as part of oral proceedings (see E‑IV, 1.3 and 1.6.1). The competent department will also bear in mind the need for economy in such procedures, since oral proceedings give rise to costs for both the EPO and the party or parties.

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