Withdrawal of the request for oral proceedings 

If the request for oral proceedings is explicitly withdrawn, or if a party has indicated that it will not attend (which is normally interpreted as equivalent to a withdrawal (see T 3/90, T 696/02 and T 1027/03), it is within the discretion of the division to decide whether the scheduled oral proceedings are to be maintained or to be cancelled.

If the division decides that oral proceedings are nevertheless to be conducted, this means that there are objections still outstanding that need to be discussed at the oral proceedings. Consequently the applicant and/or patentee can expect that problems relating to the requests filed in reply to the summons to oral proceedings will be dealt with at the oral proceedings.

If the applicant or patentee decides not to attend the oral proceedings, he is thereby choosing not to make use of the opportunity to comment at the oral proceedings on any of the objections, but to rely on the arguments as set out in the written submissions. The decision may be given orally in his absence. The procedural principles require that the party to the proceedings is not taken by surprise by the decision.

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