Admission of the public to proceedings 

Oral proceedings before the Receiving Section, the examining divisions and the Legal Division are not public.

Oral proceedings, including delivery of the decision (see E‑III, 9), are public before the opposition divisions in so far as the opposition division does not decide otherwise in cases where admission of the public could have serious and unjustified disadvantages, in particular for a party to the proceedings. This could, for example, be the case if any of the parties wishes to give information about sales figures or other commercial secrets in support of their case. Generally, the public will only be excluded whilst such information is being given. The public is also excluded during discussions about a request for exclusion of a document from file inspection (see D‑II, 4.3) and when a decision on the matter is pronounced. The parties other than the requester(s), as well as their representatives, may also be excluded as being part of the public (e.g. in the case of a request for exclusion of a medical certificate from file inspection).

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