Use of laptops or other electronic devices during either ex parte or inter partes oral proceedings

As a general rule, the use of laptops or other electronic devices during oral proceedings is allowed provided they do not cause disturbance to the participants and are not used for sound recording (see the Notice of the Vice-Presidents Directorates-General 2 and 3 dated 25 February 1986, and issued inOJ EPO 1986, 63).

Only in exceptional circumstances, where, for example, the use of an electronic device disturbs the oral proceedings and despite warning of the division the disturbance is not remedied, can the division decide not to admit the use of the incriminated device. It willshould be taken into consideration that it is normal for a representative to rely on electronically stored documents to present his case and he may be put in a difficult position if the division denies him the right to use his laptop.

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