On request, the EPO may, without delay, hear oral evidence or conduct inspections, with a view to conserving evidence of facts liable to affect a decision, where there is reason to fear that it might subsequently become more difficult or even impossible to take evidence. This could for example be the case where an important witness is about to emigrate to a distant country or where perishable matter, e.g. a food-stuff, is adduced as involving a use made accessible to the public.

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