Decision of the Administrative Council of 23 March 2021 approving an amendment to the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (CA/D 3/21)
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN PATENT ORGANISATION,
Having regard to the European Patent Convention, and in particular Article 23, paragraph 4, thereof,
Having regard to the revised version of the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal which was approved by decision of the Administrative Council dated 26 June 2019 and came into force on 1 January 2020,
Having regard to the amendment to the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal adopted by the Boards of Appeal Committee on 11 December 2020 under Rule 12c, paragraph 2, of the Implementing Regulations to the European Patent Convention,
HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:
The amendment to the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal, as adopted by the Boards of Appeal Committee, is hereby approved:
A new Article 15a is inserted, which reads as follows:
Oral proceedings by videoconference
(1) The Board may decide to hold oral proceedings pursuant to Article 116 EPC by videoconference if the Board considers it appropriate to do so, either upon request by a party or of its own motion.
(2) Where oral proceedings are scheduled to be held on the premises of the European Patent Office, a party, representative or accompanying person may, upon request, be allowed to attend by videoconference.
(3) The Chair in the particular appeal and, with the agreement of that Chair, any other member of the Board in the particular appeal may participate in the oral proceedings by videoconference."
This decision shall enter into force on 1 April 2021.
Article 15a as approved by this decision shall apply to all oral proceedings scheduled to take place on or after 1 April 2021.
Done at Munich, 23 March 2021
For the Administrative Council