Today the EPO is launching a user survey on its pilot project for oral proceedings by videoconference (VICO) before EPO opposition divisions. You can submit your comments in English, French or German until 30 September 2021.
Gathering feedback from the patent profession and other users has proven crucial to the success of the pilot project to date. So we sincerely hope you will take this opportunity to share your experiences of oral proceedings by VICO in opposition to date and your expectations.
The pilot project was launched back in May 2020. Since 1 January 2021, when the consent of all parties was no longer required for oral proceedings to be held by VICO in opposition, over 2 300 proceedings have taken place online.
Earlier this summer, the EPO published a comprehensive report on the significant progress made since the pilot's launch, not only in terms of our legal framework and technical infrastructure, but also in training and support for users.
Based on the survey results and an internal evaluation of the pilot, the EPO will decide on the future of oral proceedings in opposition by VICO once the pilot ends on 31 January 2022.