15 June 2022
In view of recurring
enquiries to the EPO, users are reminded that oral proceedings before examining
divisions will as a rule continue to be held by VICO. They may be held on the
premises of the EPO only if there are serious reasons against holding them by VICO.
In such cases, the oral proceedings are postponed until after 31 December 2022.
Contrary to oral proceedings in opposition, the conduct of oral proceedings in
examination by VICO is not subject of a pilot project.
In their decision in referral G 1/21, the Enlarged Board of Appeal has confirmed that oral proceedings in the form of a VICO are oral proceedings within the meaning of Article 116 EPC and comply with the principles of fairness of proceedings (Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights) and the right to be heard under Article 113(1) EPC.
remains committed to further enhancing the user experience and to providing the
best environment and services possible to ensure fair and efficient
proceedings. In direct response to user feedback given at the end of oral
proceedings and within the framework of last autumn's extensive consultation,
digital whiteboards were recently introduced in Zoom for attorneys to sketch
diagrams - like on a traditional flipchart - to better present their case.