The EPO has been conducting a pilot project since 4 May 2020 for oral proceedings by videoconference before opposition divisions (see the relevant decision and notice). Under the terms of the project, oral proceedings before opposition divisions may be held by videoconference via Skype for Business if all parties as well as the division agree, and if the proceedings do not require the taking of evidence. If interpretation is required or proceedings include multiple parties the videoconference will be held via Zoom.
This training module, produced by the EPO in co-operation with the epi, starts with an introduction to the legal background and technical requirements for such online proceedings and then shows a recording of mock oral proceedings held by videoconference. The mock proceedings were conducted by a real EPO opposition division with experienced European patent attorneys.
In the recording, you will see how formalities are completed in oral proceedings held by videoconference. For instance, you will learn how to:
- start a videoconference with distributed participation
- check the identity of the persons involved
- facilitate participation by members of the public
- open proceedings
- accept submissions by email
- interrupt and resume proceedings, e.g. for deliberation in secret by the participants of one party or by the division
- announce decisions and close proceedings.
Heli Pihlajamaa, Britta Kley, Nataša Doslik, Theodora Butkowskyj-Walkiw and Frédéric Bockstahl
Chris Mercer, Bart van Wezenbeek, David Brophy and John Gray