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  and the decision concerning the extension and modification of the pilot project). Under the terms of the project, oral proceedings before opposition divisions are held by videoconference via Zoom. The oral proceedings held by videoconference apply for multiparty hearings including with/without interpretation and with/without taking evidence.

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 including interpretation in the EPO official languages. 

In the recordings, you will see how formalities are completed in oral proceedings held by videoconference via Zoom. 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 non-public breakout rooms by the division
  • announce decisions and close proceedings
  • prepare for advocating online.


Participants (EPO)
Heli Pihlajamaa, Britta Kley, Nataša Doslik, Theodora Butkowskyj-Walkiw, Hervé Chabus and Frédéric Bockstahl

Participants (epi)
Beth Marshall, Catherine Menes, Christoph B. Gyaja and Joachim Renken.

Training Coach
Emma Darwall Smith, Communication Collective

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Last modified: Wednesday, 28 April 2021, 9:31 AM