Friday, September 3 2021   \  Published by Venner Shipley.

EPO confirms legality of VICO by default during pandemic appeals

The Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) at the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued an order in proceedings for G 1/21 (see EPO Press Communiqué here). The EBA has confirmed that in the current circumstances, i.e. when parties cannot attend in-person, the boards of appeal can hold oral proceedings by videoconference (VICO), even if the parties do not agree to the use of VICO.

VICO Question

The EBA was asked (by Technical Board 3.5.02 in case T 1807/15) to answer the following more general question, not limited to the current circumstances or appeal proceedings:

Is the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference compatible with the right to oral proceedings as enshrined in Article 116(1) EPC if not all of the parties to the proceedings have given their consent to the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference? Continue Reading


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