Posted: July 16th, 2021
European Patent Office, Enlarged Board of Appeal, Order in case G 1/21 published on July 16, 2021
Reported by Dr. Rudolf Teschemacher, Bardehle Pagenberg
In a Press Communiqué of July 16, 2021 the Enlarged Board of Appeal published the order in case G 1/21, i.e. the answer to the question referred in T 1807/15. It reads as follows:
During a general emergency impairing the parties’ possibilities to attend in-person oral proceedings at the EPO premises, the conduct of oral proceedings before the boards of appeal in the form of a videoconference is compatible with the EPC even 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.
The Communiqué explains that the Board confined its order to oral proceedings that are held during a period of general emergency impairing the parties’ possibilities to attend in-person oral proceedings at the EPO premises and moreover are conducted specifically before the Boards of Appeal.
The reasoned decision will be published in due course. It remains to be seen whether any conclusions may be drawn from the reasons whether oral proceedings by VICO may be held without the consent of the parties in the absence of a period of general emergency and whether the situation for first instance proceedings is the same as for appeal proceedings.
The Press Communiqué can be accessed here.