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New Referral to the Epo Enlarged Board of Appeal: Legality of Oral Proceedings in the Form of a Videoconference Without the Consent of the Parties

The Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.02 has in its decision of 12 March 2021 in the case T 1807/15 referred the following question to the Enlarged Board of Appeal:

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?

The referral is in reaction to the introduction of Article 15a RPBA with effect of 1 January 2021 which allows conducting oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference without the consent of the parties. Before the introduction of this regulation oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference could only be conducted if all parties agreed thereto.

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Authors

Dr Thomas Friede

Counsel

German Patent Attorney

European Patent Attorney

Biochemist