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G 1/21: EPO Confirms Video Conferencing Compatible With EPC

Today, the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal has handed down its first order in the high-profile G 1/21 case regarding video conferencing. A press communiqué published on the EPO website confirms that compulsory video conferencing is admissible in appeal proceedings under the European Patent Convention “in a general emergency”. However, parties await the final decision, and the EBA’s full reasoning.


Since early 2020, the EPO has conducted hearings at least partially via video conference. […] This has caused some consternation between parties, with some reasoning that not conducting hearings in person constitutes a disadvantage.


Today’s order circulated by the EPO reads, “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 full decision and further clarification will be expected before the end of 2021.

This text is a press release from JUVE Patent. The full text version of the article can be found here: