Video conference without consent of the parties - amicus curiae brief filed in connection with case G 1/21 before the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO

Maiwald, together with other leading patent law firms, considers video conferencing without the consent of the parties to be inadmissible and has filed an amicus curiae brief in connection with the proceedings G 1/21 before the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office.

For some time, and since the beginning of the worldwide Corona pandemic at the latest, the question of the admissibility of oral proceedings via video conference has concerned the German legal market. Two essential elements of oral proceedings are the use of spoken language and the immediacy of communication. With an amendment to the Rules of Procedure in favour of video-conferencing, the EPO has now ventured a very far-reaching approach, which allows video conferences against the will of the parties. Professor Siegfried Broß, former judge at the Federal Court of Justice and the Federal Constitutional Court, could be won over to provide an expert opinion on this issue, so that Maiwald, together with other well-known German patent law firms, was willing to provide an expert opinion on this issue.

"Oral proceedings are an essential procedural right protected by Article 116 EPC and Article 6 ECHR and cannot be altered without the consent of the parties. There is, however, nothing to argue against a video conference with the consent of the parties", says Dr Eva Ehlich, partner and patent attorney at Maiwald.

The hearing before the Enlarged Board of Appeal is scheduled for 28 May 2021 as a video conference. If the Board agrees with our reasoning, video conferences should only take place with the consent of all parties.

The full amicus curiae brief can be found here.


About Maiwald

Maiwald is a leading law firm in the field of intellectual property rights. With approximately 220 employees in Munich and Düsseldorf, Maiwald comprehensively supports companies in securing, defending and enforcing their intellectual property rights. Clients include start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and industrial groups in a wide range of industries. Approximately 80 patent attorneys and attorneys-at-law work internationally for clients in the fields of pharmaceuticals & biotechnology, organic chemistry & polymers, inorganic chemistry & building materials, food & agriculture, electrical engineering & mechanical engineering, communication & information technology, mobility & energy, displays & light, measuring & process engineering as well as medical technology & imaging. Maiwald advises and represents clients with regard to patents & utility models, supplementary protection certificates, trademarks & designs, copyright law, competition & antitrust law, compliance, contract law, employee invention law, pharmaceutical law, data protection and plant variety protection. The magazine Managing Intellectual Property named Maiwald "European SPC/Patent Prosecution Firm of the Year 2021", "European Cross-Border Patent Litigation Team of the Year 2021" and "German Impact Case of the Year 2021".


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Press contact

Dr Eva Dörner, Partner, German Patent Attorney, European Patent Attorney
T +49 (0)89 747266-908

Eva Dörner on LinkedIn

Dr Eva Ehlich, Partner, German Patent Attorney, European Patent Attorney
T +49 (0)89 747266-908

Eva Ehlich on LinkedIn