The IP Federation has submitted observations at the European Patent Office as amicus curiae in respect of Enlarged Board of Appeal case G 1/21. This relates to oral proceedings by videoconference.
In summary, the IP Federation’s submission is that:
- in the conduct of oral proceedings at second instance, in-person attendance of the parties and panel members should be the default position, unless there is a lasting and generalised interruption to travel extenuated by exceptional circumstances, such as during the Covid-19 crisis;
- in going beyond this position, new Article 15a of the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal is fatally flawed, for failing to safeguard the delivery of natural justice and lacking any legal basis in the EPC.
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