Video conferencing will become the standard format for oral opposition hearings at the European Patent Office
As announced by the European Patent Office on 22 November 2022, following the end of the pilot project for oral opposition hearings as video conferences, the President of the European Patent Office has decided, due to the largely positive response from users, that from 1 January 2023 video conferences will become the standard format of oral opposition hearings. Only in certain circumstances and if allowed by the opposition division will an oral opposition hearing be conducted as a face-to-face hearing.
President António Campinos said:
"The pandemic has been a catalyst for changes affecting many aspects of our patent granting process. Applicants and their representatives have already found that the increasing use of video conferencing is permanently changing the way they work. Most welcome the way we have adopted new technology and the opportunities it offers to save time and money, reduce CO2 emissions and at the same time effectively present their case. The pilot project has taught us all a lot of valuable lessons and allowed us to test different ways of working. After more than 2.5 years, it is right that we now provide clarity and make video conferencing the standard format."