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On 10 November 2020, the European Patent Office (EPO) announced the following update to oral proceedings for Oppositions at the EPO:
"...with a view to guaranteeing effective access to justice and to avoiding a continuous increase in the number of unresolved oppositions, for oral proceedings that are scheduled to take place on or after 4 January 2021, the agreement of the parties to hold oral proceedings in opposition proceedings by videoconference will no longer be required under this pilot.
Oral proceedings before examining and opposition divisions may only be held on the premises of the European Patent Office if there are serious reasons against holding them by videoconference. Examples of serious reasons are, in particular, reasons relating to a participant to the oral proceedings as an individual (e.g. a proven visual impairment that prevents a representative from following oral proceedings on screen) and reasons related to the nature and subject matter of the proceedings (e.g. where they involve the demonstration or inspection of an object where the haptic features are essential, to the extent that this is possible in accordance with the applicable provisions). Sweeping objections against the reliability of videoconferencing technology or the non-availability of videoconferencing equipment will, as a rule, not qualify as serious reasons in this regard."
Please click on this link for more information https://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/official-journal/information-epo/archive/20201110.html