13 November 2020
  • Share

The EPO has announced changes to the Pilot Project for Video Conference (ViCo) Oral Proceedings before Opposition Divisions. A detailed look at the changes and their implications can be found here.

The headlines are:

  1. That the postponement of in-person opposition hearings (currently until 31 December 2020) be further extended to 15 September 2021 along with extension of the pilot project to the same date;
  2. That the consent of all parties for holding an opposition by ViCo will no longer be necessary with effect from 4 January 2021, for the duration of the pilot project.

In short, opposition oral proceedings until at least 15 September 2021, and possibly beyond, will be ViCo by default. It is also clear from the Decision of the President, dated 10 November 2020, that “serious reasons” will be required to justify opposition oral proceedings on the premises of the EPO.

This announcement does not affect oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal, which remain available “if the parties concerned agree”.

Christopher (Chris) is a Partner and Patent Attorney at Mewburn Ellis. He handles the full range of patent work in the life sciences sector, from pre-drafting advice to drafting and prosecution of worldwide patent portfolios. Chris also has experience with IP due diligence and European oppositions.
Comments

Sign up to our newsletter: Forward - news, insights and features

Our People

Our IP specialists work at all stage of the IP life cycle and provide strategic advice about patent, trade mark and registered designs, as well as any IP-related disputes and legal and commercial requirements.

OUR PEOPLE

Contact Us

We have an easily-accessible office in central London, as well as a number of regional offices throughout the UK and an office in Munich, Germany.  We’d love to hear from you, so please get in touch.