Oral proceedings in examination moving to Zoom
From this autumn the EPO intends to
hold oral proceedings (OPs) in examination by Zoom. This follows the positive experience
gained in recent months from opposition OPs held via Zoom (over 1400 so far in
2021). As part of the overall modernisation of its communications
infrastructure the EPO plans to transition away from Skype for Business by the
end of this year.
Testing of Zoom for OPs in examination has already started
through ad hoc conversion of OPs by Skype for Business with the agreement of
the applicant and/or representative. In the coming weeks users may notice
that summonses to examination OPs scheduled for the autumn no longer specify
the videoconference (VICO) platform to be used – this will be clarified closer
to the date of the OP.
The EPO website already features updated Frequently Asked
Questions on this topic. The European Patent Academy provides extensive
training materials in relation to OPs by VICO. These include e.g. a dedicated
video on using Zoom and a recording of the course on „advocating online before
the EPO“. More training courses hosted on the Academy’s e-learning centre, and
directed towards OPs by Zoom, will be advertised shortly.