COVID -19 Oral Proceedings EPO update
Oral Proceedings EPO update
With effect from 4 January 2021, all oral proceedings in Opposition will be held by videoconference (VICO). The consent of all parties will no longer be necessary. Where there are serious reasons preventing the use of VICO in opposition, oral proceedings will be postponed until after 15 September 2021.
Examination before the EPO is operating as normal. Oral proceedings in the examination will continue to be held by VICO. Similar to Opposition, where there are serious reasons preventing the use of VICO in opposition, oral proceedings will be postponed until after 15 September 2021. During oral proceedings VICO before the Examining Division, documents are to be filed by means of electronic communication.
Oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal are taking place in person at the Board of Appeal premises in Munich. Physical distancing measures are in place and attendance is generally restricted to a maximum of two people per party. While it is still possible for members of the public to attend oral proceedings, only limited places are available.
Oral proceedings can also be conducted by use of VICO. From 1 January 2021, Boards may conduct oral proceedings by VICO even without the agreement of the parties concerned (Art 15a RPBA). As the situation is constantly changing, all parties scheduled to attend oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal are advised by the EPO to check the web section of the Boards of Appeal regulatory for updated information.
For further details see the dedicated page of the EPO regarding the COVID-19 response here
The public office of the IPOI remains closed to visitors. The functions of the IPOI continued to be delivered by its staff working remotely. The main telephone number (+353 56 7720111) is available and monitored between the hours of 9.30am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
Temporary Fee changes UKIPO
To assist IPO customers, temporary fee changes were in place from 30 July 2020 to 31 March 2021. This period has now ended. Any actions taken on or after 1 April 2021 will require the usual fee.
Please see the UKIPO website here for further information