The EPO has announced today that all opposition division oral proceedings scheduled to take place in 2020 are being postponed. There remains the option for opposition division oral proceedings to take place by videoconference under the EPO’s pilot project (see our briefing on videoconference oral proceedings here), but only with the consent of all parties.
The EPO has not been conducting in person opposition division oral proceedings at its offices since March 2020, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EPO had previously been hoping to resume in person opposition division oral proceedings from 15 September 2020, but has presumably now realised that this is not realistic in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is now intended for in person opposition division oral proceedings to resume on 4 January 2021.
Separately, the EPO has also announced that there will be no similar postponement of Board of Appeal oral proceedings. The Boards of Appeal resumed in person oral proceedings in Munich on 18 May 2020, and intend to continue conducting oral proceedings for the remainder of 2020 with appropriate precautions.
If you have any concerns or queries about the impact of these developments, please speak to your usual J A Kemp contact.