The EPO announced today that it will be testing Zoom as a platform for “oral proceedings involving multiple opponents and/or requiring simultaneous interpretation”. Up until now, the EPO has been using Skype as the platform for video conference oral proceedings. However, a limitation of Skype is that it does not allow for multiple distinct audio channels, which would be necessary for cases where simultaneous interpretation is required. By contrast, Zoom does allow for simultaneous interpretation to be provided on distinct audio channels.
While it remains the case that EPO opposition oral proceedings can only proceed by video conference with the consent of all parties, the introduction of Zoom as a platform means that nearly all oppositions are now eligible for video conference oral proceedings.
Our briefing discussing video conference oral proceedings at the EPO can be found here.