Bugnion, like other European IP firms, participated in the consultation launched by the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office on a proposal of amendment to the Rules of Procedure which would empower the Boards to hold oral proceedings by videoconference.
We would like to share with our readers the observations that Chiara Colò, Alessandro Cossu, Silvia Dondi and Lucia Vittorangeli submitted in the consultation. These comments shed light on several critical issues related to the introduction of oral proceedings by videoconference, such as the protection of the right to be heard.
The Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) recently launched an online consultation regarding a proposal of amendment to their Rules of Procedures that would allow holding oral proceedings by videoconference in appeal proceedings.
As it recently happened with the introduction of hearings by videoconference in examination and opposition proceedings, criticism has been levelled, both by representatives and professional organisations (including the epi), at the imposition of hearings by videoconference in appeal proceedings without the possibility, for the parties, to opt for face-to-face proceedings.
The Boards of Appeal of the EPO asked the European representatives to express their opinion on the proposal to amend the Rules of Procedure (RPBA 2020) by way of a new Article 15a, which would allow the Boards to appoint oral proceedings by video conference without the agreement of the parties.
In a letter which you can read here, a team of experienced Bugnion professionals made up of European patent attorneys Chiara Colò, Alessandro Cossu, Silvia Dondi and Lucia Vittorangeli presented in-depth observations on the proposal of amendment.