Opposition hearings at the EPO will not be held in person until September 2021 

Yesterday, the EPO announced that the postponement of opposition hearings in person will be prolonged until 15 September 2021. Furthermore, the EPO announced that as of 4 January 2021, oppositions by videoconference (VICOs) will not have to be accepted by all parties in order to take place.

The new initiatives are taken in light of the current coronavirus pandemic and are one of the latest actions of many aimed at meeting the restrictions on travels and person-to-person meetings taken by almost all European countries.

Videoconferences have been used and improved since the outbreak of the pandemic earlier this year and are now widely accepted within the patent profession.

At aera, we welcome the use of videoconferences and have participated in VICO proceedings with the EPO regularly – both before and after the pandemic forced the EPO to escalate the use of video.

Read more about the EPO’s actions and their report on the use of VICOs as a substitute to physical meetings here.