EPO user survey demonstrates strong support for oral proceedings by ViCo

The largest-ever response to a European Patent Office consultation supports our position that oral proceedings held via videoconference (ViCo) are fit-for-purpose and work well.

The EPO received 750 responses to a user survey on its pilot project for oral proceedings in opposition by ViCo. Two-thirds of respondents said their experiences of those proceedings had been either “very good” or “good” with less than 20% reporting bad experiences.

The vast majority of users (83%) were pleased with the technical platform used by the EPO (Zoom) since the start of 2021.

For more than a year CIPA has consistently stated that, given all of its benefits, ViCo is an appropriate forum if it is shown to be fit-for-purpose. This report is the strongest evidence yet to demonstrate that it meets that test.

CIPA President Alicia Instone said: “The results of the EPO’s user survey support CIPA’s assertion that ViCo has come of age and should become the default format for oral proceedings.

“This was the largest-ever response to an EPO consultation and the overwhelming majority of respondents said that they have had good experiences of oral proceedings in opposition by ViCo.

“Given the continual improvements to the technology and its multitude of benefits – inclusivity, transparency and environmental sustainability, we hope that the small minority of users who have reported bad experiences of ViCo will soon have more positive encounters.”

EPO President António Campinos said: “The extensive feedback given has clearly shown that a majority of users value the time, money and emissions saved by conducting oral proceedings in opposition by videoconference… The responses suggest that, for a majority of our users, videoconferencing is becoming their format of choice for oral proceedings.”

President Campinos’s full statement and EPO news article

EPO report – Pilot project for oral proceedings in opposition by videoconference

Date published: 30 November, 2021

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