IP Ability, our community for disabled people, carers and their allies, have submitted comments in response to the EPO’s referral G1/21 on so-called “ViCo” oral proceedings.

In their submissions they recognise that oral proceedings held via videoconference will often suit disabled parties, representatives and witnesses better than the in-person equivalent, particularly for people who have difficulty travelling. However, they point out that other people may have disabilities that do not necessarily impair their ability to travel, but may impact their ability to participate fully in a virtual event. They recommend a system that allows people an opportunity to request that oral proceedings be held in person when the virtual alternative might, for reasons like this, compromise their right to be heard.

IP Ability summarise their submissions in this way:

IP Ability urge the Enlarged Board, in its decision on G 1/21, not to overlook the needs of disabled people. We urge the Enlarged Board to require the EPO and the Boards of Appeal to implement our suggested safeguards, which should ensure that no individual is denied the right – whether as a representative, applicant, inventor or witness – to be heard and the right to a fair trial.

You can read the full submissions here.



Page published on 4th May 2021
Page last modified on 4th May 2021

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