Following significant positive feedback in their recent user survey, the EPO has confirmed that even after the current emergency/pilot period, video conferencing (ViCo) is here to stay for both examination hearings and oppositions at first instance.
ViCo went from a pre-pandemic paucity to an astonishing turn around during lockdown and commentary both from the user community and the EPO suggests that the transition was highly successful, the EPO listening to feedback early and improving its offering constantly. At Kilburn & Strode we have invested in significant training and facilities to ensure that Vico proceedings are seamless and have hosted a huge number both at home and onsite at our offices, enjoying all of the well-known benefits of the new system, from enhanced accessibility through the advantages of facial close ups to online white boarding and, of course, the ability for the client to join the proceedings with minimal cost or expense.
This only leaves appeal proceedings in question; the Boards of Appeal are independent of the EPO and will be making their own decision; a consultation is expected soon but our experience has certainly been that except perhaps for the very largest hearings, ViCo works extremely well at this level as well. We have consistently maintained that we would like to see ViCo here permanently if the technology is good enough, now that's proved to be the case we are delighted with the EPO's announcement and look forward continuing our excellent and very real track record in this virtual world.
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