Moderator: Rachel Free, Partner at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang in London, UK
Guests: Matteo Maccagnan, Partner at Studio Torta S.p.A. in Bologna, Italy and Minna Alarcon, Senior Patent Counsel at Henkel AG in Düsseldorf, Germany
Meeting virtually for an after-work chat in the European Patent Bar, three patent attorneys discuss their experiences of oral proceedings in opposition by videoconference (VICO) at the EPO. A lot has changed in the last year as the EPO’s pilot project has grown, with 2125 oppositions heard via VICO in the first half of 2021. Changes have been made to the technical platforms and legal frameworks to maintain transparency and access to justice despite the pandemic. The EPO’s current user consultation (until 30 September) provokes debate about what has gone well, and would could be the future of oral proceedings by VICO at the EPO.