Is ViCo Really Impacting Opposition Decisions?

3 May 2021

Videoconference (ViCo) anyone?

The mere mention of this term around a group of European patent professionals these days will likely ignite fierce debate, with parties that are strongly for or strongly against the use of ViCo for mandatory oral proceedings at the EPO. There seems to be no middle ground.

Of course, the background to all this is the referral G 1/21 to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) at the European Patent Office. Many of the major EPO patent applicants and European patent law firms have submitted their points of view in the form of Amicus Curiae briefs.

For our part, we want to do what we do best: make sure that data-driven insights are used in such debates. Rather than arguing based on “gut feeling” alone, we believe that consulting the data can allow a more informed debate.

With this first Qthena Insights Report, we present our findings after studying 1’020 Opposition decisions with ViCo oral proceedings. We also compared the outcomes of the studied ViCo cases with outcomes from in-person oral proceedings. We put in this effort in order to empower the entire European patent community with data-driven insights when debating this important topic.

The report is freely available to anyone. Simply go here to download your own copy.

We welcome any comments and input from the patent community to continue this important discussion. Any suggestions for additional insights that can support a more informed discussion are welcome and will be taken into consideration by the authors during the preparation of the follow-up report.