User survey on the pilot project for oral proceedings by videoconference before EPO opposition divisions

The EPO’s pilot project for oral proceedings (OP) by videoconference (VICO) before opposition divisions has been in operation since May 2020. Please help us to assess the project by giving us your feedback on your experiences so far and telling us what you would like to see in the future. You do not have to have actually participated in any opposition OP by VICO to take part in the survey.

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Click the "Preview" button at the bottom of the page when you are ready to proceed to step 2.


Experience of opposition OP by VICO before the EPO: advantages and disadvantages

In this part of the survey we would like to find out about your experiences of OP by VICO in opposition and ascertain your views as to the main advantages and disadvantages involved. If you have not actually participated in any OP by VICO in opposition, please answer “No” in question 1, and you will be taken straight to question 8.


1. Have you participated in opposition OP by VICO before the EPO since May 2020?*


8. What in your view are the main advantages of conducting OP by VICO before the EPO compared with in-person proceedings? (please choose a maximum of three)


9. What in your view are the main disadvantages of conducting OP by VICO before the EPO compared with in-person proceedings? (please choose a maximum of three)


Future approach to OP by VICO in opposition

In this part of the survey we would like to hear your views on the future approach to opposition OP by VICO compared with opposition OP on EPO premises. You will also have the opportunity to make suggestions for improvements and to add general comments. You do not have to have participated in OP by VICO in opposition to answer the questions in this section.



10. How likely is it that you would make use of the option to attend by VICO if the other party/parties was/were physically present in the OP room together with the division members (so-called "mixed-mode" or "hybrid" OP)?

Very likely
Somewhat likely
Somewhat unlikely
Very unlikely
Not applicable

Rating

11. How relevant are the following factors for deciding whether OP should be held on EPO premises rather than by VICO?

5 = Very relevant
4 = Relevant
3 = Neutral
2 = Rather irrelevant
1 = Very irrelevant

5
4
3
2
1


Health issues/disabilities preventing a party from participating in OP by VICO

Large number of parties

Need to take evidence by hearing witnesses

Need to see/inspect models, e.g. a prototype

A party’s lack of access to the VICO tools required by the EPO

Technical and/or procedural complexity of the case

Economic value of the case

Language issues

Wishes of parties

12. Do you have any suggestions for improving the conduct of OP by VICO before the EPO?


13. Do you have any other comments regarding the conduct of OP by VICO before the EPO?


Technical aspects of OP by VICO before the EPO

In the following we would like to hear your views on a number of technical aspects related to the conduct of OP by VICO before the EPO. If you do not wish to answer these questions, simply select "No" in question 14 and you will be taken straight to the final section of the survey. You do not have to have participated in any OP by VICO in opposition to answer the questions in this section.



14. Would you like to answer some additional questions on the technical aspects of OP by VICO before the EPO?*


22. What are your views on the taking of evidence during OP by VICO before the EPO?

5 = Strongly agree
4 = Agree
3 = Neutral
2 = Disagree
1 = Strongly disagree
N/A = Not applicable

5
4
3
2
1
N/A


The hearing of witnesses by VICO works fine.

The inspection of objects by VICO works fine.

The taking of evidence (hearing of witnesses, inspections) by VICO has disadvantages over the taking of evidence at in-person proceedings.

The possibility to hear witnesses by VICO facilitates the use of witness evidence in opposition OP.

23. What are your views on the possibility for members of the public to attend opposition OP by VICO before the EPO?

5 = Strongly agree
4 = Agree
3 = Neutral
2 = Disagree
1 = Strongly disagree
N/A = Not applicable

5
4
3
2
1
N/A


The registration process works fine.

It is easy to find the OP in question and register for them via the EPO website.

The possibility for members of the public to attend by VICO increases the transparency of the proceedings.

The possibility for members of the public to attend by VICO does not have a negative impact on the parties to such proceedings.

It would be preferable for members of the public to attend by VICO in a dedicated room on EPO premises.

The possibility for members of the public to attend by VICO should remain available in the future in view of its advantages.

Background information and end of survey

Before we finish, we would like to ask you about the capacity in which you have answered the questions in this survey. This information is important for us as it will enable us to better analyse the needs of different user groups. The information you provide will not lead to you being identified in any way and will not be published in any form that could lead to such identification. It will be treated in accordance with the applicable data protection rules.



24. In what main capacity did you answer the questions in this survey?* (It is possible to choose up to five)


25. Please indicate the country of your principal place of business.*


End of survey

Thank you for taking part in this survey! Your time and input are greatly appreciated.



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