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Information from the Boards of Appeal - Presidium, business distribution and texts relating to the proceedings

VII.4 - Use of an alternative official language in oral proceedings

Originally published in OJ EPO 2007, Special edition No. 3, 118:

Communication from the Vice-President of Directorate-General 3 of the European Patent Office dated 16 July 2007 concerning the obligation to give notice pursuant to Rule 4(1), first sentence, EPC in proceedings before the boards of appeal of the EPO (use of an alternative official language in oral proceedings)

In oral proceedings before the European Patent Office a party may use one of the Office's other official languages in lieu of the language of the proceedings provided that he gives notice in good time in accordance with Rule 4(1), first sentence, EPC or makes provision for interpreting into the language of the proceedings.

In proceedings before the board of appeal this obligation to give notice also applies if the party has lawfully used an alternative official language in oral proceedings before the department of first instance (see decision T 34/90, OJ EPO 1992, 454).

This communication applies as from the entry into force of the revised text of the European Patent Convention.