NEITHER HAAR NOR THERE
It’s already looking like a busy year for the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal, but they may be in for a bit of light relief from the usual taxing issues of patentability when they come to consider question 3 in G2/19, which relates to where Oral Proceedings may be held. According to Article 6(2) EPC: “The European Patent Office shall be located in Munich. It shall have a branch at The Hague. However, the Boards of Appeal currently sit in Haar, a municipality some 12km east of Munich.
The question in G2/19 came about because, having been summoned to Oral Proceedings, the appellant in the case from which G2/19 arises, requested that the Oral Proceedings were held in Munich instead. The appellant cited Article 6(2) EPC and argued that holding Oral Proceedings somewhere other than Munich or the Hague violates their right to be heard. The 26 minute journey from the centre of Munich would presumably be quite arduous.
We look forward to hearing whether the EBA will choose to consider the question, and if so, where the boundaries of Munich are considered to lie. The image, btw, is the EPO in Munich. Nobody seems to have one of Haar…