Minutes of oral proceedings must be drawn up.
The person conducting the proceedings must ensure that during the whole proceedings an employee is available to keep minutes. If necessary, during oral proceedings different employees may carry out the task of minute-writing in sequence. In this case it must be made clear in the minutes which section was drawn up by which employee. The employees are normally members of the competent department, e.g. the examining or opposition division. Following the proceedings, the minutes are formatted.
The minutes must be authenticated by the employee responsible for drawing them up and by the employee who conducted the oral proceedings, either by signature or by other appropriate means. If exceptionally the employee responsible cannot sign the minutes, one of the other members of the division may sign them on the employee's behalf subject to the conditions defined in E‑X, 2.3. They are not signed by the parties. The parties must be provided with a copy of the minutes. Copies must be notified to them as soon as possible after the oral proceedings.
Provided the parties have been informed, the EPO may make sound recordings of the oral proceedings. However, no person other than an EPO employee is allowed to make any recording or retransmit any part of the oral proceedings, whether image or sound or both (see OJ EPO 1986, 63, OJ EPO 2020, A122 OJ EPO 2022, A106).
Sound recordings are made only in specific exceptional circumstances, for example if the division expects
(b)complex proceedings (e.g. because of the subject-matter or number of parties)
(c)requests for amendments to the minutes because of the importance of the case.
The recording is kept until the end of any possible proceedings. Copies of the recording will not be provided to the parties.
The minutes must first include the date of the proceedings, the names of the members of the department, e.g. the opposition division, present and the name or names of the minute-writer or writers. Minutes must also include the details referred to in E‑III, 10.3.