If an absent party was not duly summoned, this is noted in the minutes and the oral proceedings are closed. A new date must be fixed for further oral proceedings.
If any party who has been duly summoned to oral proceedings does not appear as summoned or fails to connect to the oral proceedings by videoconference, as the case may be, the oral proceedings may be conducted without them, since a party should not be able to delay issuance of a decision by failing to appear or connect.
It is to be noted that if any party appears or connects before the end of the oral proceedings, they have the right to be heard.
If the party appears or connects only after the proceedings have been closed, the division may reopen them at its discretion, subject to two conditions:
(a)the division has not pronounced a decision under Art. 97(1) or (2) or Art. 101(2) or an interlocutory decision under Art. 106(2) maintaining the patent in amended form according to Art. 101(3) (see also D‑VI, 7.2.2) or a decision to reject the request for limitation under Rule 95(4).
If, however, an allowable request for a change of date of oral proceedings has been filed (see E‑III, 7 E‑III, 7.1.1), the proceedings are postponed and a new date fixed. If the filing of the request was delayed due to the carelessness of the party concerned, the proceedings may, depending on the circumstances, still be postponed; if this happens in opposition proceedings, a decision on the apportionment of costs may have to be taken (see D‑IX, 1.4).