FICPI, The International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys

Interpreting Services at the EPO

01st October, 2019

The EPO has no interpreters of its own but uses external services, which is costly and involves considerable organisation. As laid down in Rule 4(5) EPC, the cost of interpreters is borne by the EPO.

Every year, around 750 interpreting days are cancelled at short notice. In opposition proceedings, this can happen for various reasons, e.g.

  • the oral proceedings are cancelled due to a withdrawal of the application, the opposition, or the request for oral proceedings
  • the oral proceedings are postponed due to late submissions
  • the party who requested interpreting does not attend the oral proceedings.

Only in rare cases the interpreters can be rebooked for other tasks.

Making use of the interpreting services responsibly is to the advantage of all the parties to the oral proceedings. 

Therefore, we kindly ask all FICPI members who attend oral proceedings at the EPO to request interpreting only where strictly needed and inform the EPO as early as possible if, for whatever reason, the interpreters requested are not needed.

Author: Antonio Pizzoli

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