|Future hearings at the EPO|
The perspective of the accession of the Vatican to the EPC has inspired the board to phantasies which found their way into the following obiter dictum:
[6.4] The Board of appeal wishes to add, as an obiter dictum, that the use of former inquisitors of the Sanctum Officium could indeed be beneficial to the EPO. As interrogation specialists the members of this office have a worldwide reputation and are surpassed only by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) and its subsidiaries in the Middle East. Thus it would be advantageous to use these competences in oral proceedings. The Legal Board of appeal would most certainly be interested in making use of those talents within the framework of the application of A 117 and in particular in hearing the parties (A 117(1)(a)), requesting information (A 117(1)(b)) and hearing witnesses (A 117(1)(d)). Moreover, the fact that these examiners have professed vows of obedience, celibacy and poverty has to be welcomed in view of the plans of the EPO to increase its productivity while reducing costs. However, this does not alter the fact that the question of the accession of the Vatican to the EPC and the advantages this might bring to the EPO is irrelevant to the present appeal.