In oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal under Article 116 EPC the parties and their representatives are allowed to have with them and to use portable computers such as laptops, tablets or other electronic devices provided that their use does not create any nuisance or disturbance. Where, for example, the use of an electronic device disturbs the oral proceedings, the chairperson may decide to forbid its use.
This blogger wonders whether the gender-neutral word "chairperson" will become a trend in our business. Actually, in the EPO context the word chairperson has recently appeared in the rules of procedure of the EPO select committee for implementing the tasks in connection with the patent with unitary effect. The first decision of the select committee was, however, singed by a chairman. The agreement on the UPC is not quite consistent in this point. According to Art. 12(5) of the agreement,
the Administrative Committee shall elect a chairperson from among its members years, whereas Articles 9, 10 and 18 refer to a chairman of the Administrative Committee.
It appears that we all will have to get used to this.