An International Guide to
Patent Case Management for Judges

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11.6.6 Evidence – experts

The EPC provides a nonexhaustive list of how evidence can be obtained and given, such as the production of documents, the hearing of witnesses, opinions by expert, inspection or sworn statements in writing.96

Documents constitute the vast majority of evidence considered in proceedings before the Boards of Appeal. Sworn statements are, in practice, rare; instead, unsworn statements or affidavits are produced by the parties. Regarding the taking of evidence by way of an expert opinion, the Technical Boards of Appeal are composed of technical judges, who are well versed in the technical field of the case, so obtaining an expert opinion will almost never be necessary. The hearing of witnesses before the Boards of Appeal is very rare as well. Witnesses, who play a role in the proceedings particularly when an opponent alleged a public prior use, will normally have already been heard before the Opposition Division.