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EPO – Status of the Boards of Appeal

01 May 2015

EPO starts consultation on the President’s proposals for a structural reform of the Boards of Appeal

Decision R 19/12 of April 25, 2014 of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (see post dated 05/05/2014 here) prompted the Administrative Council of the EPO to discuss possible consequences for the autonomy of the Boards of Appeal. In December 2014, the temporary removal of a member of the Boards of Appeal by the President of the EPO aggravated the problem. It raised serious concerns among judges and practitioners in respect of the fundamental principle of separation of powers safeguarding the independence of courts (see posts dated 8/12/2014 here and 11/12/2014 here).

In its meeting of  March 27, 2015, the Council had an exchange of views on a proposal submitted by the President entitled “Structural reform of the EPO Boards of Appeal” (doc. CA/16/15). The Council gave its general support to the policy lines as presented. First concrete proposals are envisaged for decision at the next Council meeting, in June 2015. It was agreed in the Council that these should take due account of contributions received as a result of a broad consultation of stakeholders.


To this end, the EPO has put on its Website a questionnaire giving the users of the European patent system the opportunity to make their contributions by commenting on six points covering the main features set out in doc. CA/16/15. Those wishing to take part in the consultation might be interest in reading the comments of the Association of the Members of the Boards of Appeal (AMBA) on doc. CA/16/15.

The consultation may be read here.

The AMBA paper may be read here.   

Reported by Dr. Rudolf Teschemacher, Bardehle Pagenberg