BREAKING NEWS - EPO consults on proposed structural reform of Boards of Appeal

Merpel has just noticed that today the European Patent Office has published on its website an on-line consultation on the proposals for the reform of the administration and structure of the Boards of Appeal.  As reported by the IPKAt (here, here and here) the proposals, put by the EPO President to the Administrative Council in March, were ostensibly to increase the independence of the Boards of Appeal, but also (regrettably in Merpel's view) alluded to issues of efficiency.  Both AMBA (the Association of Members of the Boards of Appeal) and the Presidium of the Boards of Appeal raised concerns about some aspects of the proposals, as reported by the IPKat here.

The consultation will run until 30 June 2015. 

The consultation itself is

The proposals can be read in the links above, or in pdf form here.

The report of the March meeting of the Administrative Council is here.

According to the consultation form, input appears to be specifically solicited from Patent attorneys, In-house patent council, Attorneys-in-law/solicitors/barristers, Judges, and University/research institutions, and filling in one of these categories (or "other") is mandatory.  It is also mandatory to name the responder - so anonymous submissions are not welcomed.

Merpel urges interested parties to make their views known.
BREAKING NEWS - EPO consults on proposed structural reform of Boards of Appeal BREAKING NEWS - EPO consults on proposed structural reform of Boards of Appeal Reviewed by Merpel on Thursday, April 30, 2015 Rating: 5


  1. Those interested to reply to the questionnaire should carefully study CA/16/15 before and read the comments of the Association of the Members of the Boards of Appeal (AMBA) thereon. The little existing piece of self-governance existing at present is taken away from the presidium and replaced by all kinds of instructions entrusted to the new BoAC, a subcommittee of the Council. Judges paid and re-appointed on the basis of reports on achievements by his "manager", where is the model of this type of indepence?

  2. This consultation looks not transparent.
    Which independant autority will supervise the fairness of the consultation?

  3. PD 4.3.
    Who else?

    Aided and abetted by PD 0.6 and his surveillance team ...

  4. December is too far awayFriday 1 May 2015 at 23:01:00 GMT+1

    I am a robot is a clever way of hiding the identity of C3PO.

    Maybe not....

    If it were R2D2, the pseudonym would have been a series of beeps and whistles.

  5. BREAKING NEWS - EPO consults on proposed structural reform of the BoA and the AC! B. van Pottelsberghe once said…

    “The administrative council of the EPO is essentially composed of the representatives of national patent offices.The 37 member countries frequently have divergent – and sometimes conflicting – interests to those of the EPO. But it is these same members that elect the president of the EPO and the five vice-presidents. In order to ensure smooth decision-making and proper representation, the EPO administrative council should include representatives of major stakeholders of the patent system and a reduced number of NPO members acting as representatives of all NPOs. This arrangement would not preclude holding an annual EPO general assembly which all NPOs could attend. The new administrative council would include representatives of the business sector (large and small firms), representatives of consumer associations and representatives from the academic sector (academic networks and technology transfer office associations). In addition, four members of the European Commission should have a seat: the commissioners in charge of research, competition, enterprise and the internal market.”

    Danguy and van Pottelsberghe (2009) performed simulations that suggest that most national patent offices would earn more money from renewal fees with the Community patent than without it.

    Sleepy inventor

  6. A voice from the past quotes…

    “The European founding fathers of the EPO had a clear picture of what they not want their brainchild to turn into a hybrid creature, pulled about and torn apart by egotistical and divergent national interests, representing a lifeless Europe devoid of passion and reduced to the single dimension of commercial compromise, a mere legal construction, an empty shell void of all vision. Our future actions must be guided by a distrust of national self-interest, those centrifugal forces born of individual interest alone which pose constant risk of decentralisation , or even disintegration, at the expense of coherent, high-quality and homogeneous procedures. The European Patent Convention very raison d’ être. “

    The welcoming headline of “Les Echos” for BB starting at the EPO should have been “ Benoit Battistelli assumes befitting new role, with the exhilaration of a man fulfilling his French destiny”

  7. what a cheap trick to windowdress a "consultation" - no matter how many people will complain, the data will be kept secret and in the end we will hear "the vast majority supported the idea of BB".

    When really consulting, please do it with a trustworthy intermediary!


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