The Federation has engaged with the European Patent Office (EPO) throughout 2015 to provide input on matters relating to implementing and ancillary regulations to the European Patent Convention (EPC) and to procedures of the EPO. The Federation maintains ongoing working relationships with EPO representatives including meetings with the President and Directors throughout the year.
In March 2015 the President of the EPO submitted a Proposal for a structural reform of the EPO Boards of Appeal (BOA) (CA/16/15) prompted by decision R 19/12 of the Enlarged Board of Appeal. The President’s proposal is intended to increase the organisational and managerial autonomy of the BOA, the perception of their independence and also their efficiency. The proposal introduces a new President of the BOA who will not be a Vice President of the EPO and who will have organisational, managerial and budgetary responsibility for the BOA reporting to a new subsidiary committee of the Administrative Council (AC), the Board of Appeal Committee (BOAC). It is proposed that the BOAC will comprise AC members, experienced judges, the President of the EPO and the President of the BOA. The BOAC will monitor efficiency and independence of the BOA while guiding on recruitment of board members. The President further proposed to relocate the BOA to provide geographic separation from the EPO to improve the perception of independence.