AMBA Statement on the Reform of the BoA
On 30 June, the Administrative Council adopted the reforms in “CA/43/16 Rev.1”. The concerns expressed by AMBA, the Presidium and others, most recently the IP Federation and CIPA, apply, for the most part, to this reform just as the previous proposals.
The reform appears to improve the independence of the BoA vis à vis the President of the Office in some respects:
However, the reform also contains measures that reduce the independence of the BoA and falls way short of what should and could have been achieved:
Finally, other measures in the reform appear either at odds with the EPC or to improve only marginally the independence of the BoA for far too high costs:
Much depends on the how the BoAC and the President of the BoA choose to act. This could lead either to an increase in independence, or the opposite. For 40 years, the President of the Office and the Vice President of DG3 have enjoyed broad discretionary powers. The BoAC and the President of the BoA have similar powers, and their decisions could lead to problems similar to those underlying R19/12. The reform, rather than transferring the problem, should rather have set new guarantees in the written text of the law (albeit secondary law).
15 July 2016
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AMBA comprises almost all members of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office.
The purpose of the Association is to monitor issues of relevance for the judicial functions of the members of the boards of appeal, especially with a view to safeguarding their independence and promoting their self-government as members of a judiciary, and to gather its members for deliberations on questions of common interest, in order that they will be heard in bodies deciding or making proposals of relevance for these functions.
This website is designed to achieve those aims by: Highlighting aspects of independence of the judiciary, and Filling a gap in the information available about the Boards of Appeal.
We welcome any error reports and suggestions for improvement at the webmaster´s address.