On 30 June 1999 AMBA, the Association of the Members of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Organisation (EPO), was founded. Sixty three members participated in the meeting and adopted AMBA's Statutes.
AMBA was formed with regard to
- the function of the Boards of Appeal as the judicial instance of the EPO;
- the safeguards of judicial independence enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights; and
- the Declaration adopted by the Administrative Council of the EPO at its 55th meeting from 13 to 15 December 1994 that the EPO adheres to general legal principles including human rights.
Accordingly, Article 1 of its Statutes defines the purposes of AMBA as:
- to monitor issues of relevance for the judicial function of the members of the Boards of Appeal with a view to safeguarding their independence;
- promoting the members' self-government as members of a judiciary; and
- to gather its members for deliberations on questions of common interest, so that they will be heard in bodies deciding or making proposals of relevance for these functions.
So far, AMBA has in keeping with these aims, inter alia, commented on proposals for the revision of the EPC and organised the forthcoming panel discussion "European patent litigation projects and the future status of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO".
Today AMBA has about ninety members amounting to about 86% of the current chairmen and members of the Boards of Appeal and Enlarged Board of Appeal.