New Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal

The Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) are currently revising their Rules of Procedure, which regulate the procedure in appeal proceedings before the EPO. In the course of the seminar on the latest case law, which was attended by patent attorneys from Müller Schupfner & Partner, the chairman of the Boards of Appeal, Carl Josefsson, laid down the basic objectives of this revision of the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal. One aim is to increase the efficiency of the Boards of Appeal, in particular by introducing a performance evaluation system for individual Board members and new internal procedures. Furthermore, and of particular relevance for parties in appeal proceedings, the rules for allowing new requests, evidence and lines of argument in the appeal proceedings will become stricter. It is to be expected that in the future, for example, new auxiliary requests or new prior art will only be admitted to the proceedings in exceptional cases

The current draft of the new Rules of Procedures is currently being finalized by the Board of Appeal Committee and will be submitted to the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organization in 2019. It is expected that the new Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal will enter into force in the beginning of 2020.