OJ EPO SE 4/2015, p1 - FOREWORD by the Vice- President

This supplementary publication is divided into two parts, with the first part reflecting board of appeal activities in 2014 and providing statistics. The second part is made up of summaries of decisions of the boards issued in 2014, and also includes a number of decisions of note issued in the first quarter of 2015. Provided in the annex to the report are the headnotes of decisions scheduled for publication in the Official Journal of the European Patent Office.

As always, this report aims to present the latest developments in the boards' case law in an easily accessible way. The same proven format as in previous years has been used: dividing the case law into topics with short summaries of selected decisions on each topic. Of course no summary, however diligent, can ever be a substitute for reading the actual decision. All the decisions cited in the publication can be read in full and free of charge on the EPO website (www.epo.org).

I would particularly like to thank the members of our Legal Research Service (Dept. 3.0.30) for their valuable work in drawing up the present report. My thanks also extend to the EPO Language Service, without whose active support simultaneous publication in all three official languages would not have been possible, as well as to all the other EPO staff who have helped produce the present publication.

I hope that all those who read the report will find it useful.

Wim van der Eijk

Vice-President DG 3

Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal