OJ EPO SE 2/2020, p0 - FOREWORD

The revised Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA) were proposed by the President of the Boards of Appeal, unanimously adopted by the Boards of Appeal Committee on 4 April 2019 and unanimously approved by the Administrative Council on 26 June 2019.They enter into force on 1 January 2020.

The aims of the revision of the RPBA are to increase: (i) efficiency, by reducing the number of issues to be treated, (ii) predictability for the parties and (iii) harmonisation. In addition, important elements of case management have been introduced so as to allow the Boards of Appeal to organise their work and use their resources in a more efficient way.

The amendments to the RPBA may be divided into two broad categories. First, several improvements have been introduced in relation to the management of the overall caseload of the Boards of Appeal and to the management of individual cases. Secondly, changes have been made to clarify that the primary object of appeal proceedings is to review the decision under appeal in a judicial manner; one of the consequences of the Boards' function being above all to review the appealed decision is that, as the appeal proceedings progress, the possibilities for parties to amend their case become increasingly limited.

This publication contains the text of the RPBA 2020 and a table setting out the version of the RPBA in force until 31 December 2019 in the left-hand column, the amendments in the middle column, and the explanatory remarks in the right-hand column.


President of the Boards of Appeal