As part of the organisational reform of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO, aiming at safeguarding their independence, it has been decided to move the Boards to a new location in Haar, some 10 km east of Munich city centre. The relocation will happen in the summer of 2017. While it has not been officially communicated if oral proceedings in appeal cases will take place in Haar in the future, a review of summons for appeal hearings in the fall of 2017 indicates that, at least for the time being, the EPO's current Isar building site remains the venue for oral proceedings in appeal cases.
Also in connection with the organisational changes of the appeal boards, the EPO has appointed Carl Josefsson, a former senior judge at the Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm, as the first president of the Boards of Appeal. Josefsson is answerable directly to the Administrative Council, rather than to the EPO president.
Turning to the physical safety of the EPO's staff and visitors, a variety of enhanced security measures have been implemented recently. The bags of visitors, including patent attorneys, are now being routinely inspected at the entrances of the EPO's buildings, and the EPO has put in place a procedure for inspecting documents and other items sent by ordinary mail. The EPO may return suspicious items to the sender, or it may hand it over to national authorities for destruction.
In view of these measures it is recommended not to submit models, for example for use in oral proceedings, together with documents, such as patent applications, filed to meet time limits in EPO proceedings.
|Jakob Pade Frederiksen|
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