A structural reform of the Boards of Appeal is in progress. The aims of the reform are to increase the autonomy, to enhance the perception of independence of the BoA, and to increase their efficiency. No change to the current convention is however envisaged, this would require a diplomatic conference. A user consultation was opened until 30 June 2015. The EPO has published the results of the consultation. The document is available here.
Among various proposals, many participants called for the definition of strict deadlines. In general, the average duration of the current procedure was considered too long. According to the majority, optimal duration would be in the range of one to two years from the filing of an appeal.As regards the institutional set-up, broad support was expressed for a review of the appointment and re-appointment procedure, as well as the creation of a new advisory committee.The Office promised to take into account comments and proposals in the further work.