Boards of Appeal and key decisions

Boards of Appeal

The annual Boards of Appeal and key decisions conference provides a unique opportunity for patent practitioners to gain an insight into the case law and practice of the Boards. Since its inception in 2012, the event has attracted more than 2 500 participants, providing a forum for them to engage with members of the Boards on major topics relating to Boards of Appeal decisions.

Join this important forum to find out first-hand what's new in the Boards of Appeal's case law practice.

This high-level event is organised by the European Patent Academy.

Who should attend?

The conference is designed for patent practitioners (patent attorneys, attorneys-at-law, in-house counsels), judges and national patent office staff with a minimum of four years’ experience in the field of patents.

For further information, please contact:

Event details

Past event
14:00 - 16:45 h
Online event



Thursday, 10 November 2022
Moderator: Antoine Robin
14.00 hrs Welcome
Carl Josefsson, President of the Boards of Appeal
14.15 hrs Highlights of Board of Appeal case law: comments on selected decisions
Yvonne Podbielski, legally qualified member of the Boards of Appeal
Anna Bacchin, legally qualified member of the Boards of Appeal
15.15 hrs The boundaries between clarity, sufficiency of disclosure and inventive step
Sergio Arrojo, technically qualified member of Board 3.3.06
16.15 hrs End of first day
Friday, 11 November 2022
Moderator: Antoine Robin
14.00 hrs Article 123(2) EPC – Musings on a golden oldie
Oliver Randl, technically qualified member of Board 3.2.05
15.00 hrs Intermediate generalisations: views from national judges and board members
Moderator: Wolfgang Sekretaruk, Chair of the Legal Board of Appeal
Giovanni Pricolo, Chair of Technical Board of Appeal 3.2.01
Tobias Bremi, Federal Patent Court, Switzerland
Sir Richard Arnold, Court of Appeal, UK
16.15 hrs End of online conference

Moderators and speakers


Moderators and Speakers


Anna Bacchin, IT, legally qualified member of the Boards of Appeal since 2020. Lawyer at the EPO in the Patent Law department (2008-2020) and in the Legal Division (2005-2008). Prior to joining the EPO, worked as an attorney-at-law in Padua and Munich. LL.M. IP (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and the George Washington University Law School), admitted to the Italian bar and graduate of the University of Padua.
Member of the EQE Examination Committee for paper D (2011-2015) and later member of the EQE Examination Board (2015-2020). Co-author of the commentary "Benkard, Europäisches Patentübereinkommen".

Giovanni Pricolo, IT, Chair of Board 3.2.01 (Mechanics) since 2011. Member of the Enlarged Board of Appeal. Prior to joining the Boards of Appeal in 2001, he worked as an examiner at the EPO for 11 years. Previously, he was a project engineer in an Italian company specialised in machine tools. He has been involved in the training of European patent attorneys (as well as lawyers and judges) in patent matters, particularly in collaboration with CEIPI (University of Strasbourg).

Oliver Randl, AT, technically qualified member of Board 3.2.05 (Mechanics) since 2014. Former in-house patent attorney (French and European qualifications). Former member of the EQE Examination Committee for paper D. Former blogger (K's Law). Former researcher in industry (tyre mixing machinery) and fundamental science (neutron scattering). PhD in Solid-state Physics (Vienna).

Sir Richard Arnold, UK, read Chemistry at the University of Oxford before being called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1985. He specialised in intellectual property law and became a QC in 2000. He was Chairman of the Code of Practice for the Promotion of Animal Medicines Committee from 2002 to 2008, an Appointed Person hearing trademark appeals from 2003 to 2008 and a Deputy High Court Judge from 2004 to 2008. He was a Judge of the High Court, Chancery Division from October 2008 to September 2019 and Judge in Charge of the Patents Court from April 2013 to September 2019. He has been an External Member of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office since March 2016. He has been a Judge of the Court of Appeal since 1 October 2019.
He is the author of Performers’ Rights (6th ed, Sweet & Maxwell, 2021), the editor of the Halsbury’s Laws of England title Trademarks and Trade Names (5th ed, Butterworths, 2014), was editor of Entertainment and Media Law Reports from 1993 to 2004 inclusive and has published numerous articles in legal journals. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster and was made an honorary Doctor of Laws by the same institution in July 2017.

Sergio Arrojo, ES, technically qualified member of Board 3.3.06 (Chemistry) since 2018. PhD in Chemical Engineering and BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). Previously worked as examiner at the EPO. Member of the EQE Examination Committee for paper D. He has delivered lectures for internal and external audiences in opposition related matters.

Tobias Bremi, CH, studied chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Diploma in chemistry (1992). Doctorate in physical chemistry with Prof. Dr. R.R. Ernst in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1997). Studies in patent, design and trademark law at the Université Robert Schuman (CEIPI) in Strasbourg. Admitted as a European Patent Attorney at the European Patent Office (2001). Swiss Patent Attorney. 2011 set-up of the Swiss Federal Patent Court and as from 2012 Second Ordinary Judge at the Swiss Federal Patent Court in Switzerland.

Wolfgang Sekretaruk, DE, Chairman of the Legal Board of Appeal and Deputy of the President of the Boards of Appeal. He has been a legal member of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office since 2005 and was Chair of Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.06 (Computer Technology) from 2014 to 2018.
Mr Sekretaruk is a former German judge who served, among others, at the Federal Patent Court and the Munich Regional Court, where he heard IP cases. He graduated from the University of Munich School of Law and holds a PhD in Law and a master's degree in Mediation. He has many years of experience as a lecturer in areas including German and European procedural law.

Yvonne Podbielski, DE, legally qualified member of the Boards of Appeal. Qualified as solicitor (EN/Wales) after obtaining a PhD degree from Cambridge University. Worked for several years as a commercial litigator in London before joining the Legal Research Service of the Boards of Appeal in 2004. Head of that department from 2008 to 2016. Joined the Boards of Appeal in 2017. Contributes to "Singer/Stauder, Europäisches Patentübereinkommen".




More information

Technical requirements

To attend this online event you need a computer or mobile device with a high-speed internet connection. If using a computer, you can access Zoom from your web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Chromium (Microsoft) Edge) without downloading any additional software. However, to take advantage of all Zoom features (like typing your questions in the Zoom Q&A panel or downloading files from the chat), we recommend installing the Zoom desktop client app on your computer (Windows and Mac versions available).

To join via mobile device, simply download the Zoom mobile app for your iOS or Android device from the App Store or Google Play Store. Information on how to join the session will be sent on the day before the event.

We recommend using a headset to enhance your Zoom experience.

Please see the Data Protection Statement of the European Patent Office on processing personal data when using Zoom in virtual events, including oral proceedings by VICO.

A few days before the online conference you will receive the Zoom link to join the event. 

Organised by

European Patent Academy
European Patent Office
Bob-van-Benthem-Platz 1
80469 Munich

Event code