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I am very pleased to present the first Annual report of the Boards of Appeal since the structural reform of the Boards of Appeal entered into force on 1 January 2017.
Topics covered in the 2017 report include the implementation of the structural reform, the measures taken to increase timeliness and reduce the number of pending cases, the contacts during the year between the Boards and national courts, users and representatives, and finally information on the case law of the Boards of Appeal. Statistics on various aspects of the appeal procedure are also provided.
I have set a five-year objective of 90% of cases being settled within 30 months and the number of pending cases being reduced from the current 9000 to below 7000 by 2022.
My intention is that this objective will be achieved by an increase in the efficiency of the Boards of Appeal and the allocation of additional posts to the Boards. Efficiency measures which are either already in place or currently in preparation include specific objective-setting, developing internal timelines for the main stages of the appeal procedure, and revising the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal.
Despite the organisational challenges created by the removal of the Boards of Appeal to new offices in Haar, the boards were able to increase their performance in 2017. In particular, the number of technical cases settled increased by 2.5%, and the number of technical cases on which the Boards started work (i.e. in which a first communication was issued) rose by 12.4%.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Boards of Appeal and the entire staff most warmly for their outstanding work.
President of the Boards of Appeal