FOREWORD by the Vice-President
The first part of this special edition describes board of appeal activities and gives various statistics. The second part summarises decisions of the boards issued in 2012 and 2013, as well as a number of important decisions from the first quarter of 2014. It should be noted that, for the sake of completeness, the present selection also includes the most significant decisions from 2012 and early 2013 that were already reported in the seventh edition of the "Case Law of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office", published in September 2013. Annexed to the report are the headnotes of decisions scheduled for publication in the Official Journal of the European Patent Office.
As in the past, the present report is intended to facilitate access, through its systematic approach, to the new developments in the boards' case law. The same proven format has been used: dividing the case law into topics, then illustrating each by short summaries of selected decisions. No summary, however careful, can replace study of the actual decision. All of the decisions can be consulted in full and free of charge on the EPO website (www.epo.org).
My special thanks go to the members of our Legal Research Service (Dept. 3.0.30) who, with great commitment, have produced the present report. Thanks also go to the EPO Language Service, without whose energetic co-operation simultaneous publication in all three official languages would not have been possible, and to all the other EPO staff who have helped produce the present publication.
I hope that all those who read the report will find it useful.
Wim van der Eijk
Vice-President DG 3
Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal