Saturday, 3 October 2009

Seasons in the Life of DG3

A week ago, I have mentioned the findings of a colleague who had a look at the dates of 2200+ decisions of the Boards of Appeal. Today’s weekend special concerns another aspect of these dates : what is the seasonality of the decisions ? Here is the answer:

I have to say that I was quite surprised to see how evenly the decisions are distributed over the year. There is a significant reduction of the Board activity in August, but there is still quite some activity left. A member of the Boards explained that in several Nordic countries, people avoid working at the end of June and in July (when days are long) but are willing to come to Munich in August to attend oral proceedings.

I am not sure whether the comparison is meaningful, but here is what is found for the fourth chamber of the Paris Court of appeals, which is most renowned French court dealing with IP litigation. The statistics are based on a lower number of decisions (about 320 patent cases, taken over the same period of time as for the Boards of appeal: 1979-2009) and, therefore, less precise.

It appears that the distribution is much less smooth than for the Boards of appeal of the EPO. One may also note that there is very little activity in July and August. This is above all due to the fact that there are six weeks of judicial holidays in France whereas the Boards of appeal do not have such holidays.