The Administrative Council of the EPO recently agreed to proposals from the President of the EPO concerning reform of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO. An announcement from the EPO regarding the proposals that were passed can be found here.
The majority of the reforms that will be enacted in due course will result in few, if any, practical changes for parties involved in appeal proceedings at the EPO. However, as part of the reforms, the Administrative Council has agreed that the appeal fee should be increased significantly from 2018. The specific details of these increases in the appeal fee are yet to be finalised, but it appears that the fee will eventually be increased to around five times its current level, although there are also plans to offer a reduction in the appeal fee for SMEs, universities and individual inventors. The proposal also raises the possibility of ex parte examination appeals having a different fee to inter partes opposition appeals.