For 14 years Graham Ashley was a member of the boards of appeal at the European Patent Office, the last 7 of which he was Chairman of a Board in mechanics and member of the Enlarged Board of Appeal. During this time he chaired over 500 cases dealing with a wide range of technology, such as the building/construction industry, metallurgy/surface treatments, oil exploration, furniture and sanitary equipment.
He has a background in metallurgy and a PhD in electrochemistry from Cambridge. In 1996 he was called to the Bar (Lincoln’s Inn), but moved straight away to the EPO in Munich to work as a patent examiner.
Graham was also a member of the committee for the European Qualifying Examination (C – Paper: Opposition), and was responsible for drafting one of the exam papers.
He regularly gives talks and presentations on EPO case law and procedures, most recently on inventive step, clarity and the work of the boards of appeal. He was also involved with the training of new members of the boards of appeal. He advises on presenting cases at oral proceedings before the EPO, in particular he is involved in CIPA and EPI workshops on training patent attorneys, and contributes to mock hearings concerning individual cases.