oppositions and appeals
After grant, the European Patent Office (EPO) allows third parties to contest the validity of an inconvenient patent in a single, central court. Any further challenges must be performed before each national court. The EPO also handles appeals against decisions taken by them during grant and opposition proceedings.
The European Patent Office (EPO) allows patents to be opposed within 9 months of the grant.
Whether you own a patent being opposed, or you wished to start an opposition, we can increase your chances of winning, and give advice how your business can be helped or hindered. For example, we can file an opposition without revealing your identity, or use an opposition to negotiate favorable licensing terms with the patent holder. Proceedings can last several years, especially when the stakes are high, because decisions are often appealed within the European Patent Office.
Decisions taken by the EPO to refuse an application or to revoke a patent are not contestable before national courts. The EPO has a large number of technical and legal Boards of Appeal who hear the case and decide on the validity of the earlier decision. Particularly difficult cases may also be referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal.
Uniquely, we can provide both technological understanding and legal skill, essential when defending your interests before the EPO. We are proud to be Europe’s number one organization training candidates to pass the European Qualification Examination, required in our profession. We also provide the official training in The Netherlands for the Dutch Formalities Officers Exam. This in-depth training knowledge contributes to a true expertise in both substantive and procedural European patent law.
If you are already involved in an appeal or opposition case, we will gladly provide a second opinion to ensure that you are fully informed of all the options available.