EPO Opposition

Compared to drafting, prosecution or national litigation, European Patent Office (EPO) opposition work follows its own path. It demands a certain type of attorney, fusing specialist legal knowledge, impressive presentation skills and unshakeable doggedness. We’re proud to have those attorneys under our roof. 

Our track record in handling and winning difficult oppositions – and opposition appeals – at the EPO speaks for itself. In fact, many of our cases are transferred from other attorney firms to enable us to apply our experience and expertise to obtain the best outcome. We put our success in this area down to three key traits:

  • In-depth knowledge
    Not only of patent validity law, but also the particular procedural framework of oppositions and appeals.

  • Impactful presentation ability

    It’s crucial to both build a strong case and put it over effectively at the hearing.

  • Unending tenacity

    Our determination to keep fighting when the going gets tough – or the unexpected happens – is the third element in a winning formula.

Our approach

When winning is vital for the success of your business, we’ll assemble a dedicated team to turn each stone, fight on every front, evaluate all your options, and collaborate with your other teams of lawyers and attorneys to manage parallel litigation.

For less crucial cases, we will give you strategic advice on the available options, timescale, cost and likely outcome. We know how to focus on the priorities, be proactive and control costs to deliver the best result. 

Recent cases

We were asked by a client to take over an opposition against a patent owned by their main competitor, one of the world’s largest healthcare companies. When the competitor sued our client in Germany for alleged patent infringement, our experience of the procedure came to the fore. Outmanoeuvring the other side, we were able to accelerate the proceedings in the EPO, and introduce new evidence and arguments, which eventually led to the elimination of the patent even before the German trial was held.

"A truly great result for our client. "

We helped a very time-pressed US-based industrial chemistry client against an opposition filed by a competitor. Using our deep knowledge of the technology, and our experience in the opposition procedure, we succeeded in defending the opposition in a highly cost and time effective way for the client, and the Patent was upheld virtually unscathed. The client’s overburdened in-house patent attorney greatly appreciated the result achieved using the minimum of his time.

One of our client’s patents in the biotech area was opposed by a straw man.  The patent was particularly important to the client, the technology was especially complex and a large number of prior art documents were cited during the course of the opposition. 

"With our in-depth knowledge of the technical area and our close collaboration with the company’s scientists and in-house patent counsel, we succeeded in having the opposition rejected and the patent maintained essentially unamended. "

On occasions when revealing the identity of the Opponent is undesirable we file “straw man” oppositions in our own name. A global pharmaceutical company approached us to oppose a patent granted to a not-for-profit organisation that had extremely broad claims. Through delicate handling of the case, we were able to reach a mutually agreeable solution where the patentee retained protection for their research output without also covering our client’s commercial interests.

 To learn more

Talk to us about defending your patents against attacks, as well as eliminating competitors’ ‘problem patents’. We can also help if you’re currently engaged in an opposition, offering fresh ideas to bring you success.

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