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EPO Opposition Patents in Europe
news 12 apr 2016

EPO opposition: key players, key fields and the key to change

Oppositie Octrooien
Geschreven door René van Duijvenbode
Dit bericht is alleen beschikbaar in het Engels. Opposition before the EPO is a powerful tool for challenging the validity of a granted European patent. Opposition success rates are high and oppositions save time.

However, opposition proceedings are complex and do not always result in victory. NLO has collected and analysed data from the public EPO registers on all oppositions filed from 2013 to 2015 to shed a light on - successful - opposition.

Who are the key players that can make the difference? Where do patentees and opponents come from and which technological fields are usually involved? If they are nationals of a non-contracting state to the European Patent Convention, obliged by law to have a representative, who are they inclined to choose? And to what extent does IAM’s ranking of top European firms reflect opposition performance in reality?

NLO has collected and analysed data from the public EPO registers on all oppositions filed from 2013 to 2015 to answer these questions, going beyond the EPO’s own annual reports. The review also considers how recent EPO opposition behaviour reflects on the future Unified Patent Court (UPC).

Read the article for:

  • Technological areas at high risk of patent opposition
  • Patentees and opponents: nationalities and behaviour
  • Non-European parties in EPO oppositions: nationalities and choice of representative
  • Geographical distribution of oppositions over EPO locations
  • Opposition performance of European firms
  • Hypothetical distribution of EPO oppositions over future UPC locations
  • 'Straw men' in EPO oppositions and effect of future UPC

This article first appeared in Patents in Europe 2016/2017, a supplement to Intellectual Asset Management, published by Globe Business Media Group – IP Division.

'EPO opposition: key players, key fields and the key to change'
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