Tactics for European opposition: A successful system
The EU's quick and effective procedure for opposition makes it an increasingly popular choice for applicants, say Dr Utz Kador and Dr Bernhard Pillep of Kador & Partner
The opposition procedure within the framework of the European Patent Convention (EPC) offers third parties the possibility to attack a European patent as a whole that is, before it transforms into a bundle of national patents. After expiry of the opposition period, a party wishing to attack a European patent must launch an invalidation proceeding in every single member state of the EPC where the European patent has been validated. This, of course, is a time-consuming and costly procedure. Moreover, the result of such proceedings may well differ from country to country. The European opposition procedure is thus by far the most important tool for third parties wishing to attack a European patent.
The decisions taken by the Opposition Divisions and the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) are known for being legally and technically well-founded, because of the high technical and legal education and knowledge...
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