European Patent Oppositions & Appeals
If a party believes a patent was incorrectly granted, the party can start opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office (EPO). There is a strict time limit of 9 months from the date of grant for filing an opposition. EPO opposition proceedings allow the validity of a European patent to be ruled upon for all the designated European states in a single procedure, which can be a cost-effective alternative to costly country-by-country litigation.
As well being prepared for possible opposition to your own European patents, it is equally important to be fully aware of the activities of your competitors at the EPO. By monitoring your competitors’ patent applications we can provide you with a cost-effective way of reviewing the prosecution of those applications and, where deemed necessary, build an opposition case for you well within the time limits set following the grant of the competitor’s European patent.
Consequently, preparing for potential opposition proceedings at the EPO is an important element of any European patent strategy. If the proceedings are well prepared and conducted promptly, the chances of success increase, while a substantial amount of time and money can be saved. Undoubtedly, proper management of the process offers you a competitive advantage, and here at Murgitroyd and Company our team of qualified European patent attorneys has a wealth of experience in managing European patent oppositions and appeals on behalf of both patent proprietors and opponents. Click here to meet the European opposition and appeals team.
Our team of attorneys is headed by Graham Murnane, a Director of Murgitroyd Group PLC based in our Munich office close to the EPO. Graham is a former EPO examiner who took part in opposition proceedings as a member of the Opposition Division during his time at the EPO, and has represented clients in numerous opposition and appeal proceedings at Murgitroyd. The Munich Office is well placed to serve our clients when they have hearings at the EPO. Our attorneys there are very experienced in attending oral proceedings at the EPO, and the office is ideally situated at Hackerbrücke, just a short walk from the EPO building at Pschorrhöfe. We can provide our clients with their own office where they can work while in Munich.
Hearings, or oral proceedings as they are called at the EPO, are an important part of the opposition process, both at first instance before the EPO Opposition Division, and at second instance before the Board of Appeal, if the first instance decision is subject to appeal. Our Munich team has developed a lot of practical experience in managing the procedures involved in oral proceedings. The team's expertise is also available to assist you in oral proceedings during the examination stage of a European patent application - invitations to examination oral proceedings are becoming more frequent as the EPO adopts tighter more restrictive procedural rules in examination of applications. We have published a series of guides to oppositions and oral proceedings at the EPO for the benefit of our clients.
For more information on effective preparation and management of European patent oppositions, and how we can help you with oppositions and appeals, or to request a copy of our guides to oppositions and oral proceedings, please contact Graham by telephone on +49 (0) 89 309 071 100 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.