We regularly represent businesses at the European Patent Office, including before the Boards of Appeal, in Munich and The Hague, defending or opposing patent rights. Our representation can be the difference between ensuring patents remain in force, are upheld with some amendment, or are lost altogether. In fact, we took part in the first opposition hearing to take place in The Hague, and succeeded in winning that case for our client.

IP opposition procedures can be complex and the rules as to what can and can’t be done are not the same as during the pre-grant examination stage. Our opposition team are experts at navigating the UK and European IP systems, writing persuasive submissions in advance of proceedings and using skilled advocacy in front of EPO opposition division members to present strong arguments successfully across a wide range of technologies, industries and sectors. Planning and forward thinking are crucial to success in an opposition, so that the positions of commercial interest are well protected regardless of what matters are raised at the hearing. Experience allows us to know the preparation required and the approaches EPO opposition panels are receptive to, as well as the ability to honestly advise as to the options that are not going to succeed given the strict set of rules we have to operate within. Our opposition specialists are supported by a large team of more than 35 patent attorneys and trainees, so are able to take on complex and lengthy cases whenever required.

Our attorneys can also offer strategic advice to businesses considering using the opposition framework as part of a business plan. To discuss your requirements, please contact Yvonne Johnson.

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