A Practical Guide to Success in Opposition and Appeal
One of the core aspects of a patent attorney’s job, when representing his or her clients before the European Patent Office, are opposition and appeal proceedings. The patents litigated in these proceedings are mostly of high commercial value for both the patent proprietor and the opposing parties. Success in these proceedings is therefore extremely important. A saying often quoted by patent attorneys is ‘expect the unexpected’, which reflects the difficulties attorneys are confronted with in these proceedings. This is partly linked to a lack of knowledge and, more importantly, a lack of understanding of the legal framework within which opposition and appeal proceedings take place. Another important reason is a lack of practical experience with these types of proceedings before the European Patent Office. The first objective of this book is therefore to set out in detail the legal framework for opposition and appeal proceedings before the European Patent Office. Knowing and understanding this legal framework is necessary, however, this is not a sufficient precondition for success. More specifically, this legal framework leaves the parties with ample room for manoeuvre, and success very often depends on which of the many options available within this legal framework is chosen. Accordingly, the second objective of this book is to give practical advice on which choices are appropriate in which circumstances.