EPO opposition proceedings at the European Patent Office

Legal procedureOpposition is a procedure provided by the European Patent Convention (EPC). It allows to centrally revoke a granted patent in Europe. The procedure needs to be started within nine months from the date of grant of a European patent. This is a very strict, non-extendible deadline.

EPO opposition proceedings take place at the EPO offices in. These are in The Hague (The Netherlands) or Munich (Germany).

Advantages of centralised EPO opposition proceedings.

If you want to have a European patent revoked, you have two choices: A centralises EPO opposition or national patent revocation. This last option requires legal proceedings at the national courts of the various countries in Europe.

However, there are advantages to an EPO opposition. These are mainly: reduced cost and complexity. This is the case because there is only a single, centralised procedure. Instead, if you want a European patent revoked after the nine-month opposition period, you will need to start revocation procedures country by country. This leads to complicated, long and expensive legal procedures.

There is a further advantage to EPO oppositions, at least for the opponent. If opposition is unsuccessful, you still retain the possibility to try to obtain patent revocation later in the various national courts. This allows, for instance, to search harder for stronger or more prior art. This prior art can then be used in the subsequent national procedures.

Do you need a European Patent Attorney for an opposition at EPO?

Companies or persons who don’t live or have their residence in the EPC member states need to be represented by a European Patent Attorney. This is a legal requirement. There is no such requirement for parties having a residence in one of those member states. However, also those parties are strongly recommended to be represented by a European Patent Attorney.

Article 99 specializes in European patent opposition procedures. We represent patent proprietors as well as opponents.

Whether you want to oppose a European patent or whether you need to defend your European patent against an attack by somebody else, Article 99 is at your service.

You will find more information under the various tabs. However, the best course of action is to contact us. You can then discuss your case with a specialist European Patent Attorney.