Oppositions in the European Patent Office  Martin Vinsome, UDL 10 November 2009
AGENDA <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>What are oppositions? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the benefits of oppositions...
Introduction <ul><li>What do I know about my competitors’ products? </li></ul><ul><li>What do I know about my competitors’...
Introduction <ul><li>Competitor’s patent could prevent sale of my product, or be used to persuade customers to buy competi...
What are oppositions? <ul><li>Definition </li></ul><ul><li>European Patent Convention Article 99   </li></ul><ul><li>(1) W...
What are oppositions? <ul><li>Grounds for opposition </li></ul><ul><li>European Patent Convention Article 100 </li></ul><u...
What are the benefits of oppositions?   <ul><li>i.e. 70% chance of opposition being at least partly successful </li></ul>
What are the benefits of oppositions? <ul><li>70% chance of partial success </li></ul><ul><li>Almost 40% of opposed patent...
What are the benefits of oppositions?   <ul><li>Who is applying for patents? </li></ul>
What are the benefits of oppositions?   <ul><li>Who is Opposing them? </li></ul>
How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>Monitor competitors’ patent activities </li></ul><ul><li>1. Identify relevant c...
How do we oppose? <ul><li>Search for relevant prior art by  </li></ul><ul><li>(i)searching under relevant classifications ...
How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>Example </li></ul><ul><li>Irvin Automotive  </li></ul><ul><li>Products Inc. </l...
Abstract of  EP 0911219  (A2)  A security shade support assembly (10) for mounting a roller tube having a flexible panel w...
How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>1. Identify relevant classifications from Epoline  </li></ul><ul><li>Please con...
How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>2. Find out what classifications mean from WIPO classification guide </li></ul>...
How do we find out what to oppose?
How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>3. Search in Epoline under relevant classification(s) </li></ul><ul><li>Please ...
How do we find out what to oppose?
How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>If too many search results – can limit by publication date </li></ul>
How do we find out what to oppose?
How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>Monitor status on Epoline </li></ul><ul><li>Has it been granted yet? </li></ul>...
What are the benefits of this? <ul><li>Even if we decide not to oppose,  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>because patent application ...
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Martin Vinsome's Presentation from the event "Stopping them from Stopping you"

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Martin Vinsome from UDL Presentation from the event "Stopping them from Stopping you" 10/11/09

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Martin Vinsome's Presentation from the event "Stopping them from Stopping you"

  1. 1. Oppositions in the European Patent Office Martin Vinsome, UDL 10 November 2009
  2. 2. AGENDA <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>What are oppositions? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the benefits of oppositions? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we find out what to oppose? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we oppose? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>What do I know about my competitors’ products? </li></ul><ul><li>What do I know about my competitors’ prices? </li></ul><ul><li>What do I know about my competitors’ patents? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>Competitor’s patent could prevent sale of my product, or be used to persuade customers to buy competitor’s product rather than mine </li></ul><ul><li>Potentially much more harmful than competitors’ pricing </li></ul><ul><li>What can we do if we identify a potentially problematic patent application of a competitor? </li></ul><ul><li>Think about EPO opposition procedure </li></ul>
  5. 5. What are oppositions? <ul><li>Definition </li></ul><ul><li>European Patent Convention Article 99 </li></ul><ul><li>(1) Within nine months of grant of a European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to that patent. </li></ul><ul><li>(2) The opposition shall apply to the European patent in all the Contracting States in which that patent has effect. </li></ul>
  6. 6. What are oppositions? <ul><li>Grounds for opposition </li></ul><ul><li>European Patent Convention Article 100 </li></ul><ul><li>(a) Patented invention lacks novelty or inventive step, or is an excluded category of invention - commonest reason for opposing </li></ul><ul><li>(b)  European patent does not disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by a person skilled in the art - rarely succeeds on its own </li></ul><ul><li>(c)  subject-matter of the European patent extends beyond the content of the application as filed – mainly used in combination with (a) </li></ul>
  7. 7. What are the benefits of oppositions? <ul><li>i.e. 70% chance of opposition being at least partly successful </li></ul>
  8. 8. What are the benefits of oppositions? <ul><li>70% chance of partial success </li></ul><ul><li>Almost 40% of opposed patents revoked </li></ul><ul><li>Over 30% of opposed patents restricted in scope </li></ul><ul><li>Affects patent in all EPC countries </li></ul>
  9. 9. What are the benefits of oppositions? <ul><li>Who is applying for patents? </li></ul>
  10. 10. What are the benefits of oppositions? <ul><li>Who is Opposing them? </li></ul>
  11. 11. How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>Monitor competitors’ patent activities </li></ul><ul><li>1. Identify relevant classifications from Epoline – your own patent cases can help this </li></ul><ul><li>Please contact UDL for a link to this web page </li></ul><ul><li>2. Find out what classifications mean from WIPO classification guide </li></ul><ul><li>Please contact UDL for a link to this web page </li></ul><ul><li>3. Search in Epoline under relevant classification(s) </li></ul>
  12. 12. How do we oppose? <ul><li>Search for relevant prior art by </li></ul><ul><li>(i)searching under relevant classifications in Espacenet </li></ul><ul><li>Please contact UDL for a link to this web page </li></ul><ul><li>or </li></ul><ul><li>(ii) instructing firm of patent searchers to carry out prior art search </li></ul>
  13. 13. How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>Example </li></ul><ul><li>Irvin Automotive </li></ul><ul><li>Products Inc. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Abstract of EP 0911219  (A2) A security shade support assembly (10) for mounting a roller tube having a flexible panel wound thereon within a motor vehicle includes a housing (20) extending axially, an axle (36) extending through the housing, a bearing (58) receiving the axle and cooperating with the housing and attached to the roller tube, and a spring (50, 78) disposed within the housing for biasing the bearing and a groove (34, 72) extending axially along the bearing and the housing to allow the roller tube and shade panel to extend over at least a portion of the housing.
  15. 15. How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>1. Identify relevant classifications from Epoline </li></ul><ul><li>Please contact UDL for a link to this web page </li></ul><ul><li>Search under “Irvin Automotive” in “Applicant” field </li></ul>
  16. 16. How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>2. Find out what classifications mean from WIPO classification guide </li></ul><ul><li>Please contact UDL for a link to this web page </li></ul>
  17. 17. How do we find out what to oppose?
  18. 18. How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>3. Search in Epoline under relevant classification(s) </li></ul><ul><li>Please contact UDL for a link to this web page </li></ul><ul><li>Search under “B60R5/04” in “Classification” field </li></ul>
  19. 19. How do we find out what to oppose?
  20. 20. How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>If too many search results – can limit by publication date </li></ul>
  21. 21. How do we find out what to oppose?
  22. 22. How do we find out what to oppose? <ul><li>Monitor status on Epoline </li></ul><ul><li>Has it been granted yet? </li></ul><ul><li>Was it granted less than 9 months ago? </li></ul>
  23. 23. What are the benefits of this? <ul><li>Even if we decide not to oppose, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>because patent application not a threat or obstacle, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>because we cannot find relevant prior art </li></ul></ul><ul><li>we know who is applying for patents in this field </li></ul><ul><li>we may have early warning of potential infringers </li></ul><ul><li>we may discover potential licensees (e.g. companies in other countries where we are not active) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Thank you

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