The duration of proceedings before the Boards of Appeal (BoA) currently is the EPO’s biggest problem in regard to speed. According to the latest Annual Report by the Boards of Appeal, the average length of inter partes proceedings is 37 months (up 1 month from 2015), i.e. more than three years. In 2016, two appeals…

Early certainty in opposition proceedings is clearly a desirable objective, and the President’s commitment to lowering the average duration of (normal) opposition proceedings to 15 months on the average deserves praise. In our experience, the new commitment has already started to result in that the summons to oral proceedings are issued sooner and that the…

How long should proceedings before the EPO ideally take? Admittedly, this is a tricky question because various stakeholders will usually have different interests and thoughts as to what the “right” or “ideal” speed is. Let us tackle this question by beginning with a simple distinction. I posit that the answer depends considerably on whether the…

The Federal Court of Justice held that the defence of the patent in suit on the basis of claims filed only at the appeal stage as an auxiliary request can nevertheless be considered to be expedient if the Patent Court had only informed the Defendant in the oral proceedings that it no longer intended to…

The appeal court is not prevented from denying the credibility of a witness affirmed in the first instance court if there are concrete indications that raise doubts about the correctness and completeness of the relevant findings of fact and if therefore the facts have to be appraised anew, but if the witness has passed away…

1. History One of the most precious achievements that Europe inherited from England is the so-called Rule of Law, dating back from the days of James I who ruled the union of the Scottish and English crowns from 1603 until his death in 1625. The key parts of this model is that laws are made…

A technical teaching making use of a discovery, e.g. of a natural law, for achieving a particular result is patent-eligible, irrespective of whether or not it has an “inventive excess” beyond the purposeful exploitation of the natural law. A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.