The EPO’s Problem-Solution-Approach is, on the face of it, simple and widely applied also in the national jurisprudence of the EPC member states. It starts with the determination of a “closest prior art document” (CPAD) which is to serve as the starting point of the further analysis. It is then evaluated which technical differences exist…

The number of inventive step attacks in opposition procedures at the European Patent Office may be constrained in the future due to a recent change in the EPO Guidelines. According to David Brophy, partner at FRKelly, the change will improve efficiency, although the restrictions may also open up a new avenue for criticising decisions on…

T0969/14 is the latest in a long line of decisions which make it clear that the EPO Boards of appeal will not accept late filed requests which could have been filed in first instance proceedings, whether or not the submission of such requests might be perceived as a procedural abuse. One of the consequences of…

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…

European patent attorneys should make a joint effort and gather data to assess the impact of procedural  issues on opposition procedures at the European Patent Office and, in the future, on  decisions of the Unified Patent Court. Michael Wallinger, partner of law firm WRST, proposed this at the annual meeting of the European Patent Litigators…

Case reported and summarised by Gregory Bacon, Bristows LLP The UK does not operate a system of automatically staying proceedings which concern validity of a European patent where there are ongoing opposition proceedings at the EPO. Nevertheless, the Court retains discretion to stay such proceedings, and a recent judgment of Mrs Justice Rose on 18…

Since February 2015, hedge fund manager Kyle Bass has filed more than 30 petitions seeking Inter Partes review of U.S. patents covering approved pharmaceutical products. Kyle Bass even formed a special entity for this purpose–the Coalition for Affordable Drugs–with a stated goal of targeting patents that “have little value other than to drive up prescription…

One of the tricky consequences of Article 64 of the European Patent Convention (“EPC”), which establishes that the European patent is immediately enforceable after its publication, and Article 99, which provides for “post-grant” oppositions, is that quite often the combination of these two articles fuels two trains that run in parallel where the validity of…

The English High Court (Arnold J.) has granted an application for a stay of the UK High Court proceedings to revoke the UK designation of an EP patent pending the outcome of opposition proceedings at the EPO. The decision is unusual as Arnold J had previously refused to stay the validity proceedings in this case…