T 0969/14 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…

In China, a patent owner’s statements made during prosecution or invalidation may give rise to prosecution history estoppel (or prosecution disclaimer), which precludes the patent owner from recapturing subject matter that was relinquished during prosecution or invalidation in subsequent infringement actions. To invoke the doctrine of prosecution disclaimer, such statements must constitute a clear and…

After post grant limitations in court were introduced in Italy by the 2010 reform of the IP Code (IPC), there is hardly a patent validity case in which the patent holder does not play the card of limitation to counter the objections raised by the other party. Even before the reform of 2010, Italian patent…

In Germany, the winning party is able to recover a significant amount of its costs from the losing party. This cost reimbursement, which is based on a statutory fee schedule, depends on the value of the case. The amount of recoverable fees can be quite significant; the maximum in infringement proceedings would be around slightly…

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…