Opposition Proceedings

After their grant, German and European patents can be opposed within nine months. Oppositions may also be used as strategic measures to keep technical fields free from third-party patents for one’s own products or possible future products.

In principle, anyone can file an opposition against a patent. The costs of opposition proceedings are predictable, since each party bears its own costs.

An admissible opposition must be filed within the time limit. An opposition must be based on the grounds that the patent adds matter, is not sufficiently disclosed; and/or is not patentable because it is

  • not a technical invention
  • not novel
  • not inventive
  • not susceptible of industrial application; and/or
  • is excluded from patent protection.

In Germany, there is also the additional ground for opposition of usurpation of the invention.

In the first instance, the opposition proceedings are initially conducted in writing and concluded with oral proceedings. The fully or partially unsuccessful party can appeal the decision of the first instance.

Our patent attorneys have extensive experience in German and European opposition proceedings. We regularly represent both opponents and patent proprietors. From many years of experience, we have detailed knowledge of the proceedings and the responsible boards. This enables us to represent both opponents and patent proprietors confidently and successfully in all instances.