When a competitor has obtained a patent it may negatively impact your business, and therefore it may be desirable to file an opposition.
An opposition is a written reasoned request for the invalidation of a patent filed at the patent office responsible for the granting of the patent. By filing an opposition, it may be possible to completely revocate a patent, or alternatively to narrow the scope of protection of the patent, for example in such a way that your business is less impacted by the patent.
Examples of grounds of invalidation may be that:
- The claims of the patent in suit lacks novelty and/or inventive step
- The description of the patent in suit is insufficient for a skilled person to carry out the claimed invention
- The application has been amended in such a way that it contains subject matter extending beyond the application as filed.
It is important that the opposition is thoroughly prepared, since the objection sets the framework for the subsequent invalidation process, which in addition to written submissions can also include oral proceedings.
Many successful oppositons are based on grounds of lack of novelty or inventive step, which is why an important part of preparing a strong opposition case is often a search for published material (prior art) that already describes all or parts of the patented invention. Patentgruppen assists in all aspects relating to oppositions, from preparing written oppositions and participating in oral proceedings to preparing a possible appeal case if the decision is not in your favor
Oppositions are only possible in respect of issued patents and therefore not pending patent applications. However, it is possible to challenge the patentability of a pending patent application by submitting so-called third-party observations. By submitting third-party observations, you do not become a party to the proceedings in the same way as with an opposition case, however, the arguments put forward in the observations can be used to influence the processing of the patent application.