28 July 2022
  • Share

When we reviewed our list of the most opposed European patents of 2021, we found that the patent at the top spot had already been revoked. At the proprietor’s own initiation, the EPO revoked EP 2 478 907 (22 opponents), which relates to combinations of abiraterone acetate (brand name Zytiga®) and prednisone for treating prostate cancer. A number of patents in our annual lists have come to the same fate. A patent proprietor might take such action to prevent the EPO from issuing a detailed decision setting out its reasons for revocation. If you would like to discuss the various options available to patent proprietors in opposition, then do please get in touch.

“Toy” is perhaps the most intriguing, and certainly the most concise, patent title amongst the most opposed patents of 2021. This patent covers a speaker that plays stories or music when a character is placed on top of it. It is unusual for a patent in our most opposed list to relate to the type of item that might be given as a birthday gift, but this year there are two - with vegan chocolate also making an appearance. This is consistent with the trend we noticed in our oppositions special report for relatively high opposition rates on food patents. See also our spotlight on future food.

All the cases in this table had oppositions filed against them in 2021. For many of these, the EPO has already scheduled hearing dates, most of which are in 2023 (and some even in 2022) demonstrating the EPO’s commitment to dealing swiftly with even the largest opposition cases.

As usual, the list of most opposed patents of 2021 is dominated by life sciences and pharmaceutical cases. Many of these highlight the value of patents covering methods of manufacturing therapeutics - for example methods of using recombinant host cells to produce antibodies. The growing importance of a particular virus type (AAV) for delivering gene therapy is also reflected in the high number of oppositions filed against a patent directed to methods of purifying these viral vectors. Mewburn Ellis has experience working on oppositions related to gene therapy (including CRISPR and AAVs) and to therapeutic manufacturing and purification methods, including many very large multi-party cases.

As is also usual for our annual list of most opposed patents, Mewburn Ellis represents parties involved with many of these complex cases. If you would like help with an opposition, then do please get in touch.

The Most Opposed European Patents of 2021

Number of opponents

Patent No.

Patent Proprietor

Patent Title

22

EP2478907

Janssen Oncology, Inc.

Methods and compositions for treating cancer

20

EP2234617

Janssen Pharmaceutica NV

Dosing regimen associated with long acting injectable paliperidone esters

12

EP2493466

Sanofi Mature IP

Novel antitumoral use of cabazitaxel

10

EP3177645

Lindis Biotech GmbH

Subcutaneously administered bispecific antibodies for use in the treatment of cancer

10

EP3616720

Shionogi & Co., Ltd.

Pharmaceutical composition for cancer treatment

9

EP3322731

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Method of treating cancer using immune checkpoint inhibitor

8

EP2340828

Novartis Pharma AG

Pharmaceutical combinations of an angiotensin receptor antagonist and an nep inhibitor

7

EP3256574

INSERM - Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale

Recombinant adeno-associated virus particle purification comprising an affinity purification step

6

EP2506850

InterMune, Inc.

Methods of administering pirfenidone therapy

6

EP1915394

Lonza Biologics plc.

High-level expression of recombinant antibody in a mammalian host cell

6

EP2345410

Astellas Pharma Inc.

Controlled release pharmaceutical composition

6

EP3330370

Novartis AG

Process for cultivation of CHO cells

6

EP3656765

Grünenthal GmbH

Salts or co-crystals of 3-(3-dimethylamino-1-ethyl-2-methyl-propyl)-phenol

6

EP2968155

Pfizer Inc.

Tofacitinib oral sustained release dosage forms

6

EP3017520

REC Solar Pte. Ltd.

Solar cell assembly

6

EP3094681

ExxonMobil Chemical Patents Inc.

Propylene-based impact copolymers

5

EP2545939

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.

Methods of administering tetrahydrobiopterin, associated compositions, and methods of measuring

5

EP3378486

Chugai Seiyaku Kabushiki Kaisha

Stabilized antibody-containing liquid formulations

5

EP3282197

Bruckbauer, Wilhelm

Assembly unit comprising a hotplate and steam extractor

5

EP2809773

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited

Process of modulating man5 and/or afucosylation content of glycoprotein composition

5

EP3092043

Boxine GmbH

Toy

5

EP3185228

Schraner Holding GmbH

System and method for monitoring of fire alarm systems

5

EP3288980

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Treatment of PD-L1-positive melanoma using an anti-PD-1 antibody

5

EP3353274

Henkel AG & Co. KGaA

Use of high-concentration enzyme granules for increasing the storage stability of enzymes

5

EP3416760

Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH

Planishing roll, method for planishing a flat product therewith and flat product therefrom

5

EP3685673

Katjes Fassin GmbH

Vegan chocolate

 

(Information in this table is based on data from the EPO Register March 2021)


See the most opposed patents of 2019 and 2020.

 


Oppositions Report 2019 Front CoverSpecial Report
Oppositions Trends in the Life Sciences Sector

We published this report to help tackle the key questions our clients ask regularly. In spring 2019, we undertook 350 hours of research, analysing more than 5,000 opposition cases filed at the European Patent Office over the last ten years, studying the timelines for hundreds of oppositions both before and after the EPO’s opposition streamlining initiative.

 

Download The Report

 

 

 

 

Katherine is a Partner and Patent Attorney at Mewburn Ellis. She specialises in EPO oppositions and appeals, particularly defending patents in complex opposition cases involving very large numbers of opponents. Katherine advises on European prosecution strategies for many important patent families, particularly divisional strategies for opposed patents. Her prosecution work includes advising on securing grant for the high-profile family of cases protecting CRISPR/Cas platform technology invented by Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier.
Comments

Sign up to our newsletter: Forward - news, insights and features

Our People

Our IP specialists work at all stage of the IP life cycle and provide strategic advice about patent, trade mark and registered designs, as well as any IP-related disputes and legal and commercial requirements.

OUR PEOPLE

Contact Us

We have an easily-accessible office in central London, as well as a number of regional offices throughout the UK and an office in Munich, Germany.  We’d love to hear from you, so please get in touch.