Most opposed patents of 2023

Multiple sclerosis therapies are the subject of two of the most opposed patents of 2023. Novartis’ EP2959894 is notable from a patent attorney perspective not only because it’s the subject of 23 oppositions, but also because it contains only about three pages of text and has just one claim. While Novartis’ patent is directed to Gilenya®, Biogen’s EP2653873 (opposed by 14 parties) protects Tecfidera®.

Traditionally*, our annual graphic of most opposed European patents is dominated by therapeutics cases, with most of the remaining places filled by platform patents for techniques like CRISPR gene editing and biotherapeutic manufacturing.

However, this year’s graphic suggests that EPO oppositions are becoming more frequently used outside the life sciences and med tech industries. For example, 11 oppositions were filed against Lubrizol’s patent concerned with battery technology, and eight oppositions were filed against Changchun’s train operation system patent.

The opposition activity against patents protecting battery technology is consistent with the increasing value of green tech IP, which is also reflected in several other patents in the 2023 list. For example, seven oppositions were filed against Total Energy/OneTech’s patent directed to recycled materials. Meanwhile Coca Cola’s patent for bio-based polyethylene and Tarket’s phtalate-free PVC patent were both opposed by five parties.

Finally, as ever, there are several teams of Mewburn attorneys working on cases in this list – both attacking and defending. If you would like advice on an EPO opposition matter, big or small, then get in touch with one of our teams from Life Sciences, Chemistry, or Engineering & ICT to start a conversation.

(*Since this is our fifth year of publishing this annual list, we can now refer to tradition.).

In the graphic, we’ve highlighted green tech patents in green and other non-life sciences / med tech patents in orange.

Just CLICK on the bar for details of the patent.

This graphic is based on data downloaded from the EPO 4-8 January 2024.  It lists the most opposed patents for which the 9-month opposition deadline expired in 2023.