I need help with an Opposition or Appeal

Our Patent and Trade Mark Oppositions & Appeals experts have an enviable success rate

Achieving success in oppositions and appeals is critical for any innovation-orientated business seeking commercial advantage and growth. We have an excellent track record handling offensive and defensive patent and trade mark oppositions, appeals and cancellations both in the UK and Europe and our team make formidable adversaries.

When it comes to oppositions, the experience and expertise of a representative handling the case can really make a difference.  For oppositions with no external counsel involved, the likelihood of the patent being revoked was significantly greater than the likelihood of the patent being maintained as amended. On the other hand, with external counsel involved, it appeared much more likely that the patentee would walk away with a patent. For large or commercially important opposition cases, our experience is that a successful result is often a team effort, with small teams of Mewburn attorneys headed by our opposition specialists working alongside patentees’ or opponents’ in-house teams.

We have advised hundreds of clients on their opposition and appeals strategies and have a deep understanding of this area. From the very start of their careers, we train our attorneys to handle complex oppositions. This dedicated focus translates into an enviable oppositions success rate. Only 7.4% of patents we have opposed in the last 15 years have been maintained as granted, compared with an EPO average of 24.6%. We are even more effective if cases go to appeal, only 2.7% of the cases we oppose are maintained as granted in appeals compared to an EPO average of 11.9%*.

Not only do we have the technical expertise and knowledge of the subject matters under scrutiny, but also a forensic understanding of the evolving procedural aspects of the various processes involved. Our proven track record in successfully defending intellectual property rights for our clients and attacking third party rights that cause concern, means we are the firm of choice for some of the most opposed companies in the world.

We handle everything from compact cost-conscious defences through to multi-party 'win at all costs' proceedings. We never forget that oppositions are always part of a broader commercial context.  Our legal acumen and influence are undisputed. The firm has helped to shape EPO practice and more than 50 cases handled by our attorneys now feature in the EPO’s ‘White Book’ on case law - a testament to our creative approach.

Ultimately, whether enforcing or defending your IP rights, it is desirable to be able to do so in a cost-effective manner which is commensurate with the importance of your IP asset and your budget.  Our approach is tailored to ensure we design a strategy that underpins your commercial aspirations.

*Source: Statistics provided by IpQuants AG

The Unified Patent Court

The link between EPO Oppositions and the UPC is important and you should consider the impact of the UPC on any oppositions.  Read more on our  Spotlight on The Unitary Patent & Unified Patent Court page and also refer to our IP disputes & litigation page.  If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch. 


A note on strawman

You can’t officially file an anonymous opposition but you can use a proxy (a different company, an individual attorney) to file one for you thereby achieving anonymity. This is called a ‘strawman’ which allows the true identity of the opponent to be hidden. This can sometimes be a commercially appropriate strategy to employ.

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Trade Mark Oppositions

A powerful force in oppositions & appeals our trade mark team have an excellent track record at the UKIPO and EUIPO, successfully defending and attacking applications for our clients.

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Chemistry & Materials Oppositions

Technically diverse and highly experienced, our opposition specialists work across the whole spectrum of chemical and materials innovation. 

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Engineering & ICT Oppositions

Our Engineering & ICT opposition specialists are adept in preparing persuasive written submissions and presenting strong, legally and technically sound arguments.

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Life Sciences Oppositions

Our Life Sciences oppositions specialists have advised thousands of clients on their EPO opposition strategies for many years.

Need help with an opposition? Speak to our experts

We will work with you to understand the real-world commercial context and offer up imaginative and pragmatic strategic advice that achieves the right outcome for your business, at the right cost. Not sure who to talk to?  Please get in touch.  We'd be happy to help.

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Opposition Trends

Special Reports

We publish our special reports to help tackle the key questions our clients regularly ask us. We combine our expert knowledge with data driven research to encourage discussion and aid the decision-making process.

Our reports focus on a variety of topics and provide in-depth, data-led analysis and commentary to identify trends and answer critical questions. Designed to offer unique insights our aim is to help businesses make strategic commercial decisions aligned to their goals and objectives in vital areas of IP.

We have undertaken extensive research on opposition trends in the Life Sciences, Engineering, Electronics, Software and MedTech areas.

Resources

TRADE MARK OPPOSITIONS

Read our outline of the normal UK trade mark opposition procedure including who can oppose, how long it takes and possible grounds.

PATENT OPPOSITIONS

Read our outline of the normal European patent opposition procedure including who can oppose, how long it takes and possible grounds.

ABOUT ORAL PROCEEDINGS

Oral proceedings provide an opportunity to finally discuss all matters raised in proceedings between a party and the EPO, in order to settle a dispute.

THIRD PARTY OBSERVATIONS

Third Party Observations (TPOs) provide a mechanism for third parties to file objections and evidence against a pending patent application which, if successful, can result in limitation or refusal of the patent application.

Challenging patents and other clearance actions in Europe

Find out more about post-grant offensive options including EPO oppositions, UKIPO non-binding validity opinions, and revocation actions at the UKIPO, UPC or national courts. To post-grant defensive options including UPC protective letters, UKIPO non-binding infringement opinions, and UPC or national court declarations of non-infringement (DNIs).  

Our brochure also covers pre-grant options including third-party observations at the EPO, UKIPO, German Patent Office (DPMA), and at the World IP Office (WIPO).

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Read our Opposition Blogs

Challenging patents and other clearance actions in Europe

Challenging patents and other clearance actions in Europe

by Lucy Coe

Whether it is to remove a current infringement threat, clear the way to reduce the risk in launching a new product, for negotiation purposes, or as part of a commercial strategy aimed at attacking a ...

The major players in the SEP landscape in Europe

The major players in the SEP landscape in Europe

by Tom Furnival

Next in our series of blogs, we have investigated the major players in the SEP landscape in Europe.

Most opposed patents of 2023

Most opposed patents of 2023

by Katherine Green

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 ...

Amended Rules of Procedure of the EPO Boards of Appeal are coming into force on 1 January 2024

Amended Rules of Procedure of the EPO Boards of Appeal are coming into force on 1 January 2024

by Emily Hayes

The EPO Boards of Appeal have now published their amended Rules of Procedure and these will be effective from 1 January 2024.

How does declaring a patent or application as “essential to a standard” affect the pre-grant experience of an application? – Part 3

How does declaring a patent or application as “essential to a standard” affect the pre-grant experience of an application? – Part 3

by Tom Furnival

This article continues our series of blogs investigating whether or not declaring your patent or application as “essential to a standard” influences the outcome of that patent or application in ...

EPO will accelerate oppositions when there are parallel UPC infringement or revocation proceedings

EPO will accelerate oppositions when there are parallel UPC infringement or revocation proceedings

by Lucy Coe

The EPO have announced in the November 2023 Official Journal that they will accelerate opposition proceedings when they are informed of infringement or revocation proceedings related to the same ...

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Mewburn Ellis

FORWARD MAGAZINE

Mewburn Ellis Forward is a biannual publication that celebrates the best of innovation and exploration. Through its pages we hope to inform and entertain, but also to encourage discussion about the most compelling developments taking place in the scientific and entrepreneurial world. Along the way, we’ll engage with the IP challenges that international organisations face every day.