Achieving success in oppositions at the European Patent Office is critical for any innovation-oriented business seeking commercial advantage and growth. Our Special Report into Opposition trends in the Life Sciences Sector will provide key insight into this exciting space.

Having advised thousands of clients on their EPO opposition strategies for many years, Mewburn Ellis is acutely aware that successful oppositions and appeals require not only deep technical expertise and knowledge of the subject matter under scrutiny, but a forensic understanding of the evolving procedural aspects of the EPO process and timeline. Mewburn Ellis has produced a new special report focussing on oppositions in the life sciences sector to provide our clients with forensic insight into the EPO opposition process.

Our research comes at an important juncture. The procedural changes introduced by the EPO in 2016 to streamline the opposition process have begun to take effect, producing tightened timeframes that, while welcome, require new strategies to navigate successfully. 

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. Our own proprietary data analysis tool, developed specifically for this research programme, enabled us to download and manipulate significant quantities of data, a task previously unmanageable when undertaken manually.

OUR REPORT ANSWERS KEY OPPOSITION QUESTIONS SUCH AS:

In seeking to tackle the EPO opposition process our clients regularly face a number of key questions which our report answers:

  • Which technical areas are the most contested and attract the most oppositions?
  • Is the EPO’s streamlining initiative working and are they on track to meet their target?
  • How is the opposition timeline changing?
  • Are extensions of time for response to an opposition harder to secure?
  • How are multi-party oppositions changing?
  • Which patents and companies attract the most oppositions?
  • Which opponents are most active?

Find out the latest research on Life Sciences Oppositions

Click below to download our comprehensive report

Download Report

OPPOSITION CASES WHERE WE CHANGED THE LAW

The European Patent Office (EPO) approach to added subject matter is known across the world to be notoriously strict. This ruling, in which Mewburn Ellis represented the patentee, saw the Board of Appeal confirm that examiners and opposition divisions should sometimes take a more pragmatic approach to this issue. Read about the full case.

This decision, which involves a cancer-fighting therapy, will be of interest to anyone who anticipates that a clinical trial protocol could be cited as prior art. Read about the full case

THE TEAM BEHIND OUR SPECIAL REPORT

Katherine Green

Katherine Green

Partner, European Patent Attorney

CONTACT KATHERINE

Kath is passionate about oppositions and was the driver behind our Special Report.  She's worked on the ground- breaking case CRISPR/CAS 9 and been cited in the guidelines for examiners. She's an excellent communicator and exceptional at winning difficult arguments.

Simon Kiddle

Simon Kiddle

Partner, European Patent Attorney

CONTACT SIMON

Simon has grown up with the field of life sciences technology having started from the ground up with Genentech, one of the world's leading biotechnology companies. Creative and a true forward-thinker Simon excels at thinking on his feet in the dynamic environment at oral proceedings.

Emily Hayes

Emily Hayes

Partner, European Patent Attorney

CONTACT EMILY

Emily is excellent at understanding quickly what’s clever about a new technology and relishes the creative and strategic thinking involved in defending or attacking a patent. Experienced and thorough Emily loves oral proceedings where comes into her own and lets out her adversarial side!

Sean Walton

Seán Walton

Partner, European Patent Attorney

CONTACT SEÁN

Seán concentrates on opposition work and is known as an expert in this area.  He has defended patents for some of the best-selling drugs in the world and is very experienced at handling high value, complex and multi-party oppositions.  Nothing takes Seán by surprise and his creative approach often results in making new case law.

NEED SOME HELP?

Contact our opposition experts to find more about the report, the implications for your business and how we can help you.

I NEED HELP WITH AN OPPOSITION

Key Points to Note from our Special Report

Simon Kiddle

Simon Kiddle

Partner, European Patent Attorney, Oppositions Specialist

The EPO’s streamlining initiative has compressed all stages of the
opposition procedure. Patentees must be ready to move quickly.

Emily Hayes

Emily Hayes

Partner, European Patent Attorney, Oppositions Specialist

Our analysis shows not only that the EPO’s behavior has changed following the streamlining initiative, but that patent proprietors’ behavior has changed also.

Katherine Green

Katherine Green

Partner, European Patent Attorney, Oppositions Specialist

The EPO’s streamlining initiative is working. Patentees need to take early, preemptive action.

Find out the latest research on Life Sciences Oppositions

Click below to download our comprehensive report

Download Report