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Case law of the EPO on the admissibility of new arguments on appeal has been reversed

20 March 2020 Patent Opposition

Case law of the EPO on the admissibility of new arguments on appeal has been reversed

Leading French ETI in the field of maritime transport of liquefied gas

Following a complex litigation, during which the client had notably launched opposition proceedings and had an opposing European patent revoked, the client found itself in a position to acquire the entire patent family of its former opponent. Initially a strategic success, the revocation decision obtained risked reversing against the IP portfolio acquired by the client.

Key Figures

10 years of proceedings before the EPO, with the involvement of two teams of lawyers and European representatives

Strategy

Opposition appeal proceedings were successfully pursued to have the revoked patent restored. The strategy was based on two axes:

  • plead a misinterpretation of the principal anteriority that led to the revocation decision
  • limit the claims to disregard other prior art

Achievements

Procedural success with the introduction at the appeal stage of a new argument never debated between the parties and whose admissibility was contested for its lateness.

Consolidation of a family of several dozen patents taken over by the client.

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