Oppositions and Nullity

Is a granted patent hampering your business activity or are you specifically faced with possible patent infringement proceedings or a warning for example? In this case, you have the option of opposing the patent or, where the nine-month opposition period has expired, the option of filing a nullity complaint.

In opposition proceedings, the Opposition Division of either the German Patent and Trademark Office or the European Patent Office examines the patentability of the patent once again in court-like proceedings. It should be noted here that the Opposition Division is independent of the Examining Division. This examination is often based on new prior art introduced into the proceedings by the opponent. This prior art may also comprise products, for example, which were being sold before the date on which the patent was filed, but which the Patent Office failed to take into consideration in the patent grant procedure.


The same applies to patent nullity complaints filed against German patents or European patents with effect for Germany and brought before the German Federal Patent Court in Munich, where a nullity senate consisting of two legal judges and three technical judges again examine the legal validity of the patent granted.

Both the opposition and nullity proceedings initially involve submitting a number of comprehensive written briefs, generally followed by oral proceedings of several hours, at the end of which a decision is usually delivered. With regard to opposition proceedings before the German Patent and Trademark Office or the European Patent Office, decisions at first instance may be contested by appealing the decisions. In the case of patent nullity proceedings, an appeal may be lodged against the German Federal Patent Court’s decision before the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe.

As patent infringement and nullity complaints in Germany are heard before separate courts (“separation principle”), good coordination between the patent attorneys and attorneys-at-law in both proceedings, which are often conducted in parallel, is essential. As an opponent or nullity plaintiff, you want to be sure that the patent challenged will be fully revoked as far as possible or that the patent is at least limited so that the patent no longer poses a threat to your products. As the patentee, you want to be sure that, where the patent is limited, it still enjoys sufficient scope of protection, so that your products are sufficiently protected from patent infringements.

To this end, BARDEHLE PAGENBERG’s patent attorneys and attorneys-at-law have been working hand in hand since the firm was founded in 1977 — a fact that clearly sets us apart from the majority of our competitors.
 

BARDEHLE PAGENBERG
Partnerschaft mbB

Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte

Prinzregentenplatz 7
81675 Munich
Germany

Phone: +49 89 928 05-0
Fax: +49 89 928 05-444
Email: info(at)bardehle.de

Show route

Contacts

News

Interested in our latest Oppositions and Nullity news? Here we go.

UPC News
IP News on
UPC News, Patent Litigation, Oppositions and Nullity
EPO Opposition and UPC Revocation Action

With the UPC coming into force soon, a new option to attack the validity of a bundle patent will…

UPC News
IP News on
UPC News, Patent Litigation, Oppositions and Nullity, Patent Prosecution
Jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court

The proverb says: “All roads lead to Rome.” This is probably meant to allude to the fact that Rome…

UPC News
IP News on
UPC News, Patent Litigation, Oppositions and Nullity, Patent Prosecution
UPC: Court fees and cost reimbursement

During the transitional period, owners of European Patents have the choice whether to assert their…

IP News on
IP Reports, IP in general, Patent Protection: Procedural Law, Patent Litigation, Oppositions and Nullity
The ECJ on the interpretation in line with European Law of the legal validity of a patent-in-suit

On April 28, 2022, the European Court of Justice rendered its quite long-awaited preliminary ruling…

UPC News
IP News on
UPC News, Patent Litigation, Oppositions and Nullity, Patent Prosecution
Bifurcation at the UPC

One of the most fundamental decisions to be made during the development of the Unified Patent Court…

UPC News
IP News on
UPC News, IP Reports, Patent Litigation, Oppositions and Nullity, Patent Prosecution
The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court – What applicants and patent proprietors need to know already now

What will change and what will be the timeline? Currently, it is expected that the first Unitary…

IP Videos

Are you curious about videos on Oppositions and Nullity? Obtain insights and tips from our IP experts here.

IP Videos on
IP Quick Tips, Oppositions and Nullity, Patent Prosecution
IP Quick Tip: Avoiding mistakes in AI related patent inventions
This video provides you with some guidance on how to avoid three typical mistakes that I frequently…
IP Videos on
IP Quick Tips, Oppositions and Nullity, Patent Prosecution
IP Quick Tip: Which language to choose when drafting and filing European patent application?
The official languages at the EPO are English, French and German. However, it is possible to file a…
IP Videos on
IP Quick Tips, Patent Litigation, Oppositions and Nullity, Patent Prosecution
IP Quick Tip: Optimum claim set structure of European Software Patents - Part III
This IP Quick Tip looks at claims sets for divided infringement situations. For example: claim 1 is…
IP Videos on
IP Quick Tips, Patent Litigation, Oppositions and Nullity, Patent Prosecution
IP Quick Tip: Optimum claim set structure of European software patents - Part II
This second part of the IP Quick Tip series on claim sets for software patent applications at the…
IP Videos on
IP Quick Tips, Patent Litigation, Oppositions and Nullity, Patent Prosecution
IP Quick Tip: Optimum claim set structure of European software patents - Part I
This IP Quick Tip series deals with the question of what your claim set should look like when you…
UPC Video
IP Videos on
IP Experts LIVE, UPC Video, Patent Litigation, Oppositions and Nullity
Patent Infringement Proceedings before the UPC
In this video, our attorneys-at-law provide an overview of patent litigation proceedings before the…