Should I Oppose the Patent?

8 March 2020

Traditionally, the legal field is not known for advising its clients with data-driven insights. As most of you are surely aware of by now, here at ipQuants we want to change this traditional approach. Our focus is especially directed to all activities before the European Patent Office (EPO).

Something as simple as providing clients with a reliable estimate of the chance of success of EPO Opposition proceedings turns out to be extremely difficult.

EPO oppositions proceedings are costly, and a lot is at stake. Despite this, many EP attorneys will still try to advise on pure “experience” and give their clients an answer like 33% chance of success. Not rooted in data analysis, but still an (un)satisfactory answer that many EP attorneys provide to their clients.

We know exactly what we are talking about, because before founding ipQuants, I struggled as well (being an EP patent attorney myself). At ipQuants we are, however, now in a position to support our users in a highly efficient manner when advising their clients about EPO opposition proceedings.

If your client is active in the tech field IPC A61, i.e. within the areas of Medical or Veterinary Science and Hygiene and asks you if it is worthwhile to file an Opposition, the answer is clearly yes. It is this simple sometimes. Why?

Below outcome analysis is based on analyzing 7’048 EPO oppositions decided since 2009 in the field of IPC A61.

Clearly, the outcome analysis shows that only 20.8% of all opposed patents survived the Opposition proceedings in the same form as they got granted.

In 79.3% of all EPO oppositions in the A61 space the Oppositions filed were successful. Either completely successful (39.1% revoked) or at least partially successful (40.2% maintained in amended form).

You might wonder how an appeal would impact the opposition proceedings? We will save that analysis for a future post, but make sure you start implementing a data-driven approach when you advise your clients. You will save significant time on behalf of your firm and your client will get a clearer picture of how to justify the costs associated with filing an Opposition. Simply put, a win-win.