Opposition proceedings

Defense

As part of the procedures by which patents, trademarks and design rights are granted, an opportunity is normally given for third parties to oppose the grant. A successful opposition may lead to the annulment of the granted right or its restriction through an administrative procedure, without incurring the high costs of litigation.

Opposition procedures are governed by strict time limits and formalities. Filing an opposition requires thorough technical and judicial know-how. As far as patents are concerned, it is also possible to submit relevant material to the patent office during the examination phase,  as so-called third party observations.

We can handle all types of opposition proceedings relating to IP at the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland.

Oppositions against European Patents are handled in a centralized manner by the European Patent Office (EPO). Opposition proceedings in the EPO are extremely demanding and require thorough preparation. Oral proceedings are common, and while these resemble trials, their scope and associated costs are much lower than litigation. A successful centralized opposition procedure guarantees that the granted patent does not need to be litigated in all the EPC member states in which the patent has been validated, making the EPO opposition procedure an incredibly useful and valuable tool for contesting third party patents.

We also handle oppositions relating to trademarks in the relevant offices.

It is not possible to file an opposition in order to revoke or restrict a utility model right; these actions are performed by administrative invalidation proceedings in the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland.

All administrative decisions are subject to appeal, and we also handle the drafting and management of those appeals.

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