Anyone can oppose to a granted and published patent for nine months.
Anyone, with the exception of the patentee, may file an opposition to the patent within a nine month period after the patent is granted. We will notify you immediately if we receive such an opposition, and when the nine-month period is over we will handle the opposition and decide if the patent can be upheld, either as granted or in an amended form. PRV can also decide to revoke the patent.
An opposition can be made on the following grounds:
- The patent has been granted despite the basic conditions not being met: the invention may lack novelty, inventive step or industrial applicability. The patent may have be granted to someone who was not entitled to it.
- The invention has not been described clearly enough for an expert to be able to practise using it.
- The patent concerns things which were not clear from the application when it was first made.
If you want to oppose someone else's patent, you must do so in writing to us within the opposition period. The opposition letter must state on which ground or grounds you base your opposition. It must also be signed by you or your agent.
The opposition is examined by us at PRV. As the patent owner, you are allowed to read the opposition and all the documents which the opponent has submitted. You then have the opportunity to respond in writing to the opposition. When the opposition case has been examined and the parties have put forward their views, we make a decision on the matter.
The are three possible outcomes:
- PRV revokes the patent
- PRV rejects the opposition
- PRV maintains the patent with amended wording