Anyone can oppose to a granted patent within nine months from the publication (granting) date of the patent.
Anyone, with the exception of the patentee, may file an opposition towards a patent within a nine-month period after the patent is granted.
Should an opposition be filed, PRV will notify the patentee and communicate the filed documents. The patentee will then have the opportunity to comment on the raised concerns. When the nine-month period is over, PRV will process the opposition and decide if the patent is to be upheld, either as granted or in amended form, or if it should be revoked.
An opposition may be filed on any of the following grounds.
The invention lacks novelty, inventive step or industrial applicability.
The patent has been granted to someone who was not entitled to it.
The invention is not described clearly enough for a person skilled in the art to practise or use the invention.
The protection granted by the patent goes beyond what was disclosed in the application when it was first filed.
If you want to file an opposition, you must do so in writing within the opposition period. The opposition may be filed electronically, by using any of PRV’s online services, or by post. In the opposition letter, you must state on what ground or grounds the opposition is made. It must also be signed by you or your agent.
The opposition is examined by PRV. The patentee will have access to all documents submitted by the opponent as well as be invited to respond to the opposition in writing. When all parties have put forward their views, which may take multiple rounds of responds, PRV will decide on the matter.
The are three possible outcomes:
the patent is revoked,
the patent is upheld as granted, or
the patent is upheld but amended.