19 notices of oppositions have been filed naming 29 parties. It is believed that the large number of oppositions is due to a blog created by one Mikkel Hippe Brun which can be seen at http://blog.schemaworks.com/While the large number of oppositions (19) and opponents (29) may well have been swollen by virtue of the blog, it is difficult to see how the use of a blog to support an opposition, whether by the opponent himself or by an interested third party, should make any difference to the outcome. The criteria of patentability, and of invalidity, remain unchanged and any patent that is granted without fulfilling them is vulnerable to an action for revocation at any time throughout its life. One might expect the use of blogs therefore to enhance the grant of quality patents.
For example, the blog has EPO Form 2300 available as a download to enable opponents to launch oppositions.
Whilst it is accepted that any person may give notice of opposition under Art. 99 EPC, it is submitted that setting up a blog to inundate the proprietor with oppositions is an abusive process which puts the proprietor as a relatively small company at a significant disadvantage. The proprietor requests that the Opposition Division bear this in mind during the opposition procedure, particularly with regard to requests for extension of time and an award of costs, if deemed appropriate.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Impact of weblog on number of opponents: a form of abuse?
A practitioner acting for one of a number of opponents challenging a business method-type patent before the EPO has drawn the attention of PatLit to the fact that the proprietor's response contains an observation that opposition to its patent has been encouraged by a weblog, Schemaworks. According to the proprietor's response, this constitutes an abuse which also entitles to the proprietor to an award of costs based upon it. According to the response,