Appealing a decision by the EPO
Decisions made by the EPO departments of first instance, e.g. the Examining Divisions or the Opposition Divisions, are open to appeal to the EPO Boards of Appeal. For example, if an Examining Division refuses to grant your patent application, or if an Opposition Division decides to revoke or amend your patent, you can file an appeal to have these decisions reviewed. The effect of an appeal is to suspend the decision of the first instance until the appeal is concluded.
Appeals are filed in writing and can culminate at oral proceedings, if these are requested by a party to the appeal (e.g. the applicant, the patent proprietor, or the opponent), or if they are instigated by the Board.
Once the appeal has been heard, the Board of Appeal will issue a written decision.
If oral proceedings are held, the decision will usually be indicated at the end of the proceedings, and the written decision will be issued thereafter.
The Board of Appeal’s decision is final, and there is no further general right of appeal at the EPO.
How we can assist you in appealing an unfavourable decision by the EPO
Conducting appeals at the EPO requires specialist legal knowledge and experience. The Boards of Appeal operate by their own Rules of Procedure which need to be negotiated skilfully to be successful. Page White and Farrer have extensive experience in both the written and oral hearing stages of appeals.
We have an office in Munich which can be used as a base for appeal hearings, held at the EPO’s offices there.
We provide commercially-focussed advice throughout the process helping you to get the desired outcome from the appeal process.