Milestone: more than 1000 patent attorneys attended the Opposition and Appeal Seminars

C. Mulder (NL) and M. Müller (DE)

On 27 September 2016, Marcus Müller (member of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office) and Cees Mulder (European patent attorney and associate professor of intellectual property lay at Maastricht University) gave an Opposition and Appealseminar in the Danish Patent and Trademark Office in Taastrup (close to Copenhagen) for an audience of around 70 patent attorneys. The seminar was skilfully moderated by Pia Stahr (PEC Member, DK).

The cycle of the epi Opposition and Appeal seminars supported by the EPO started in December 2013 in Milan on request of Paolo Rambelli (PEC Chairman). Since then the seminars have been given twelve times at various locations all over Europe, including Barcelona, Copenhagen, Eindhoven, Helsinki, London (twice), Munich, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm, Warsaw and Zurich. In the three years, a total of 1,034 patent attorneys have attended the Opposition and Appeal seminars. This shows the success of the programme of continued education organised by the epi for its members.

The format of the seminar is that Marcus Müller takes the lead in presenting the seminar and that Cees Mulder acts as a side kick with questions and remarks. This interaction encourages the participants to ask questions and makes the seminars very vivid and stimulating. A lot of practical advice is given by the two speakers. For instance, Cees Mulder talks about how to behave in oral proceedings and how to draft a patent application with the aim of preventing problems later on in opposition and appeal.

The morning programme of the seminar focuses on opposition proceedings and the afternoon session is devoted to appeal. For instance, the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal are discussed in relation to their effect on the admissibility of late-filed documents and evidence and claim requests. The presentations are continuously updated to reflect the latest developments in the case law of the boards of appeal. In addition, the relevant decisions/opinions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal are discussed including the pending referrals.

Usually, the seminars are moderated by the local epi PEC member. The epi organises the events in a friendly and professional manner.

The successful cycle of Opposition and Appeal seminars will be continued in 2017 with events foreseen in Budapest, Dublin, Hamburg and Rome.