The EPO is introducing a streamlined opposition procedure that will simplify opposition proceedings and deliver decisions faster, while giving parties more time to react to summons and prepare for oral proceedings. Under the streamlined procedure, which comes into effect on 1 July 2016, the EPO expects to cut the overall duration of straightforward opposition cases from anywhere between 19 and 27 months to just 15 months.
The EPO seeks to bring opposition proceedings to a speedy conclusion and thereby establish legal certainty for all parties to opposition proceedings and the public. To achieve this aim it has optimised and streamlined its internal workflows leading to “Early Certainty from Opposition”, while respecting the general principles governing procedure before the EPO, in particular the right to be heard (Article 113(1) EPC).
With the revised workflow, the total time needed for a decision in straightforward cases will be reduced to 15 months, calculated as from expiry of the opposition period.
Video: The most important informations in a nutshell
The changes, which come as part of the EPO’s Early Certainty initiative, have been summarised in the following video:
For further information please read the legal text from the European Patent Office here.
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