EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE
Information from the EPO
Information from the EPO on streamlined opposition proceedings
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.
More detailed information on the new practice can be found in the notice from the EPO concerning the opposition procedure as from 1 July 2016, OJ EPO 2016, A42, points 3, 4 and 8.