Programme

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Please note that the time zone for the programme is CET.    

Moderators: 

10 November 2021: Giovanni Arca, administrator, EPO 
11 November 2021: Frédéric Cavallo, programme area manager Patent attorneys, European Patent Academy, EPO   


Wednesday, 10 November 2021 
08.55 hrs

Introduction to the online session for new users  

09.00 hrs

Welcome 

Heli Pihlajamaa, Director Patent Law, EPO

Francis Leyder, President, epi 

09.15 hrs

Arguing prior use in opposition
Britta Kley, lawyer, Patent Law, EPO
Gundula Wolf, examiner, EPO
Christian Rupp, European patent attorney, epi

10.00 hrs

Panel discussion 

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail: conducting oral proceedings successfully 

Moderator:
Suzanne Herrera, Director, Operational Quality and Risk Management, EPO
Panellists:
Inma Estañol, examiner, EPO
Carmen Salvador, lawyer, Patent Law, EPO
Heike Vogelsang-Wenke, European patent attorney, Vice-President of epi

10.45 hrs

Break 

11.00 hrs

Models as items for inspection
Marko Schauwecker, lawyer, Patent Law, EPO

11.45 - 12.30 hrs

Better sooner than later: late-filing of submissions
Francesco Di Giorgio, senior expert, EPO
Margarita García Martín, European patent attorney, epi

   
Thursday, 11 November 2021
08.55 hrs

Welcome to the day        

09.00 hrs

Impact of the revised Rules of Procedures of the Boards of Appeal on opposition proceedings
Sabine Demangue, lawyer, Legal Research Service Boards of Appeal, EPO
Alexandre Bitton, team manager, EPO 

09.45 hrs

Adaptation of the description in opposition
Stephen Pilling, senior expert, EPO
Peter Blok, professor in the Center for Intellectual Property Law of Utrecht University and judge in the Commercial Law Chamber of the Court of Appeal in The Hague

10.30 hrs

Break

10.45 hrs

Soft skills in oral proceedings by videoconference
Emma Darwall Smith, communication coach, Communication Collective
Nataša Doslik, senior expert, EPO 

11.30-12.15 hrs

Panel discussion

Back to the future in opposition proceedings: recapping on recent changes and facing the new normal 
Moderator:
Suzanne Herrera, Director, Operational Quality and Risk Management, EPO
Panellists:
Pasquale Foglia, Director, Operations, EPO
Doris Thums, head of department, Opposition and Substantive Patent Law, Patent Law, EPO
Francis Leyder, President, epi

Panellists and speakers

Alexandre BittonAlexandre Bitton, team manager/examiner, Mobility and Mechatronics, EPO The Hague. Studied material science at Ecole Européenne d'ingénieurs en Génie des Matériaux Nancy and at Luleå Tekniska Universitet. Worked at Saab Automobile AB (Trollhättan, Sweden) as a test engineer. Joined the EPO in 2001 as an examiner in the field of locks and keys. Currently working in the field of furniture and show stands. Has been involved in coaching newcomers. Member of the Opposition directorate. Passed the EQE in 2008 and obtained the Diploma on Patent litigation in Europe from CEIPI in 2018. Completed an LLM in Industrial Property (CEIPI) in 2020. 


Peter BlokPeter Blok, professor at the Center for Intellectual Property Law of Utrecht University and judge in the Commercial Law Chamber of the Court of Appeal in The Hague. Holds the Patent law and privacy chair. Specialised in intellectual property law and privacy and data protection law. He was a judge in the Intellectual Property chamber of the District Court of The Hague over eight years, the last years as coordinator of that chamber. Before that he was an attorney-at-law in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Finished and defended a PhD-thesis on privacy and data protection law at Tilburg University in 2002. Part of his research was done at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington D.C. Studied law and philosophy at Leiden University.


Emma Darwall SmithEmma Darwall Smith, communication coach, Communication Collective. Has been working as a communication coach for over 12 years. Uses theatre based exercises drawn from her training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and works as a professional actor to deliver challenging and enjoyable coaching. EMCC Accredited Coach at Practitioner Level.


Sabine DemangueSabine Demangue, lawyer, Legal Research Service (LRS) of the Boards of Appeal, EPO Munich. Studied law in Munich and Paris. Obtained a PhD in patent law in 2005. Joined the EPO in 2004 as a lawyer in the LRS. Moved to Directorate Patent Law in 2009 where she acted as a legal member in opposition divisions and provided legal advice on patent law matters. Now works again in the LRS where she, in particular, contributes to the book "Case Law of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO" and supports the work of the boards by undertaking legal research on a broad range of topics.


Francesco Di GiorgioFrancesco Di Giorgio, senior expert, Mobility and Mechatronic, EPO Munich. Studied mechanical engineering - aeronautics and propulsion at Politecnico di Bari. After serving the Italian Navy as Officer, worked 8 years for General Electric Oil&Gas, which he left as manager of the engineering department for centrifugal pumps. Joined the EPO in 2001 as patent examiner in the field of pumps and compressors. Passed the EQE in 2009. Presently working in the field of gas turbine engines, supports the Opposition directorate as first member and chairperson, and as quality expert. Is involved in EPO internal and external training, and case law monitoring. 


Nataša DoslikNataša Doslik, senior expert, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, EPO Munich. Holds a PhD in chemistry and works beside her tasks as examiner as trainer for various topics officewide, including opposition. Since 2005, she is chairing opposition oral proceedings and is part of the expert group of the pilot project launched in 2020 for oral proceedings by videoconference before opposition divisions.


Inma EstañolInma Estañol, examiner, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry, and Opposition Directorate, EPO Munich. Pharmacologist, master’s in food engineering and PhD in pharmacy/microbiology. More than 300 opposition cases in pharma-medical uses, galenics, cosmetics, food and biopharma. Quality expert in Opposition. IP expert representing the EPO in symposia and events related to post-granting procedures, the patentability of medical indications, the protection of traditional knowledge and the world harmonisation of patent prosecution practices. Worked in R&D and as director of quality and marketing in the food industry before joining the EPO in 1991.


Pasquale FogliaPasquale Foglia, Director, Office of the Vice-President Patent Granting Process, EPO The Hague. Studied electronic engineering at the University of Naples Federico II. Joined the EPO as examiner in 1991. Passed the EQE in 1997. Nominated Director in DG Operations in 2006. Joined the Office of the Vice-President Patent Granting Process in 2020. Leads the EPO Task Force responsible for the Pilot of Opposition by Videoconference. Co-ordinates the management teams of the 5 EPO Opposition Directorates and of the Procedural Support teams under Principal Directorate Quality, Business and User Services.


Margarita García MartínMargarita García Martín, European patent attorney. Holds a PhD in chemistry (University of Warwick, UK) and a postdoctoral qualification (Technical University of Eindhoven, NL). Started as patent advisor in the pharma sector in Spain and then moved to the cosmetics sector, where she qualified as a European patent attorney in 2012. Joined the IP department of Total Research & Technology Feluy in 2015 (now TotalEnergies) and has since represented her employer in more than 50 opposition cases in the polymer field.


Suzanne HerreraSuzanne Herrera, Director, Operational Quality and Risk Management, EPO Munich. MSc in chemical engineering. Joined the EPO as a patent examiner in the pharmaceutical field in 1988, becoming a director in the applied polymers sector in2012. From 2018 Director Opposition and Central Formalities in the Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry sector. Since September 2020 Director Operational Quality and Risk Management.


Britta KleyBritta Kley, lawyer, Patent Law, EPO Munich. Studied law at the University of Trier and the University of East Anglia. Doctor of Laws. Worked as a litigator for an international law firm. Joined the EPO in 2004 and Directorate Patent Law in 2012.



Francis LeyderFrancis Leyder, President of the epi, European patent attorney. Studied analytical chemistry and obtained a PhD before joining Labofina, Research Centre of the Petrofina Group, in a position combining documentation and patent work. Qualified as a European patent attorney in 1988 and has since represented his employer or an affiliate in well over hundred opposition cases. After a merger with the Total Group, served as head of the Patents Department at Total Research & Technology Feluy until the end of 2015. Chaired the European Patent Practice Committee of epi from 2008 to 2017. Currently President of epi and also one of the epi delegates on the SACEPO Subcommittee on Patent Documentation and Information (SACEPO/PDI).


Heli PihlajamaaHeli Pihlajamaa, Director, Patent Law, Legal Affairs, EPO Munich. Assists in the creation of EPO policy by developing, strengthening and promoting the EPC, proposing legal changes and guaranteeing compliance of operations with patent law-related norms and case law. Advises senior EPO management on policy issues and legal amendments. Before joining the EPO, she worked in both the private and public sector in Finland.


Stephen Pilling, senior expert, Biopharma, EPO Munich. Studied Biochemistry (MSc) and then worked as public health microbiologist diagnosing and monitoring infectious disease. Joined the UKIPO as a pharmaceutical patent examiner from 1995 to 1998 and then the EPO in Munich in 1998 in the same role. Passed the European Qualifying Examination in 2004 and has had the role of senior expert since 2016. Active in Search, Examination and Opposition he also supports the management team with a keen interest in quality and commitment to improving the service for users.


Christian RuppChristian Rupp, European patent attorney. Joined Mitscherlich in 1994, becoming a partner in 1997. Has conducted approximately 500 opposition cases before the EPO in almost all technical areas.



Carmen SalvadorCarmen Salvador, lawyer Patent Law, EPO Munich. Studied Law at the University of Valencia. Worked as a research assistant at the University of Valencia and the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law (Munich). Doctor of Laws. Joined the EPO and Directorate Patent Law in 2002.



Marko SchauweckerMarko Schauwecker, lawyer, Patent Law, EPO Munich. Joined the EPO in 2009. He is a legal expert for questions related to patentability of biotechnology inventions.



Doris ThumsDoris Thums, head of department, Opposition and Substantive Patent Law, Patent Law, EPO Munich. Studied law in Freiburg and Munich. Received her PhD in patent law in 1993. Worked as a freelancer for the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law between 1993 and 1997. In 1991 she joined the German Patent and Trade Mark Office and worked there in the legal department and as a trade mark examiner. Joined the EPO and Directorate Patent Law in 1997, where she is head of department for opposition, substantive patent law and computer-implemented inventions. Co-author of the Benkard EPC commentary.


Heike Vogelsang-WenkeHeike Vogelsang-Wenke, Vice-President of the epi, European patent attorney. Joined the Munich IP Law firm Grünecker in 1987 and co-heads its biotech department. She has a strong background in biotechnology (with diplomas in both chemistry and biology from Julius-Maximilian-University Würzburg) and molecular biology (the subject of her PhD, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry and Ludwig Maximilian University Munich). She has built up extensive experience drafting and prosecuting patent applications before the European and German Patent Offices. Her practice focuses on opposition and appeal proceedings and she routinely represents patentees and opponents in multi-party proceedings. Her main technical expertise is in pharmaceutical chemistry, biochemistry, immunology, virology and general recombinant DNA technology. Member of GRUR, LES, FICPI and GBM. Member of the Board of the Association of German Patent Attorneys (PAK) since 2004 and Council member of epi (European Patent Institute) since 2011. In 2017 she was elected Vice President of epi and re-elected in 2020. In that function, she appreciates every opportunity to discuss EPO practice and developments with EPO officials.


Gundula WolfGundula Wolf, examiner, EPO The Hague. MSc in Process Engineering (TU Freiberg) and in Environmental Pollution Control Management (Heriot- Watt University, Edinburgh). PhD (New University of Lisbon) and Post-Doc (TU Delft) in Environmental Bioprocess Engineering. Joined the EPO in 2006 as an examiner in the fields of laboratory equipment and filters. Presently examiner and gérant in the area of water and sludge treatment. Working in opposition since 2011, currently as first examiner and chairperson. Carried out an internship at a London patent attorney firm in 2017. Has been involved in providing external training through the European Patent Academy, among others for national patent offices.

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