Patents Company

Swindell & Pearson, Successful in Opposition Proceedings at European Patent Office

March 01, 2011

Swindell & Pearson have mounted another successful opposition against a patent declared as essential for 3G telecommunications standards in a recent Hearing at the European Patent Office in Munich.

The European patent relates to downlink power control in cdma systems and had been declared by the patent proprietors as essential for implementing WCDMA, the most popular implementation of third generation (3G) telecommunications. Swindell & Pearson, representing a leading telecommunications company, prepared and filed an opposition against the European patent asserting that the patent, as granted, was invalid. Following an oral hearing at the Hague, the European patent as granted was revoked and the patent proprietors were forced to significantly narrow the patent’s claims to maintain the patent. Paul Higgin, an IP Director at Swindell & Pearson, who made the oral arguments at the Hague said “I am very pleased with this result. It is very gratifying to be able to obtain successful outcomes for my clients.” An opposition is a procedure by which the grant of a European patent by the European Patent Office can be officially challenged by a third party. The opposition must be filed within nine months of the grant of the patent. Paul Higgin commented, “Many clients seek to control the impact of a competitor’s patent portfolio using opposition rather than litigation as the costs of opposition are significantly less and a successful opposition has an impact across the whole of Europe whereas litigation must, at present, be conducted country by country. It is not unusual for a client to instruct us to watch for the grant of European patents to competitors and to systematically oppose those granted patents that impact on the client’s business. For further information contact Paul Higgin [email protected]

Swindell & Pearson has been helping businesses and individuals protect and defend their ideas, innovations and brands for over 130 years. With its head office in Derby, the firm also has offices in Stoke, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Sheffield and Burton. To find out how Swindell & Pearson can help you with any intellectual property requirements please get in touch via [email protected] or by telephone on 01332 367 051.