SONN Patentanwälte – IP Attorneys

EPO case law: Admissibility of new attacks and late-filed foreign language documents

A new attack on inventive step which is launched in response to and by using documents filed by the patent proprietor with his response to the notice of opposition are not per se to be considered late-filed. It may be admitted into the opposition proceedings for equality of arms, even if the documents are finally no more relevant than other documents (EPO BoA 15 October 2019, T 2734/16). The late filings of documents which were found coincidentally are not admissible simply because they are written in Japanese and may therefore have been more difficult to find. This is all the more true if the submitting party was aware of the significance of Japanese companies in the technical field in question and therefore had reason to conduct comprehensive searches in the Japanese patent literature in due time (EPO BoA 15 October 2019, T 2734/16).