Frontman for patent nullity court proceedings
Anonymous Patent Invalidation Court Proceedings
Oppose Patents Anonymously
What We Do
Frequently Asked Questions
No, VerifyIP is an independent business and is not connected or tied to any law firm or patent attorneys firm. We do not conduct litigation, nor do we file patent oppositions ourselves. We do not prosecute patent applications either. We only deliver services to enable companies and their legal advisors to file for nullity or file oppositions against patents without the need to make the ultimate beneficiary of those actions known (anonymously).
We provide a service by becoming the named party in a nullity action against one or more patents before a European IP Court or an opposition against a European Patent before the European Patent Office.
Once VerifyIP is being instructed we will go through the documentation that certifies the continuity of the frontman for as long as the nullity actions last. Legal mechanisms are in place to guarantee continuity.
There can be different reasons to do that.
- Firstly to prevent a company fall victim to a counterclaim for patent infringement.
- Furthermore, international patent litigation may benefit if a nullity action is filed in another jurisdiction than where the infringement action takes place. Additional strategic advantages can be achieved if this action is done by a frontman (anonymously).
- Opposing a patent before the EPO anonymously may prevent alerting market competitors from knowing that you are interested in their technology.
- When in licensing negotiations (or intentions to do so) filing a nullity or opposing anonymously may allow you to influence the outcome of those negotiations.
- Sometimes it is desirable to file arguments in a court proceeding anonymously or via a frontman company that, for whatever reason, would not be beneficial to your legal position in another case.
Even Famous Patents Can Be Invalidated
Even famous patents can be invalidated or nullified because they lack novelty or “inventive step”
The Light Bulb
Some well-known patents were invalidated when contested by competitors in court. We all know the invention of the light bulb, for which William Sawyer and Albon Man together obtained a patent.
Courts can invalidate patent claims that are “too broad” insofar as the inventor did not really possess all the claimed technology. A famous example concerns patents on the light bulb. Thomas Edison was not the first inventor of the incandescent light bulb. He had many competitors, and his light bulb built on many earlier contributions.
William Sawyer and Albon Man together obtained a light bulb patent before Edison achieved his famous invention and they sued Edison. Their patent claimed a light bulb with a “conductor of carbon, made of fibrous or textile material.” Edison made a light bulb with a bamboo filament that fell within the language of the broad Sawyer and Man claim. The court ruled in favor of Edison because Sawyer and Man had actually only made a light bulb using carbonized paper as a filament. They did not make light bulbs with other filaments drawn from the wide range of fibrous and textile carbon-based filaments—in fact, most of those filaments would not work.
Nespresso Coffee Cups
The coffee pod market started with Nespresso cups launched in 1986 by the Swiss company Nestlé. The idea was born when Eric Favre, a Nestlé engineer, visited a particularly popular Italian espresso bar in 1975. Nespresso had originally registered around 1,700 patents around the coffee machine and coffee cups. The story of the success of the Nespresso capsule is one of fierce competition and numerous legal battles. After years of very successful marketing supported by intellectual property, competition started to try to invalidate the most important
Growing number of patent applications
From the European Patent Office: Patent filings at the EPO were up 4.5, a significate rebound after the slight dip seen in 2020. Innovation in digital and healthcare technologies was the main driver of growth. Audio visual technology and semiconductors surged, as did patent applications from China – up 24.0% in 2020. (source: EPO Patent Statistics 2021)
Source: EPO Data-EPO Patent Index 2021
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