Frequently Asked Questions
Is VerifyIP affiliated with any Law Firm or European Patent Firm?
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).
What does VerifyIP do?
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.
Why would a party want to file a nullity action in a court in Europe anonymously?
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.
Is the continuity of the frontman company guaranteed?
Once we are 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.
Is a single frontman company used for more nullity actions or for more clients?
No, as part of the service, a separate company (“besloten vennootschap”) is being incorporated for each nullity action or opposition for every single European patent. The company will be wounded up upon the conclusion of the litigation or opposition of that single EP patent.
Are there any confidentiality arrangements in place?
Yes, the relations ship with VerifyIP is governed by a Services Agreement in which strict confidentiality is guaranteed.
What do Frontman Services cost?
The financial conditions for this Frontman services are discussed after an expression of interest. The fee consists of a fixed amount as well as an amount for administrative costs as well as a deposit to cover litigation costs.
Does VerifyIP prepare any of the legal documentation for a nullity or opposition?
No. VerifyIP only provides administrative support for conducting nullity or opposition proceedings. It does not deliver legal advice in any shape or form, nor does it express any opinion on the strength of the case. In most cases, law firms, representing a patent owner, will approach VerifyIP for support services. The Law Firm is the party that drafts and files the court documents.
Is the relationship between VerifyIP and the client subject to a legal document?
Yes. To deliver any service by VerifyIP, the client and VerifyIP enter into a Services Agreement. If you are interested in the services of VerifyIP or have any questions, you can contact us via the Contact Form on this website (under “contact”).
Can VerifyIP act on behalf of a client in a revocation action against a patent before the UPC (Unified Patent Court)?
Yes. The requirement in art. 47(6) UPC Agreement (“any person (…) who is concerned by a patent” (…) does not apply to a revocation or nullity action, but only to an action based on art. 32 (1) (i) UPCA.
Is there case law before the European Patent Office that allows an anonymous party or frontman (or “strawman”) to file an opposition against a granted patent?
Yes. Article 99(1) European Patent Convention states that “any person” may file an opposition against a granted patent. The Boards of Appeal of the EPO have interpreted this to permit strawman oppositions, by which a party wishing to challenge a patent may hide their true identity from the patentee.
Who are the clients of VerifyIP?
Our clients are typically law firms and patent attorney firms. If a company would approach us that does not have an attorney yet, we will first recommend that the company seek the assistance of an attorney before we can advise him to use the services of VerifyIP.
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Do you want further information?
Feel free to reach out anytime, using the contact form.