Case study:
Automobile technology – patent litigation

Initial situation

We were approached by a Swedish European patent attorney who had filed an EPO opposition against a French patent proprietor for his Swedish client. The patent had been used to sue the Swedish client in France for infringement, and therefore the opposition was commercially important. As oral proceedings before the Opposition Division had already been scheduled, our Swedish colleague came to us looking for help from an experienced European patent attorney versed in handling opposition hearings at the EPO. The objectives were to revoke the patent and to avoid an adverse decision in France.

Action taken

The case was in the E-tech field, and therefore an appropriate team with experience in this technology was composed. As the language of the proceedings was French, the team was led by an experienced European Patent Attorney with experience in this technical field who speaks French, assisted by a colleague who is a French native speaker.


Together with the Swedish attorney, we performed further prior art searches and prepared a written submission prior to the oral proceedings. At the hearing, the experienced HOFFMANN EITLE attorney took the lead and convinced the Opposition Division of the lack of novelty of the granted claims and the inadmissibility of all auxiliary claim sets. Patentee then filed a new auxiliary request, which we were able to immediately attack with a new argument. Patentee was taken by surprise, and requested a postponement. His request was granted, and this delay led to the French infringement proceedings being stayed. The client was able to avoid an immediate problem in France.

Experts responsible for the project

Georg Siegert

Georg Siegert von HOFFMANN EITLE

Dr.-Ing. (Electrical Engineering), Dipl.-Phys., German and European Patent Attorney


Nicolas Douxchamps

Nicolas Couxchamps von HOFFMANN EITLE

Ir. (Electrical Engineering), Belgian and European Patent Attorney