Friday, 27 March 2015

The Unitary EU Patent System: a new book

The Unitary EU Patent System, edited by the dynamic and thoroughly scholarly pairing of Justine Pila and Christopher Wadlow, has just been published by Hart Publishing. According to the web-blurb:
The purpose of this book is to explore the key substantive, methodological, and institutional issues raised by the proposed unitary EU patent system contained in EU Regulations 1257/2012 and 1260/2012 and the Unified Patent Court Agreement 2013. The originality of this work lies in its uniquely broad approach, taking six different perspectives (historical, constitutional, international, competition, institutional and forward-looking) on the proposed EU patent system. This means that the book offers a multi-authored and all round appraisal of the proposed unitary system from experts in patent law, EU constitutional law, private international law and competition law, as well as leading figures from the worlds of legal practice, the bench and the European Patent Office. The unitary patent system raises issues of foundational importance in the fields of patent and intellectual property law, EU law and legal harmonisation, which it is the purpose of the book to engage with.

This is a work which will enjoy wide and enduring interest among academics, policy makers and decision makers/practitioners working in patent law, intellectual property law, legal harmonisation and EU law.
This blogger hasn't seen it yet and is unlikely to see a review copy for a couple of weeks, so he thought he'd let everyone know that it was available. Justine and Chris have assembled an impressive array of contributors from the UK and beyond, so he'd expect it to be good. Since the new European patent package is still capable of being described as "work in progress", it's unsurprising that this volume is described as the "First Edition": clearly we can expect a sequel.

Further details are available from the publisher's web-page for it, here.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Late references to prior art: how to reach a sensible solution

VPG Systems UK Ltd v Air-Weigh Europe Ltd was an extempore ruling of Judge Hacon yesterday, sitting in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC), England and Wales. It will never hit the law reports, but at least it was noted on the Lawtel subscription-only service. It's one of those small but revealing cases that shows how a low-tier court goes about its unglamorous daily business of resolving disputes as efficiently and economically as possible, given the obstacles facing the judge (otherwise known as the parties).

In short, this was all about a pre-trial case management conference in a standard infringement claim where the defendant alleged invalidity. The lists of issues had been determined at a case management conference, following which the defendant sought to include reference to a new item of prior art. Although that item of prior art had not been referred to in the original list of issues, it was not one that surprised anyone since it had been mentioned both in the pleadings and in evidence.

The defendant submitted that its expert had not realised, before the case management conference, that certain documents relating to the new item of prior art were available. It also argued that, since the relevant item of prior art had been referred to in the pleadings and in the evidence, in that sense it was already part of the material before the court.

Judge Hacon granted the defendant's application.

First, the bad news for the applicant: the primary difficulty for the defendant was one of the provisions of the Civil Procedure Rules, CPR r.63.23(2), which deliberately made it difficult for parties to add material into the case after the first case management conference. What's more, the fact that the expert had not realised that documents relating to the relevant piece of art were available before the first case management conference did not constitute an exceptional reason that could justify the proposed amendment.

What about the good news? Given that the prior art had been referred to in the pleadings and in evidence, it could not be said that the defendant was seeking to submit new material into the case; rather, it was seeking to rely on the new material as a specific item of prior art.  This being so, r.63.23(2) did not of itself provide a barrier to allowing the amendment -- and there wasn't any other barrier to allowing the specific item of prior art to be added into the list of issues. Plainly it was an item of prior item with which the patentee was familiar, it having been referred to in the pleadings and in the evidence, and therefore it had to be something that was well within the patentee's contemplation, and there was no real prejudice to the patentee in allowing the defendant to rely on it.

Now for the qualification: since its application would be allowed, the defendant would not be permitted to put in any material relating to the item of prior art that was not already before the court in the form of disclosure or evidence.

This seems to be a neat solution, protecting the interests of both parties and enabling the court to have a better stab at either invalidating or affirming the status of a patent that might well be of interest to others in the same market.

Monday, 23 March 2015

No new substance, no admissibility - T2077/11

The decision T2077/11  of the EPO's technical board of appeal is a warning for all those who appreciate the art of copy & paste in appeal proceedings.

The appellant had filed a voluminous writ with grounds of appeal against a decision in opposition proceedings. Further scrutiny revealed that most of what was said therein was a copy of the grounds of opposition. Some additional phrases like "contrary to the contested decision" were sprinkled throughout the text but no new substantive arguments were added and none of the reasons given by the opposition division why the arguments of the appellant/opponent was wrong was discussed.

Disregarding what was a copy of the arguments filed in the first instance, the board of appeal summarizes the grounds of appeal as follows:
In fact, the appellant's statement of grounds can be summarised as follows: "We disagree with the contested decision. Contrary to the opinion of the opposition division the subject-matter of claim 1 according to the first auxiliary request fails to meet the requirements of sufficiency of disclosure (Article 100(b) EPC) and does not involve an inventive step (Article 56 EPC) for the reasons given in our grounds of opposition (reproduced here)."
The appellant submitted that the reproduced arguments did substantiate the grounds of opposition and were to be considered correct despite of the finding to the contrary in the first instance. However, the board notes that substantiation of the appeal requires discussing the reasons given for the decision of the first instance, not the grounds of opposition:
The appellant is of course correct in stating that there is nothing in the EPC or in the case-law that prohibits a party from repeating arguments presented during the previous proceedings. This approach however ignores the fundamental function of appeal proceedings, whether ex parte or inter partes, which is the judicial review of a contested decision. To this end it is foreseen that all decisions subject to appeal must set out the reasons supporting the conclusion reached having duly considered all the facts and arguments of the parties (Article 111(2) EPC). By the same token, the party contesting the reasoned decision is expected to consider and rebut at least one of those reasons in its effort to prove that the impugned decision is wrong and should be set aside. (emphasis added)

Friday, 20 March 2015

Patent litigation in Japan: Chief Judge speaks on latest developments

There's a fascinating and highly educative event coming up next month in London, thanks to the generosity of its sponsors and the kindness of its hosts -- our friends the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and the IP Lawyers Network Japan,  The details of this attraction look like this:

Recent Developments in Patent Litigation in Japan

13 April 2015
Time: 5:30-6:30 pm, followed by drinks & canapés thanks to generous contributions from the co-host IP Lawyers Network Japan and sponsors: Asahi Breweries Ltd, Canon Europe Ltd, Fujitsu, Honda Motor Europe Ltd., Kameda Seika Co Ltd, and Niigata University.
CIPA and the IP Lawyers Network Japan are pleased to announce a joint seminar inviting the new Chief Judge of the Japan Intellectual Property High Court (an appeal court), Judge Ryuichi Shitara, as the speaker.
The talk will cover the following topics:
Overview of procedures and recent trends
Introduction to the latest notable IP High Court’s Grand Panel judgments:
  •   FRAND SEP, injunction and damages: Apple v Samsung
  •   Patent term extension: Genentech v Japan Patent Office
Speaker: Judge Ryuichi Shitara, Chief Judge of the Japan Intellectual Property High Court
Price: Free for both members and non-members
CPD: 1 Hour
CIPA members must book on this seminar using the 'book me on event' button [this link should, with luck, lead to the right page]. If non-members or ITMA members wish to book, or for more information on the event, please email
Fancy writing a report on this event for the CIPA Journal in exchange for a free place? For more information or to volunteer, please contact

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Patent litigation in England and Wales 2007-2013: is it a predictor for UPC behaviour?

Thanks to IP scholar and enthusiast Luke McDonagh my attention has been drawn to Examining Patent Cases at the Patents Court and Intellectual Property Enterprise Court 2007-2013, a 24-page report on patent litigation in England and Wales which was prepared by Luke together with two other scholars, Christian Helmers and Yassine Lefouili. You can access it on the GOV.UK website here.

To cut to the chase, the report concludes:
Our data show that 445 patent cases were filed at the PHC [that's the Patents Court] during 2007-2013, whereas a total of 96 patent cases were filed at the IPEC during the same 7-year period [presumably this includes cases filed in the Patents County Court, since the IPEC has only been in existence since 1 October 2013]. This demonstrates that the majority of patent litigation in the UK’s largest patent jurisdiction – England and Wales – takes place at the PHC rather than at the IPEC, even post-IPEC reforms [I think this is a reference to the Patents County Court reform of 1 October 2010, which have that court a considerable boost]. Nonetheless, we also observe that the amount of IPEC patent litigation has increased substantially post-reforms, while over the same period the PHC has not seen fewer cases – quite the opposite, in fact.

Regarding patent-level data, it is worth noting that a very large number of the PHC patent cases - 372 - concern an EP, while at the IPEC 47 out of 96 patent cases centre on an EP. In other words, EPs tend to be the subject of PHC litigation much more frequently than GBs, but there is a more even split at the IPEC. In terms of case-level data, we show that infringement is the most common initial claim at both the PHC and IPEC; but that revocation is a frequent claim at the PHC and a frequent counter-claim at both courts [this confirms the widely-held impression of court users]. With respect to litigant-level data, we observe that more SMEs (106) were involved in PHC litigation than were involved in IPEC litigation (41) over the same period, a fact which shows that despite the increasing popularity of the IPEC, a large proportion of litigant SMEs are familiar with the PHC, something which may enter into their UPC opt-out considerations [that familiarity may not be based on choice, but on technical issues such as the damages limit].

Looking ahead to the UPC, there is little doubt that the answers to two key questions - (i) whether UK firms will begin to opt for UPs, and thus litigate sole at the UPC for these patents and (ii) whether UK firms will decide to opt-out their EPs during the transitional period, and thus continue to solely conduct litigation concerning their EPs at the PHC/IPEC, will determine how substantial and immediate the impact of the coming into being of the UPC/UP will be felt with respect to the amount and types of cases filed at the PHC/IPEC. On the one hand, if patentees decide en masse to opt for UPs instead of EPs or GBs it would seem logical that there would be less litigation at the PHC and IPEC in the coming years. On the other hand, recent survey evidence suggests that not all current patentees are actually considering doing this in the early years of the new system; some are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach (McDonagh, 2014). Indeed, in the coming years patentees may decide to maintain a spread of different types of patents – GB, EP and UP – a decision that would leave multiple potential litigation venues open, and which in turn would mean that in the immediate term the current rates of patent litigation at the PHC and IPEC may not be drastically affected by the coming into being of the UPC. Ultimately, by providing an authoritative, data-driven account of patent litigation at the PHC and IPEC for the period 2007-2013 this report makes a useful contribution to current discussions concerning patent litigation within the UK and the wider EU [I feel that, whatever value these findings have for patent litigation in England and Wales, it is very difficult to draw from them to any likely guidance as to how the same litigants might perform under the UPC].

Litigating in IPEC: a hands-on course

While competition between the various IP professions in England and Wales remains brisk, it's good to see how they cooperate in both running patent litigation courses and in making them available to those who wish to take advantage of them. An example of this cooperation is "Intellectual Property Enterprise Court – Use your rights!" This is a Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) course which takes place first on Tuesday 9 June 2015 at the headquarters of CIPA, 95 Chancery Lane London WC2A 1DT and thereafter from Thursday 25 June to Saturday 27 June 2015 at Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire HP16 0BD. What's this course all about? The CIPA website explains:
With the growing popularity of the IPEC amongst SMEs, and its more EPO-like procedures, patent attorneys are starting to take the opportunity to offer competitive litigation services. The aim of this course is to provide experienced patent attorneys (3+ years PQE) with an understanding of the procedures of the court by running a patent case study from issue to trial.

This course, which was run successfully in 2011 and 2012, will give you the tools to conduct proceedings in IPEC, either alone or with a barrister – or at the very least give you the confidence to look after your client through the litigation process. This time, we also hope to provide direct experience of the IPEC in action by arranging for at least some attendees to act as marshals in the court after they complete the course.

The course starts with an introductory day at CIPA Hall followed by a residential “long weekend” (Thursday lunch time to mid-Saturday pm). This takes place at conveniently situated Missenden Abbey, in the Chiltern Hills. Much of the time will be spent in groups of four or five working on the case study, under the supervision of a tutor. There will also be plenary sessions dealing with procedural law, case management and practical aspects of running a case and preparing for trial. There is nothing like a “long weekend” course, with hands-on experience for delivering the required levels of competency and confidence to act.
Further details of the course, which is being run by Vicki Salmon (IP Asset) and Richard Davis (Hogarth Chambers), can be found here. The contributions of Vicki and Richard will be augmented by the contributions of others, drawn from the ranks of the nation's IP barristers, solicitors and patent attorney litigators.

While this course is designed for Fellows of the CIPA, a limited number of places are available for solicitors and barristers. The course is limited to 30 delegates, to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity for hands-on learning.  The cost of the course includes accommodation at Missenden Abbey together with meals. CPD: 16+ hours Cost: Members: £1,560 (£1,300+VAT), Non-Members: £1,920 (£1600+VAT)

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Patent litigation and dispute settlement: a conference

"Litigation and Settlements in Patent Disputes", an attractive two-day conference organised by the Academy of European Law (ERA), takes place in Trier on 7 and 8 May 2015. Its main themes are (i) how to make the best use of EU and international legal instruments and (ii) invalidity, infringement and damages actions. There is a strong cast of speakers drawn from the judiciary, academe and private practice.
  Click here for programme details and registration.

Monday, 16 March 2015

EPO petitions for review are not third level hearings

Case R 0005/14, Apparatus for circulating flows of washing and rinsing liquids in a laundry washing machine/CANDY SpA (4 March 2015) a reminder from the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) that petitions for review of decisions of the EPO's Technical Board of Appeal are not third level hearings, despite the view that many petitioners seem to take to the contrary. The review procedure is an exceptional means of redress, introduced into the amended European Patent Convention 2000 with a view to rectifying intolerable procedural violations.

The review procedure, as the Enlarged Board emphasises, was never intended to operate as a third instance. As it states in its decision:
2.2 As to the substantiation of the petition, the Enlarged Board can see no evidence that the dismissal of the appeal results from any violations of the right to be heard or from other procedural defects within the meaning of Article 112a and Rule 104 EPC. ...

The reference made to gaps in the minutes to support the petitioner's argument that it was impossible to verify –in the absence of a recording of the oral proceedings – whether his arguments were indeed taken into account, or to establish the circumstances surrounding the Board's refusal of his request to hear a university professor, is immaterial: the Enlarged Board notes that all the petitioner's grounds mentioned in the petition received a written response, irrespective of their relevance or acuity. However, as shown by ... the contested decision, some of them were completely ineffective or even alien to
patent law. In such circumstances, it may well be that the petitioner has not grasped the full import of the reasons given for the decision, but if so, that certainly does not mean that the Board has infringed his right to be heard.

3. The review procedure is an exceptional means of redress created by the legislator in the amended EPC 2000 with a view to rectifying intolerable procedural violations. It was never intended to operate as a third instance. These principles were established in the first decisions taken on petitions for review (see e.g. R 0001/08 of 15 July 2008, Reasons 2 and 3). The right to be heard does not mean that the Board must accept argumentation; it must merely consider it. Equally, it does not mean that the Board has to allow requests; it simply has to give reasons when refusing them. If the Board's response does not satisfy a party, that is not a procedural violation; it simply means that the Board took a different view of the facts. And that is not a matter for the Enlarged Board. ...
This blogger is willing to bet that this is not the last time that a petition for review will be made in the hope that it will fulfil the function of a further level of hearing.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Report on possible amendments to UK law to accommodate new Unified Patent Court: little to report

It's a rather technical document, but it's quite short and it's definitely about patent litigation: published by the United Kingdom's Intellectual Property Office, it's called Technical Review and Call for Evidence: Summary of Responses. In short,
The Intellectual Property Office consulted on proposed changes to the Patents Act 1977 to introduce the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the Unitary Patent between 10 June 2014 and 2 September 2014.

The Government received twenty responses to the Technical Review and Call for Evidence. These came from businesses which may own patents or use patented inventions, legal firms and patent attorney practices, and also some organisations representing particular business/technology sectors. Responses went into varying levels of detail, with some looking at the fine detail of the proposed legislation, and also those which looked at high level principles. Different sectors had different concerns and priorities.
You can read the document here.  If you don't want to read it, or haven't the time, don't worry: there will not be any legislative proposals springing out of it before the UK government has published its own formal Response document -- for which there is as yet no projected publication date.

What's interesting is the very small number of interested parties making responses, listed on page 7. Whether this is a result of poor publicity for the consultation process, apathy or people simply being too busy, it's a disappointing and does send out something of a message that most people aren't particularly concerned.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Congress to Consider Alternative Patent Litigation Reform Bill

Last month, the so-called “Innovation Act of 2015” (H.R. 9) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. That bill proposed several reforms of the patent system, including restrictions on patent litigation such as a partial “loser pays” provision for infringement cases. We reviewed some of those proposed changes HERE.

The Innovation Act has triggered concern in some quarters that it might go too far in limiting patent enforcement rights, especially in light the popularity of inter partes review proceedings under Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”) and recent Supreme Court cases generally viewed as favoring defendants.

Last week, three senators introduced an alternative reform bill, named the “Support Technology and Research for Our Nation’s Growth (i.e., ‘STRONG’) Patents Act of 2015. The sponsors argue in the proposed legislation’s proposed findings that the AIA has caused “unintended consequences[,] including the strategic filing of post-grant review proceedings to depress stock prices and extort settlements.” In addition, the sponsors suggest that “efforts by Congress to reform the patent system without careful scrutiny create a serious risk of making it more costly and difficult for legitimate innovators to protect their patents from infringement, thereby weakening United States companies and the United States economy.” The bill’s findings also note that recent Supreme Court decisions in “Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 1749 (2014) and Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management System, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 1744 (2014) [have] significantly reduced the burden on an alleged infringer to recover attorney fees from the patent owner, and increased the incidence of fees shifted to the losing party[.]”

As a result of these concerns, the STRONG Patents Act takes a different tack in approaching patent system reform. Rather than making patent infringement actions more difficult maintain, the bill seeks to strengthen patents rights, including by reforming the still-evolving procedures in AIA post-grant proceedings, which it targets as being too favorable to petitioning parties challenging patents. Major provisions of the STRONG Patents Act include:

AIA Post-Grant Proceedings Reforms. The bill proposes changes to AIA post-grant proceedings to “ensure balance.” Changes include requiring PTAB panels to construe claims using the district court standard, rather than construing claims to have their broadest reasonable meaning; more liberal availability of claim amendments; and restoring an issued patent’s presumption of validity by requiring challengers to prove invalidity by clear and convincing evidence. The bill also would require one PTAB panel to decide whether to institute proceedings and a different PTAB panel to decide the merits of a challenge.

Pleading Standard. The bill would increase the patent infringement pleading requirement to match the standard for other civil cases under Iqbal and Twombly, including by deleting Form 18 from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under the so-called “Twiqbal” standard, a pleading must contain enough factual allegations to state a plausible claim for relief, but not the detailed contentions that would be required under the Innovation Act.

Willfulness Infringement. The bill would change the standard for willful patent infringement from the Seagate standard to that applied by the Supreme Court in Octane Fitness. Under the new standard, the court could award multiple damages if the patentee proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the infringement was willful or in bad faith.

Divided Infringement. The bill responds to the Supreme Court’s Akamai v. Limelight case relating to divided infringement by clarifying that in cases of indirect infringement, it is not necessary for all steps of a patented process be performed by a single entity.

Other Provisions. In addition, the STRONG Patents Act includes several other provisions, including: eliminating USPTO fee diversions, clarifying the status of universities under the AIA’s “micro-entity” fee schedule, and empowering the Federal Trade Commission to regulate abusive patent demand letters.

The STRONG Patents Act was introduced by Senators Chris Coons (D-Del), Richard Durbin (D-Il), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). The full text of the bill is available HERE.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Lyrica or generic pregabalin? An innovative court order

Warner-Lambert Company, LLC v Actavis Group PTC EHF and others [2015] EWHC 485 (Pat) is a Patents Court, England and Wales ruling of Mr Justice Arnold on 2 March which has already received substantial attention on the IPKat blog, thanks to Darren Smyth, here. 02 March 2015

In short, in January 2015, in an action for patent infringement the Patents Court dismissed Warner-Lambert's application for an interim injunction. The problem before the court was that doctors, when prescribing pregabalin as a painkiller for neuropathic pain (the sole use that remained within the scope of patent protection), weren't prescribing it by reference to its brand name LYRICA but rather by reference to its generic name, i.e. pregabalin. Said Arnold J, it did not lie within the power of Warner-Lambert, or indeed of Actavis (which was poised to launch its own generic version of pregabalin) to ensure that doctors prescribed the drug only as LYRICA when treating neuropathic pain, since this was an outcome that depended entirely on the behaviour of the doctors as prescribers.

Subsequently both Warner-Lambert and Actavis sought orders that prescribers be given clear guidance by the National Health Service (NHS England), to the effect that the brand name should be used for the patented indication while the generic name should be used for non-patented indications. The parties also wanted prescription software suppliers to alter their software in order to make it easier for doctors to prescribe pregabalin by brand name. Meanwhile. the parties agreed that Warner-Lambert should give a cross-undertaking in damages, but they could not agree as to its ambit: should it only be given to Actavis or should it also cover other generic manufacturers, in this case Teva and Dr Reddy.

Arnold J's conclusions, in brief, were as follows:

On the evidence, the issuing of guidance by NHS England was the most efficacious, dissuasive and cheapest solution to the problem, especially since the alternative from Warner-Lambert's point of view would be to pursue its applications for interim relief against all the generic suppliers.

The benefit of the cross-undertaking should be extended to the other generic companies for two reasons: (i) if Warner-Lambert's patent later turned out to be invalid, the companies ought not to be prevented from making sales of generic pregabalin, and (ii) even if the patent was valid, the effect of LYRICA being prescribed and dispensed at the expense of generic pregabalin in circumstances that did not amount to an infringement of the patent could not be discounted.

EPLIT meets in Paris: will you be there?

PatLit has just been contacted by the working group within the European Patent Litigators Association (EPLIT) which is responsible for organizing the association's annual meetings.  Says the working group:
"As you may know, EPLIT is focusing on patent litigation in Europe, in particular litigation before the future Unified Patent Court.  
We now have the pleasure to announce our second annual meeting which will take place on 29 May 2015 in Paris. The speakers at the meeting are deeply involved in setting up the Unified Patent Court, so we are confident that they will share some hot off the press news regarding the ongoing preparatory work for this Court with us".
The programme for this event can be accessed here or downloaded here.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Portuguese court strikes down 30-day mandatory arbitration deadline in patent infringement trial

... can be unconstitutional
PatLit has learned of an important Constitutional Court ruling from Portugal, where in recent years there have been substantial steps to improve the speed and efficiency of the resolution of intellectual property disputes. The ruling in question is Decision No. 123/2015, of 12 February 2015, which establishes that the 30-day deadline imposed for the initiation of mandatory arbitration of patent disputes is unconstitutional. This deadline was introduced by Law No. 62/2011, which created a system for settling disputes arising from industrial property rights regarding reference medicines and generic medicines, which was published on 12 December 2011.

The challenge to the law's constitutionality was brought after the country's Intellectual Property Court refused to grand interim injunctive relief in a patent infringement action, saying that the parties had first to go for mandatory arbitration.

Source: email circular from Baptista, Monteverde & Associados, Lisbon, Portugal.  Further details of this decision can be found here.  For more background, see guest post on PatLit by Pedro Malaquias here.

EPO Proceedings: a practical guide to success?

Proceedings Before the European Patent Office: a Practical Guide to Success in Opposition and Appeal, by Marcus O. Müller and Cees A.M. Mulder, is a neat little book and quite a departure from the usual Edward Elgar Publishing fare. While that publisher's list of IP titles has blossomed in recent years, it has been firmly and unashamedly directed towards the academic market. But here's something for the practitioner.

This blogger does not believe for a minute that there is any guarantee of success in EPO proceedings, given -- if nothing else -- the procedural inconsistencies that may be encountered. However, he does believe that, with common sense and good preparation. the chances of succeeding will be greatly enhanced. This little guide seems to him to do much to offer the intelligent reader a reasonable prospect of coming away from it with a far better understanding of how to tackle EPO proceedings, with neatly flagged pellets of practical advice and examples sprinkled throughout the text and with plenty of citations and even some statistics.

As the publisher says:
Experienced practitioners will find that the detailed case law citation adds depth to their knowledge. The practical advice and the illustrations from case law provide patent lawyers and patent attorneys with invaluable guidance on specific procedural and substantive questions, as well as on how to act properly in opposition and appeal proceedings. Proceedings Before the European Patent Office: A Practical Guide to Success in Opposition and Appeal is an indispensable tool in the armoury of all patent practitioners.
The first-named author is a member of the EPO Boards of Appeal, while the second is a practitioner. Between them they seem to have come up with an accessible and user-friendly package, a good deal more readable than much of the inevitably more formal material that can be found in Board of Appeal decisions and on the EPO website itself.  This blogger hopes that when, as will certainly happen, it is revised for future editions, it will be allowed to remain fresh and slender and will not suffer from the middle-age spread that comes from absorbing too many details.

Bibliographic data: paperback and online. xxii + 174 pages. ISBN:9781784710095, eISBN:9781784710101. Book's web page here.