08.12.11

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EPO More Popular/Responsive Than the USPTO

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Station in Europe

Summary: The patent office which is more picky about what’s patentable and what is not scores better than the breeding ground of software patents and lobbyists for software patenting

THE president of the FFII, Benjamin Henrion, warns that according to this page, it is fair to say that the “EPO [is going] to organise propaganda meetings to explain people how to patent software in Europe”

A subject we have covered here many times before is the set of loopholes that the EPO leaves open to make software patenting more or less possible (just not formally). The more patents the EPO grants, the more ‘business’ it will have. So this system is primed for abuse. Having said that, it is nowhere as disastrous as the USPTO.

“The more patents the EPO grants, the more ‘business’ it will have.”To say more about the EU situation (not individual member nations), a lawyers’ blog criticises a study from Europe, saying that “it makes no sense to use surveys to compare how the different systems are doing on those metrics. So, for example, the report goes out of its way to emphasize how poorly the U.S. office is doing on timeliness as compared to the EU – 81% of respondents rate the EU well on timeliness but only 51% rate the US well. But why should we care about a survey on timeliness, when actual data is available? Although reasonable minds could differ on exactly what the right metric for timeliness is, how comparable the two systems are and what the optimal pendency time would be, it is easy to obtain reliable quantitative data on the existing situation. And the data show pretty definitively that however concerned the PTO and US patenters are about pendency time in the US, it is even longer in the EU (almost 50% longer in fact).”

Needless to say, this blog is American, so this apologism for the USPTO is very much guaranteed. What we might be able to conclude from the above is that the system with software patents and patent trolls is a lot less popular than that which does not encourage those, at least based on the aforementioned criteria.

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