07.08.15

Europe Goes Down a Dark Route When It Comes to Patent Scope and Centralisation

Posted in Apple, Europe, Patents at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Who’s copying who?

Bush visits Brussels

Summary: Europe is being drained by the patent industry (lawyers, judges, etc.) while the US gradually takes on the problem

“So Software isn’t Patentable in the EU but the EPO is ignoring the Law?”

That’s a comment made the other day by “AntiSoftwarePat” over at Twitter. Well, we have already shown many other instances where the EPO ignores the lawknowingly too — including the extension of patent scope (in order to artificially elevate patents count).

The Unitary Patent will take expansion of patent scope even further, transcending borders. “UK Unitary Patent ratification before Brexit referendum, Mr Cameron is taking risks by giving EU super patent powers,” wrote the FFII’s President regarding this new article about UK-IPO. “In a statement sent to Out-Law.com,” said the author, “the IPO ruled out ratification of the Agreement this year but said that it intends to complete the “domestic preparations” for ratification ahead of the UK referendum on whether the country should remain in the EU, which is scheduled for some time in 2017.”

So they are jumping the gun. The public isn’t even taken into account.

“Hey, let’s patent life,” some folks may think (they can make a lot of money from that). According to this article from a London-based blog of lawyers, “Life sciences come to life again, this time in Berlin”. To quote: “Arrangements are now being made for the training of judges, the provision of court facilities and the projecting of existing patenting and dispute resolution techniques on to a fresh canvas. This is a scenario in which the accumulated experience, knowledge and wisdom of the life science sector cannot be relied upon in the absence of rigorous double-checking against a new framework for patenting, new litigation rules and — this is going to hurt the most — a set of complex transitional provisions.”

This shows that Europe is rushing (even fast-tracking) these expansions without public consent. While the US is narrowing down patent scope, Europe seems to be expanding patent scope.

A new article from the US (CBS) asks: “What would ‘real’ patent reform look like?”

The author correctly points out that “last year, the US Supreme Court issued a number of patent-related decisions that drew modest limits around both the process and substance of newly created categories of patents, including for software and business methods. Courts and the Patent Office became more aggressive about rejecting or overturning applications that should never have been granted. As a result, the overheated market for low-quality patents collapsed.”

The whole patent system in its current form is so utterly corrupt, biased and inherently protectionist (that’s just its goal, not publication). Too few people are willing to say that. Watch what Apple is patenting right now [1, 2]. It’s computer vision, i.e. software patents, on selfies! Will Europe go down the same abyss? hopefully not. European citizens need to educate themselves about what today’s patent system really is and who it benefits.

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