EurActiv’s Puff Piece for EPO (Amid High-Budget Media Blitz) Reveals Just How Clueless and Tactless the EPO’s President Really is
Summary: A bunch of EPO puff pieces served through the Web this week, and they don’t stand up to basic scrutiny based on facts
ALTHOUGH Wikipedia calls EurActiv “independent”, we oftentimes wonder why it promotes corporate interests and all sorts of villainous ‘trade’ deals. Over the years it has also been a platform for Microsoft lobbyists in Europe. In our humble assessment, there was always something dubious if not odious about EurActiv‘s agenda.
“In our humble assessment, there was always something dubious if not odious about EurActiv‘s agenda.”Yesterday we noticed this article (puff piece, EPO-sponsored?) from EurActiv, complete with softball questions for Battistelli, almost staged. Why not just make it a “guest post” of Battistelli, as if he was a journalist using this platform? Questions include loaded ones like: “Will the first unitary patents be granted in 2016?”
Well, UPC is not even a reality yet. Talk about jumping the gun…
The title of the piece is click-bait (probably for more hits/traffic) and a response to it has just been posted in IP Kat, saying:
Have you seen this?
Battistelli: Many Apple patents would not have been granted in Europe
In response to a question regarding “patent war” litigation between tech companies such as Samsung (a closer-contact-with-major-applicants-pilot-project member) and Apple (NOT a closer-contact-with-major-applicants-pilot-project member), Battistelli states that the reason this ‘patent war’ is “happening mainly in the US and not Europe” is “because there are many patents in the US granted to Apple which would have not been granted in Europe because we are more rigorous and more selective than in the US. In my [Battistelli's] view, this ‘patent war’ is largely due to dysfunction of the US system.”
What a remarkable statement!
Battistelli manages – in fewer than 50 words – to appear not only to defame Apple’s patent portfolio, but also manages to pooh-pooh the US system as “dysfunctional”!
I guess Battistelli doesn’t remember that the infamous “slide to unlock” patent (EP1964022) was granted by the EPO, and only later invalidated by the German Bundesgerichtshof…
He probably also doesn’t recall that the reason the Apple-Samsung ‘patent war’ is fought mainly in the US is because Apple and Samsung have agreed to end all patent lawsuits outside the US between themselves.
I wonder if Battistelli would be willing to identify individual Apple patents granted in the US that would-not-be or were-not granted in Europe?
How should Apple feel about such statements..?
How should Apple investors feel about such statements?
We too were surprised that Battistelli can pretend Apple is in no way abusive in Europe (we wrote a lot about it). Has he lived up a tree for the past 3-4 years? Is he willfully misleading or just misinformed? We don’t know what’s worse…
“The whole piece was basically constructed to be a megaphone for Battistelli and be some kind of positive “media presence” for the EPO.”The whole piece was basically constructed to be a megaphone for Battistelli and be some kind of positive “media presence” for the EPO. We kindly ask readers to recall that the EPO is 'planting' puff pieces in the media and spends obscene amounts of money doing so right now (newly-leaked contract), so we can only make guesses about EurActiv‘s motivations. We are seeing some other pro-UPC pieces right now, in lawyers’ Web sites (no mainstream reach though). One of them has just parroted the EPO: “According to a publication on the website of the European Patent Office (www.epo.org), significant progress has recently been made towards the unitary patent. The Select Committee, which was set up by the original 25 member states participating in the unitary patent, has agreed on the distribution of income generated by the payment of the uniform renewal fees to the European Patent Office (EPO).”
We don’t know what motivated the writers to just repeat the EPO’s claims. The EPO has a very poor record on accuracy and honesty. Remember what it told The Register earlier this week about freedom of the press. It was almost hilarious.
Meanwhile, the EPO-sponsored bloggers from IAM are shaming Germany into accepting the EPO’s ambition of making UPC a reality (more injunctions, damages, patent scope), but this does not exactly surprise us. We have come to expect this from IAM, which has written virtually nothing about EPO scandals (lies by omission). It mostly did ‘damage control’ for the EPO amid these scandals.
“The EPO has a very poor record on accuracy and honesty.”Looking at IP Kat for a moment, one new article speaks about a new topic and states that “The Technical Board wanted to know whether a notice of appeal that was filed after the time limit according to art. 108 EPC was to be deemed inadmissibleor not filed (note that this question is different from the one in G2/14, where the notice was filed timely, but the fee was paid late. G2/14 was terminated because the patent in question lapsed for non-payment of the annual fee).”
Another new article speaks about the big scandal regarding discriminatory treatment of applicants. “Merpel is also a bit annoyed,” she said, “because she has heard of European attorneys being asked about the new PACE provisions by applicants in Japan, who apparently heard it from visiting Examiners well before this announcement. Merpel is not against Examiners visiting applicants, but it is unhelpful to say the least to announce changes to users of the European patent system who require representation without representatives having been given the chance to inform themselves.”
Well, imagine what would happen if everyone applied for PACE. This whole system is a sham. It’s designed to eliminate patent neutrality while maintaining the illusion that it doesn’t.
Watch this new comment that says: “Not only letters to applicants are changed.
“Nowadays, Eponia is more concerned about generating, artificially, positive media coverage, not actually correcting its many ills.”“I was involved in a case where the division had decided to grant, and all members had signed. The director went to the second examiner and the chairman and stated that he did not agree, and that they should have consideration for their staff reports.
“He then went to the entrusted examiner and said that the grant would not go out and a refusal should be written.
“When the first examiner went to consult with the other two members they said that the director had already been to see them and please do the refusal (obviously in fear of reprisals).
“So what does the poor first examiner do? Write a refusal (keeping the original signed and dated grant, since Mr. Director was swiftly before pension and the examiner feared a rebuke from DG3 if the file would be appealed). Yes, strange happenings in EPONIA.”
Nowadays, Eponia is more concerned about generating, artificially, positive media coverage, not actually correcting its many ills. Do these people wonder why even politicians took an interest in this wasteful media manipulation?
The protest in Munich is going on right now. We hope to find some press coverage about it as early as Monday, if not in Sunday newspapers (Germany has several of those).
Colonel Battistelli must be feeling like there’s a dire need to brainwash his staff right now. █
“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”