01.30.16

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When European SMEs Make the Mistake of Relying on the EPO’s Integrity, Now Want to Even SUE the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And the European Patent Office (EPO) wants even more power with the Unitary Patent?

Sorting ideas

Summary: The EPO’s alleged mistreatment of small applicants that actually come from Europe (unlike prolific applicants that enjoy a fast lane and come from outside Europe) riles up even the most important stakeholders and creates a desire to sue the European Patent Office

TECHRIGHTS has mostly focused on the serious human rights violations by the EPO in recent years. Prior to that, software patents in Europe were the main subject of focus and earlier this month, opening the year 2016, we also revisited the gross discrimination against small European businesses. The EPO is not European (in the EU sense); it’s an international institution for internationalists, globalists, multinationals or whatever one calls billionaires and their large corporations that are politically connected and often evade tax using all softs of dirty (but legalised by their lobbyists) tricks.

“The EPO is not European (in the EU sense); it’s an international institution…”As recently promised, today we start shedding some more light on how small European businesses feel about the EPO. European businesses that actually had the displeasure of dealing with the EPO that is, not some mythical SMEs that the EPO's PR team speaks of…

We wish to start with the following letter, redacted a little in order to better protect various people’s identities and cases.

President Benoît Battistelli

European Patent Office

80298 Munich

Germany

Dear M. Battistelli

[redcated]

Further to my letter of [redcated] I have received a reply from [redcated]. I remain gravely concerned about how inventors, in particular individual inventors, are handled by the EPO.

My concern is that European citizens are able to secure the maximum possible Intellectual Property (“IP”) that they are entitled to in the shortest possible time so that economic value is maximised. This cannot be the case if the EPO refuses applications on which the EPO accepts there is patentable IP and if the EPO takes more than 6 years to arrive at this position.

In the case of my [redcated] EPO agreed to grant a patent on the basis of [redcated] as set out in the document [redcated] and that he could review that claim to ensure all IP was included and submit dependent claims. This resulted in submissions [redcated]. The first, [redcated], addressed the omissions and the subsequent filings were modifications to accommodate EPO objections. Contrary to the refusal letter just sent out [redcated] did not refuse [redcated] per se but was seeking the above augmentation (IP omitted and dependent claims) previously agreed. In accordance with the advice of [redcated] in his submission of [redcated] set out revised arguments and the order by which his claim revisions should be reviewed.

[redcated]

Had this review process been followed then, as a very disappointing minimum, there should have been a letter to grant on the basis of [redcated] and not the refusal [redcated].

Not only have the documents not been reviewed as outlined (they have reviewed [redcated]) but your examiners claim there is no [redcated] on file! If the examiners believed there to be no such document why did they not contact [redcated] to clarify the position? [redcated] is on file dated [redcated].

In addition to losing [redcated], your examiners appear to have lost the inventive step agreed at the first oral hearing. As the diagram below shows all the features present in [redcated] have been migrated into [redcated]. How therefore has the inventive step in [redcated] been lost in [redcated]? The text also shows the correction to the structure and addition of the [redcated].

[redcated]

Most troubling of all the issues is the basis on which the EPO has rejected [redcated]. [redcated] outlines this as follows: -

[redcated]

I am gravely concerned because it would appear that the examiners have themselves created a false inventive step solely for the purpose of rejecting claim [redcated]! Taking features in common between inventions then falsely making out that this is the inventions inventive step is clearly a basis by which all inventions could be refused. If this is so there is a very serious affair to address.

[redcated] has [redcated] for an explanation but none has been forthcoming from any of them. This in itself speaks volumes. [redcated] enquiries should be answered as a matter of urgency. The inventive step agreed at the first oral hearing is surely documented on the file. Please could I see this document? I am keen to understand the truth of this matter. I understand [redcated] has a recording of the first oral hearing which, if necessary, will provide definitive answers. Apparently inventive step was discussed for at least an hour.

I find it unacceptable that the EPO should issue a letter of refusal whilst disputed items are still being debated and to do so without first consulting the applicant. The examiners have written off years of work at the stroke of a pen despite accepting there is patentable IP to be had. The only option for [redcated] is further expense and further delay none of which seems fair or reasonable.

Surely it would be helpful in most instances to talk through the issues with the applicants in advance of reviews to ensure mutuality of understanding. I am dismayed that there has been no attempt on the part of the EPO to have any sort on conversation whether by email or conference call with [redcated]. Considering the process involves highly technical scientific and legal points between people of different cultures and languages I would have thought dialogue absolutely essential and by far the easiest way to remove misunderstandings and expedite matters.

Given the gravity of the situation I would ask that in addition to the specific questions raised that require an immediate response that it would seem appropriate that [redcated] file with the EPO be independently reviewed so that lessons can be learned from his experience and his invention can be considered fairly.

“I believe the action of the EPO has effectively stripped me of all economic value of my invention already,” told us the person who had been victimised above. “I think the only thing that will get them to sit up and pay attention/change is if they are sued. I am not sure if this is possible and what the risks and costs to myself might be. Have you ever heard of them being sued?”

“The EPO has become just an instrument of power to be habitually misused by people in power without them facing any consequences.”As even the Dutch government begrudgingly finds out, this isn’t so simple. The EPO cannot really be sued for various reasons (they cannot sue either, but they threatened to sue me in an effort to intimidate and induce censorship). One can find the reasons for their legal immunity/impunity in our past articles. This is in fact one of the more outrageous things about the EPO. They’re unaccountable and not liable to anyone.

It must be a thrilling experience working inside Team Battistelli, essentially being a tyrant above the law.

As various different factors serve to indicate, today’s EPO is not about invention but about protection or protectionism. The EPO has become just an instrument of power to be habitually misused by people in power without them facing any consequences.

“To us, the moment 8:17 A.M. means something – something very important, if it happens to be the starting time of our daily train. To our ancestors, such an odd eccentric instant was without significance – did not even exist. In inventing the locomotive, Watt and Stevenson were part inventors of time.”

Aldous Huxley

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