02.12.16

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In Lawyerland, Simulated UPC ‘Trials’ and More Extraordinary EPO Propaganda for Change That Would Harm Europe to Help Patent Lawyers and Their Big Clients

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Like the mock trials recently used against EPO staff representatives?

UPC mock trial
Photo of UPC mock trial by Sofia Willquist (context)

Summary: A look at the latest wave of lobbying for the Unitary Patent Court (UPC), courtesy of patent lawyers who profit from patent disputes, and the utterly shameless marketing from the European Patent Office (EPO)

“UPC mock trial before the Swedish-Baltic court in Stockholm. Historic moment!” That’s what Sofia Willquist just wrote. One can imagine — and be correct about — what Willquist does for a living.

Benjamin Henrion asked her, “was it in Swedish?”

“The UPC may be exciting to patent lawyers (and their biggest clients), but not to anybody else, definitely not to Spain, which got blackmailed over its stance on the UPC.”“Yet another argument for Swedes to challenge this language discrimination at the ECHR in Strasbourg,” he added later. “UPC court in Sweden will be in English. Where is the Swedish language? Time for Strasbourg,” he wrote, clarifying that: “As far as I know, English is not an official language of any of those states.”

Imagine being an Italian or Spanish person such as a small business owner, then suddenly getting sued from abroad (e.g. US) for allegedly infringing on a patent, only to be forced to hire lawyers and interpreters (for defence of one’s innocence) because a trial in a foreign language is being imposed without choice, irrespective of the native/local language in the territory of alleged infringement. Oh, wouldn’t the trolls just love it! Texans can comprehend British accents.

“Pay close attention to who’s promoting the UPC.”We wrote about language aspects of the UPC yesterday, in relation to Spanish (by some criteria, the world's most spoken language). See our article "A La Oficina Europea de Patentes (OEP) no le gusta el Español, Así que PorQué los Espańoles la Toleran?"

The UPC may be exciting to patent lawyers (and their biggest clients), but not to anybody else, definitely not to Spain, which got blackmailed over its stance on the UPC. Spain has had its share of scandals (some involve a Spanish Vice-President at the EPO [1, 2, 3]) and there are some puff pieces about the EPO in Spanish right now, but one cannot lose sight of the fact that the UPC is driven to a large degree by few people's greed, even political abuse. Watch Alexander Esslinger ‏(“patently German”) marketing the UPC this week with “Kevin Mooney: #UPC opt-out fee would most likely be 0 EUR instead of 80 EUR as originally planned” (the real cost is being passed to the public, not the applicants for example, so this misses the point).

“Watch out as the UPC basically became one of several Trojan horses, alongside TTIP, TTP, and so on.”Pay close attention to who’s promoting the UPC. See our recent article "UPC: To Understand Who Would Benefit From It Just Look at Who’s Promoting It (Like TPP)". The EPO is funding pro-UPC propaganda events. There are even patent lawyers that rebrand themselves to capitalise on the UPC. Here we have UPC advocacy from “Bristows UPC” (basically Bristows LLP rebranded to reach out to potential clients). They wrote yesterday that: “The UPC Preparatory Committee has published locations so far confirmed for the UPC divisions, including addresses and photos. The information, published on the UPC website here, will be added to as more locations are confirmed, but it currently comprises: the Court of Appeal in Luxembourg; four local divisions in Germany (Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich and Mannheim) the Nordic-Baltic regional division based in Stockholm (covering Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), and the German branch of the central division (in Munich but in a different location from the local division). It should be noted, however, that the UK government decided last year that the UK branch of the central division and also the UK’s local division will be in the newly-built Aldgate Tower in London, and therefore it is expected that this information will be shortly be included.”

Watch out as the UPC basically became one of several Trojan horses, alongside TTIP, TTP, and so on. It’s about benefiting those who already benefited for many years and became very affluent thanks to policies (like tax exemptions and bans/sanctions of competition). Think along the lines of I.S.D.S. It boils down to protectionism.

“The EPO is now trying to paint itself as a proponent of plant varieties; all this while promoting the Monsanto agenda.”One can rest assured that the EPO will continue lobbying for the UPC. The managers (essentially top managers) seem to have made it their number one objective and the EPO's PR team works overtime, even on January first. At least three tweets with 404 errors were posted yesterday (on Thursday) by the EPO’s Twitter account. Yes, in three different tweets from @EPOorg the links to the EPO’s site were broken. The EPO is rotting, but Team Battistelli still tries to maintain a perception of legitimacy. Yesterday there were no less than two ‘news’ items in the EPO‘s Web site, one pertaining to patents on plants (looks like a public relations stunt/exercise, where a patent office that notoriously allows patents on plants does some photo-op with “Plant Variety Office”). To quote the EPO’s spinners: “The two organisations agreed to further strengthen their relationship through the exchange of information in the area of plant-related patents and plant variety rights. The Arrangement was signed in Munich, where the CPVO delegation, led by President Martin Ekvad, was welcomed by EPO President Benoît Battistelli.”

Don’t laugh. They actually mean it. The EPO is now trying to paint itself as a proponent of plant varieties; all this while promoting the Monsanto agenda. Incidentally, in yesterday’s news in English (Swiss Info) there was this article that said: “The European Patent Office (EPO) has rejected a request by Nespresso to revoke a patent owned by the Ethical Coffee Company (ECC), which is now calling for the halt of sales of infringing Nespresso machines in Germany. [...] For its part, Nespresso expressed its disappointment in a statement, and said it plans to appeal the EPO decision.”

“The EPO has become one massive scandal.”At the EPO, corporations (not SMEs) are patenting just about anything these days; the EPO allows this in order to drive up the numbers, just like in the US. There are “100 million patent documents” which the EPO now brags giving access to (warning: epo.org link). Imagine having to do ‘research’ on patents (with this kind of volume) in order to avert wilfull infringement. “You can subscribe to PATSTAT’s worldwide bibliographical patent data,” the EPO wrote, “covering nearly 100 million patent documents from more than 90 authorities worldwide. Optionally, you can also include worldwide legal status patent data and online access to European Patent Register data will be available soon.”

With the UPC, for instance, the archive would be further broadened. How many individual/independent inventors (or SMEs) can afford to deal with this mess? Who profits from EPO’s extensive and ever-growing patent archive, not to mention expensive storage/scanning? Who profits from patent searches? Remember what a French Former VP is doing right now [1, 2, 3, 4]. The EPO has become one massive scandal. The UPC would further empower these lunatics.

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