Publicado en Europa, Patentes at 6:23 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
B Agenda Provisional
1 (dec) Adopción de la Agenda Provisional (B28/3/16)
2 (opn) Situación Social y Casos Disciplinarios
3 (opn) Secretariado del Consejo
4 (opn) Estudio Social
5 (opn) Reforma Estructural del Jurado de Apelaciones de la EPO
6 (opn) Preparación de la 147 Reunión del Consejo Administrativo de la EPO
7 (inf) Otras Materias
Sumario: La Junta 28 (B28), la que se rumorea esta en el proceso de despedir al Presidente de la EPO (Battistelli), tiene un revelante set de conclusiones
LA EPO esta a punto de irse a la huelga (más de ello esta noche). Cuando Battistelli dijo que sus relaciones son excelentes estaba MINTIENDO descaradamente o fuera de su juicio. Basado en documentos filtrados a Techrights hoy, no hay redacción de la estancia de la Junta acerca de Pinocho Battistelli. Aquí les presentamos la agenda de la reunión B28 (después que las conclusiones fueron sacadas), fechada el 9 de Marzo del 2016 (eso es hoy). La siguiente es la agenda y sus minutos de la reunión encubierta B28 (15 de Febrero).
71 reunión del
Munich, 17 de Februaro del 2016
ENTREGADO POR: Secretariado del Consejo
DESTINATARIOS: Consejo Administrativo (para información)
Este documento ha sido emitido en forma electrónica unicamente
1. La Junta del Consejo Administrativo (“la Junta”) sostuvo su 71ava reunión en Munich el 17 de Februaro del 2016, con el Sr Kongstad en su presidencia.
Srta. Erlingsdóttir, Sr. Asan and Sr. Kratochvíl han informado al Presidente que no pudieron venir.
2. La Junta adoptó la agenda provisional señalada en B28/3/16 e.
3. La Junta presentó al Presidente con un papel, preparado por sus miembros poco antes de esta reunión, la que señala a la Junta con muy precisas expectaciones de la Oficina de la Gerencia acerca de los asuntos de la agenda de hoy – en particular en lo social y los asuntos disciplinarios.
4. El Presidente consideró que no hubo mayor problema con cuatro de los cinco puntos que fueron tomados en cuenta en este bosquejo pero solicitó clarificación acerca del estado legal para instrucciones directas dadas al Presidente para procedimientos individuales bajo su competencia. El llamó la atención a los grandes riesgos en términos de gobernabilidad.
5. Los miembros de la Junta consideraron el documento ser auto-explicativo. Ellos señalaron que no debería venir como sorpresa, tomando en cuenta las numerosas señales dadas al Consejo Administrativo a través de un considerable periódo de tiempo. El documento sólo viene a traer claridad. Es considerado necesario ya que parece que no hay otros medios de comunicar al Consejo de las preocupaciones recurrentes expresadas los pasados meses. Más allá de lo formal (indisputable) asunto del Artículo 10 EPC, la Junta tiene que deplorar una obvia falta de voluntad por parte del Presidente para embarcarse en una atrasada discusión abierta con el Consejo en temas polémicos – ante todo el diálogo social.
6. El Presidente no estuvo de acuerdo y recordó de su carta envíada a las delegaciones de la AC el 15 de Febrero explicando las posibles maneras de seguir adelante pero ha mantenido su posición por razones legales de acuerdo a instrucciones relacionadas con los casos disciplinarios.
7. La sesión se levantó antes de que pudieran ser examinados los otros temas de la agenda.
La próxima semana será histórica para la EPO, asi que tomé varios días libres. Tenemos un montón de material de trabajo, así que sintonicenos. █
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Benoît Battistelli is not genuinely interested in defusing the situation (cruel witch-hunts persist), so now the ball is in Kongstad’s court
Summary: Rather than go on strike next week (there will be a protest, but not a strike) the staff representatives of EPO ask Mr. Jesper Kongstad to tackle urgent issues in order to prevent the strike
The above image, sent to us by an anonymous reader with the French text explained, “shows how the rules Battistelli [EPO President] imposed in 2013 for the purpose of impeding strikes backfired.”
As a recap, explained this reader, “nowadays you have to humbly file a petition to the Prince. If the Prince thinks the petition to be worthy of his attention (and His Highness decided twice not to pursue the matter), then He will organise himself a vote.
“And the ballot now takes place in your own office, during work hours, on EPO supplied computer equipment, with extremely limited voting by proxy provisions.”
–Anonymous“And the petition can be neither circulated by E-mail, nor discussed on the workplace, unless one is interested in a very short or limited career.
“And the ballot now takes place in your own office, during work hours, on EPO supplied computer equipment, with extremely limited voting by proxy provisions.
“And if the vote goes through, your salary is docked for a duration longer than the strike itself.
“Yet those idiots still don’t get the point.”
As explained by another person, reflecting/remarking on the results of the recent ballot:
This result is remarkable for the following reasons:
- first because the ballot received little publicity: being organised by the Office according to its extraordinary practice – which to our knowledge is unique in any developed world – it received little publicity. It should also be noted that, while supporting the claims therein, neither the Union (SUEPO) nor the Staff Committee expressly championed the cause of this “grass-root” initiative – staying neutral, the institutions have merely encouraged Staff to make use of their democratic right.
- Secondly because there was a general concern that the electronic voting itself and confidentiality of the votes could not be guaranteed: despite the present atmosphere of fear that reigns nowadays in the EPO, colleagues have participated in large numbers
Wait and watch how Battistelli et al try (not necessarily with success) to put more obstacles in order to prevent staff from going on strike. They have done this for weeks if not months (here is the more recent example of that).
“I think you’ll find that is the practice whereby BB [Battistelli] acts as a barrier to the AC [Administrative Council],” one person wrote a short while ago. “Interestingly there seems to be points on the B28 [Board 28] agenda about governance and the AC secretariat, which is provided by the office i.e. under BB’s general control. Don’t know why that is now an issue but clearly is.”
“…despite the present atmosphere of fear that reigns nowadays in the EPO, colleagues have participated in large numbers…”
–AnonymousHaving navigated through various documents, including those pertaining to so-called ‘union recognition’ (there was no such intention with respect to SUEPO from Battistelli, as it was merely theatrical, probably intended to appease the Council), we are increasingly concerned that EPO workers still don’t deal with rational management. They deal with tyrants disguised as professionals — people who would allegedly even bribe in order to buy support. If your negotiation ‘partner’ plays so dirty, is it safe enough to play clean yourself? Is it possible at all?
Not too long ago we managed to get our hands on a letter sent to Mr. Kongstad, who is growing impatient with Battistelli. Here is what this letter says:
European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY
European Patent Office
Central Staff Committee
Comité central du personnel
Tel. +49 -89- 2399 – 4355
+43 -1-52126 – 305
+49 -30-25901 – 800
+31 -70-340 – 2028
Reference: sc16039cl – 0.3.1/4.1
To the Chairman and the Heads of
Delegations of the Administrative Council
of the EPO
Strike ballot results 08.03.2016 – Next steps
Dear Mr Kongstad,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In a ballot organised yesterday, Staff of the European Patent Office voted overwhelmingly (91%) in favour of a strike. Staff has chosen the CSC as their interlocutor for the strike petition (see Annex). Unfortunately, no meaningful dialogue with the current management has been possible.
Next week the 147th meeting of the Administrative Council will take place in Munich. Since a strike should be a means of last resort, EPO staff is expecting a clear signal from the Council that will de-escalate the current crisis.
We also welcome any opportunity to relaunch the social dialogue through negotiation with serious partners. Therefore, we propose that a meeting should be organised between a delegation of the Council and a delegation from our side to address the concerns of staff.
The Central Staff Committee
Annex: Call for Strike “Lawfulness at the EPO”
We confirm that this letter was legitimately decided and produced by the Central Staff Committee1.
1 Pursuant to Article 35(3) ServRegs, the Central Staff Committee shall consist of ten full and ten alternate members.
The CSC presently consists of 9 full and 8 alternate members, because two have resigned in December 2014, one has been dismissed in January 2016 (against the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee) and one refused replacement of a full member against Article 7(3) of Circular 355.
One full member of the CSC has been downgraded in Jan 2016 (against the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee). In fact, the Office has launched investigations and disciplinary procedures against several other Staff representatives as well, affecting negatively their health.
It is worth noting, in addition to the above, that dissent against the management is at an all-time high by some measures.
As pointed out by one person, “history of votes “against” a proposed strike (/participants)
· 26.09.13: 306 (/ 4640)
· 13.03.14: 266 (/ 4119)
· 23.10.14: 353 (/ 3553)
· 08.03.16: 219 (/ 4062)
“This is the lowest result so far!” █
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How many people even noticed (let alone wrote about) Microsoft’s Wistron and Rakuten patent settlements that explicitly cover Linux?
Sending journalists in many different directions to distract from the really outrageous news
Summary: Microsoft loves Linux enough to strangle it to death with patents while the media isn’t paying attention and instead telling us that Microsoft is now a buddy or “pal” of GNU/Linux
MICROSOFT HAS — whether deliberately or not — been distracting the media and disguising several patent attacks on Linux by openwashing its latest proprietary crusades (bringing Microsoft’s proprietary software and lock-in to FOSS and/or GNU/Linux). For those who have been living under a rock/tree since 2006 (the Novell-Microsoft patent deal), Microsoft is trying to tax GNU/Linux, raising its cost while also making it a cash cow of Microsoft, by leveraging software patents. Microsoft always coerces the extorted party into stating (in the public eye) that everything is amicable while the settlements are wrapped in a coat of NDAs. We gave an example of this last month (Acer). It’s not only unjust; as per the RICO Act, this should come under investigation for potential violations of the law. This, in our view, is racketeering. “That’s extortion,” Mark Shuttleworth (founder of Canonical) said many years ago, “and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.” On another occasion he told the media: “Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”
To add insult to injury, Microsoft is ripping GNU/Linux off (Canonical in this one example) and then patenting the ideas of Canonical/Ubuntu. See this new article from a Microsoft propaganda site. It’s titled “Microsoft applies for Continuum patent” and comments on it say (among other things): “The issue is that mainstream media think it is MS idea, even calling Ubuntu convergence being inspired by continuum.
“To add insult to injury, Microsoft is ripping GNU/Linux off (Canonical in this one example) and then patenting the ideas of Canonical/Ubuntu.”“Canonical took to long to deliver (and still actually didn’t) on the convergence idea, now it’s too late and Ubuntu phone will soon die.”
Quoting comments from the article itself we have: “I wonder how this patent compares to Ubuntu’s convergence that they’ve been working on for years? It seems essentially the same in that they expect Ubuntu Phones to attach to a monitor and act as a full computer.”
Another person wrote: “Not sure that MS can get this. Prior-Art argument. Ubuntu has been working on the same thing for the last few years. They call it “Convergence”, it’s been in testing for at least a year or more…. not to mention the previous project to run Android and Ubuntu on a single device with the same purpose.”
“Despite being anything but an innovator, Microsoft is extorting companies behind the scenes using these bogus patents.”“It’s not worth doing,” another person wrote. “Continuum has been done with Convergence with Ubuntu, and I think KDE Plasma Mobile is working on something similar too. Microsoft is just attempting to gain a patent for something that they can then sue everyone away from doing. In other words, Microsofting the competition.”
Among the other comments we have “Prior art is all over the place” and “This is a complete bullshit patent.”
Despite being anything but an innovator, Microsoft is extorting companies behind the scenes using these bogus patents. Days ago we wrote about Wistron, whose patent ‘deal’ (surrender) with Microsoft is now covered in a variety of other sites, e.g. [1, 2, 3]. A lot of sites did not cover this because they were too busy writing puff pieces about Microsoft ‘embracing’ FOSS or Linux (Microsoft embraced neither, except in the E.E.E. sense). “The deal,” WIPR said, “announced on Monday, March 7, covers Wistron’s tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other devices running the Android and Chrome platforms that fall under Microsoft’s patent portfolio.”
“Microsoft loves Linux? Well, just ignore “Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC,” which is attacking Linux, essentially engaging in blackmail and extortion with software patents.”How interesting a timing. “Microsoft can embrace open source all it wants,” Simon Phipps wrote (he is a FOSS luminary), “but until it foreswears patent aggression against community members it’s a hostile party.”
I had a bit of a chat with him about this [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. He’s clearly too smart to fall for Microsoft’s charm offensive. Microsoft loves Linux? Well, just ignore “Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC,” which is attacking Linux, essentially engaging in blackmail and extortion with software patents. Also take note of this report from yesterday (“EU Taking Steps Towards Formal Complaint Against Google’s Android” over at Bloomberg) which reminds us that Microsoft is still lobbying and AstroTurfing (lobbying by proxy) against Linux, as we explained many times before.
So, this is the real Microsoft and for those who think it “loves Linux” perhaps a bit of a broader perspective may be necessary. The media sure isn’t helping because all it has done this past week is reposts/recycling of marketing images from Microsoft (with red-coloured hearts in them). That’s hardly journalism; it’s often called churnalism as it requires no research or input, just a little editing.
“The media sure isn’t helping because all it has done this past week is reposts/recycling of marketing images from Microsoft (with red-coloured hearts in them).”Microsoft, you see, loves Linux enough to just blackmail it. Again and again. It happened a second time this week alone, while the media wasn’t paying attention. Only Microsoft propaganda sites [1, 2] have covered it (so far, with the expected bias) and the Microsoft boosters try to make this racketeering look like “pals”. Why are general news sites or GNU/Linux sites not paying attention? It was simply nowhere in the news, not ‘on the radar’. Microsoft is now acting exactly like a patent troll, and it’s called “Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC,” based on the announcement which says: “Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC and Rakuten Inc. on March 9 signed a worldwide patent cross-licensing agreement covering each company’s respective consumer electronics products, including Linux and Android-based devices.”
So only 2 days apart Microsoft signed two Linux-related patent ‘deals’ (extortion), but the media focused only on Microsoft PR. Here is a sort of press release that almost nobody noticed, except perhaps this belated article (this morning) which says “Microsoft has just announced that it signed a new deal over its Android and Linux patents, this time with Japanese company Rakuten.”
“So only 2 days apart Microsoft signed two Linux-related patent ‘deals’ (extortion), but the media focused only on Microsoft PR.”Where was the media in the midst of all this? Why is this not being covered? IT Wire portrays Microsoft as a friend of Linux. This is far too shallow an article by an occasional writer and another new article from his colleague, Sam Varghese, mentions almost nothing at all about Microsoft’s attacks on GNU/Linux. Planet Debian also obsesses over the wrong news (so do Debian supporters), which isn’t even news at all. The Microsoft/SONiC/Debian thing is not news because it was mentioned in passing several months ago. It’s old new recycled or re-announced by Microsoft for propaganda, serving to distract from patent extortion (two incidents thereof), whether by design or by pure coincidence, which we doubt.
Over at FOSS Force, Christine says that “[a]ll of these efforts are entirely aimed at channeling business Microsoft’s way. It’s a one-way street. Redmond is only making it easy for open source developers to work and play well with the Microsoft universe.”
One journalist said that the “big thing today is SDN – or software defined networking – and Microsoft turned to Linux to enable it.” While also taxing Linux with patents? In the courts, Microsoft insists that Linux is its “intellectual property”. Now it’s just acting as though Linux is its property. How conveniently some people forget that Microsoft is still attacking Linux with software patents. Maybe they’re just not paying attention and the media surely isn’t helping. Microsoft cannot love Linux or even learn to love it. It can only pretend when it suits the goals of the marketing or E.E.E. strategy.
“Microsoft cannot love Linux or even learn to love it. It can only pretend when it suits the goals of the marketing or E.E.E. strategy.”Considering in general terms whether there was a deliberate design/plan here (intended to bury certain news while propping up some old/recycled news), Microsoft boosters sure covered the wrong thing and in general news sites the headline was changed from “Microsoft will release a custom Debian Linux. Repeat, a custom Debian Linux for networking” to “Microsoft has released a Debian Linux switch OS. Repeat, a Debian Linux switch operating system” (which is an entirely different thing, suggesting that it’s just recycled old news). The Register had rewritten its initial misleading headline about Microsoft and Debian and suddenly it looked like news from last year.
Why is there no investigative reporting about Microsoft’s patent attacks on Linux? Microsoft apologists played along by taking this news from last year and saying: “Put down your coffee gently. Microsoft will today release a homegrown open-source operating system, based on none other than Debian GNU/Linux, for network switches.”
Nope, not today, not yesterday. This is old news. And they’re missing the real news. █
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Summary: A look at patent news from the United States, focusing primarily on patent trolls or software patents (the trolls’ weapon of choice)
Trolls’ Antics Spreading
“ServiceNow (NOW) stock rose Tuesday,” said this article, “with word out that it might be able to settle some of its patent litigation with privately held BMC Software, avoiding a trial scheduled to start Friday.”
“The cost of going to trial (plus all the appeals which typically ensue and moreover the duration which casts doubt and uncertainty) is greater than just settling.”This is what very often happens when it comes to software patents. The cost of going to trial (plus all the appeals which typically ensue and moreover the duration which casts doubt and uncertainty) is greater than just settling. That’s what gave rise to a lot of what’s now known as “patent trolls”, even though large companies with actual products do the same thing (our next post will deal with Microsoft, which even created a troll-like entity called “Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC”).
Patent Reform in the US
“In his Patently-O Patent Law Journal essay,” says this post, “James Daily reports the results of his investigation into the signatories to these open letters [regarding patent reform that focuses on patent trolls]. He finds, inter alia, that the signatories of the second letter are (1) more likely to be donors to the Republican Party and (2) more likely to be registered patent attorneys.”
“Republicans often stand for (or support) what’s good for large corporations, which also get represented by patent lawyers (hence they ‘trickle down’ money to them, at the expense of everybody else).”This is expected, but receiving a reminder that reinforces these expectation can be helpful. Republicans often stand for (or support) what’s good for large corporations, which also get represented by patent lawyers (hence they ‘trickle down’ money to them, at the expense of everybody else).
IAM Doesn’t Know What “Trolls” Are (Follow the Money)
Why do we still see so many patent trolls in the US? Why does the EPO’s management want to bring them over to Europe with the UPC? And why do friends of the EPO’s management (sites like IAM) take money to promote the UPC and to soften the image of trolls? Follow the money. It’s not hard.
“It’s pretty obvious that the Eastern District of Texas is friendly to trolls.”Consider this new article from friends of software patents who are also receiving money from patent trolls (and whose “Editor in chief” does not know how much money is being paid to by sponsors). Whenever they write about patent trolls they manage to not even to mention the word “troll” (because it might offend IAM’s parent company, as it’s paid by trolls). Here’s the latest example which says that “as Congress waits, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is set to tackle one of the most controversial aspects of patent infringement cases in the US – the thorny topic of venue shopping. Almost all sides of the reform debate can agree that it is not healthy in any legal system for a disproportionately large number of cases in any field to be heard by just one court and for one judge to hear so many. Last year, according to Lex Machina, 2,540 patent cases were filed in the Eastern District of Texas – 43.6% of the total suits brought in the US. Of those, 1,686 were filed with Judge Rodney Gilstrap. Regardless of Judge Gilstrap’s judicial skills, that lack of plurality does not paint the US patent system in a good light.”
Amazingly, the article does not say a thing about trolls. Astonishingly, they miss the strong correlation between the Eastern District of Texas, patent trolls, and even software patents.
“U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to rehear arguments from Pi-Net International Inc., which saw its Federal Circuit appeal in a case against JPMorgan dismissed after it used formatting tricks to hide the fact the appeal brief was too long.”
–Law 360“Of course,” they added, “if the CAFC or Congress does severely stymie patent plaintiffs’ ability to bring cases in East Texas we might finally see whether patent owners flocked there not because the courts gave them such an easy hearing, but because it’s the only place in which they have been able to get a fair hearing.”
It’s pretty obvious that the Eastern District of Texas is friendly to trolls. It even openly advertises this, as covered widely in the press just weeks ago. How could IAM miss this crucial fact?
Fear of PTAB
The Intellectual Property Owners Association, which is essentially a lobbying group of the super-rich (not just any holder of patents), is trying to demolish previous reforms that introduced a court known for eliminating a lot of software patents, especially post-Alice. There is also the article “Fed. Circ.’s [CAFC] Embrace Of PTAB To Fuel More AIA Reviews”, which related to what we wrote two days ago.
Patents Keeping the Price of Ink Sky-High
To understand the wider impact of patent maximalism look no further than the Lexmark story, which continues to be the subject of lawyers’ analyses, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4] in recent days.
Too Much Work? Inadmissible!
We couldn’t help but notice this new article which says that the “U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to rehear arguments from Pi-Net International Inc., which saw its Federal Circuit appeal in a case against JPMorgan dismissed after it used formatting tricks to hide the fact the appeal brief was too long.”
A lot can be said about this, either about the cheeky lawyers who disguised the length of the brief or the court which judges based on the number of words (rather than merit). █
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An antidemocratic process which harms Europeans is discussed/constructed behind closed doors
Summary: Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court in the EU is still just wishful thinking, but those who are eager to see it materialising (the patent microcosm working for personal gain) would have us believe it’ll be here “real soon now” (same thing they have been saying for years whilst endlessly renaming this unpopular effort)
The EPO‘s lobbying in Brussels was mentioned here earlier this year because there seems to be increased emphasis on that. The tyrant who runs the EPO doesn’t give a damn about democracy and he wishes to impose the UPC regime (totally antidemocratic) on the whole of Europe in one fell swoop. Billionaires and their lawyers are looking forward to that.
Based on yesterday’s live coverage of “International Patent Forum 2016″, “Stefan Luginbuehl of the EPO gives an update on the Unitary Patent, the EPO’s new responsibilities and the fees.”
“The tyrant who runs the EPO doesn’t give a damn about democracy and he wishes to impose the UPC regime (totally antidemocratic) on the whole of Europe in one fell swoop. “The EPO’s boosters (who rub Battistelli’s back) keep insisting that the EPO is not pushing for or touching policy pertaining to the UPC. Either they’re delusional, not paying attention, or simply lying. We have already given nearly a dozen examples where EPO senior staff goes lobbying for the UPC. Battistelli is doing it all the time. A later update from MIP’s live coverage said that “Stefan Luginbuehl of the EPO gives an update on the Unitary Patent, the EPO…”
Can we quit pretending that the EPO is just taking the role of examining and granting patents? It’s now somewhat of a self-serving monster striving to improve ‘results’ even if that requires doctoring them a little. All hail King Battistelli and kneel to his mighty globalist policy! Since when does an international body override European policymakers and influence them?
“Since when does an international body override European policymakers and influence them?”According to this legal analysis republished in The Register this morning: “Companies will be able to opt out an “unlimited” number of their EU patents from the jurisdiction of the new Unified Patent Court (UPC) at one time, it has been learned.”
Well, let’s pretend that the UPC is unstoppable and only a matter of time. What we have here are self-fulfilling prophecies, especially in light of Brexit (UK exiting the EU) prospects, Spain’s opposition to the UPC, and many other factors, including the end of the Battistelli era.
Watch today’s UPC piece from IAM and recall that the EPO's PR firm pays for IAM's promotion of the UPC. This piece parrots the bogus EPO numbers (including from China) and says: “As this blog has noted, the latest statistics from the European Patent Office (EPO) show that this firm has plenty of company among its Chinese peers, and that the EPO filing route is attracting increased interest from the country. Applications from China jumped 22% year-on-year, which combined with greater interest from the US, helped to account for most of the 4.8% overall growth in the EPO’s application figure. Huawei came in fourth among corporate applicants to the office, with rival ZTE the only other Chinese firm among the top 25. No surprise, then, that China’s applications were skewed towards digital communication and computer technology; even if, overall, medical technology led the way in both absolute and percentage growth terms.”
“There is a lot of high-budget propaganda going on right now and guess who pays the bill? Secret EPO budget.”As a patent attorney, Joeri Beetz, noted a week ago, many of these patents are only written in Chinese. Should every European now learn Mandarin? Or hire lawyers who speak Mandarin? To read many thousands of patents and properly study them? What the heck is being compared here anyway? In order to promote the UPC even more, weakly tackling a common point that’s often raised against the UPC, IAM also published “End of prohibition on double patenting” (cross posted). UPC propaganda money that was given to IAM seems to have been well spent. It’s not too hard to see who they work for. Watch how Patently-O is already led to believe the fantasies of Battistelli, who keeps telling the media that UPC is just months away. To quote Patently-O‘s latest: “Within the next few months, the Preparatory Committee will wrap-up its activities and we will then await ratification by the member nations. The UPC Agreement was signed by 25 EU Member States. However, it must be ratified by at least 13 states, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom – That process is likely to be concluded this summer as well. If that schedule goes forward then the UPC may be open-for-business for the start of 2017.”
Well, this is wishful thinking. There are several barriers which we wrote about before, the latest of which is Brexit (there are even greater barriers).
The UK-IPO has apparently just released “Proposed Changes to the Patents Rules”. As per IP Copy blog: “The UKIPO has released a consultation on proposed changes to the Patents Rules. The deadline for making comments is 22 April 2016 (at 11:45pm). Eleven different changes are proposed which range from the helpful (providing a notice of intention to grant) to the nerdier end (removing the need to paper forms in triplicate) of the spectrum.”
How many people are willing to bet that UK-IPO will continue to be the British patent authority going well into 2017? The EPO’s bogus numbers would have us believe otherwise; one person who has patents at the UK-IPO and later attempted to apply for patents at the EPO is extremely furious and considers taking legal action against the EPO (albeit it’s hardly possible) for what can easily be interpreted as gross misconduct (we saw documents). We are going to write about this in the future as it’s currently the subject of investigation at European authorities.
The bottom line is, don’t believe the EPO and so-called ‘news’ sites that work for the EPO when they speak about the UPC. They keep making false predictions, hoping that gullible readers will assume inevitability and naively accept these predictions as fact. There is a lot of high-budget propaganda going on right now and guess who pays the bill? Secret EPO budget. █
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Monopolising mass surveillance using software patents as weapons which guard its ‘turf’ (walled gardens)
Summary: Facebook is being hailed and ridiculed for patents on software that basically data-mines the words of a population under mass surveillance
AT the start of this year we wrote about Facebook's neo-colonialist plot in India (one among many abuses), where poverty is being exploited to digitally imprison people. An article published on the 23rd of February also reminded us of software patents which are verboten in India.
“Readers should remember that Facebook applies for software patents, buys software patents, and uses them to attack companies.”India is increasingly thriving as a software powerhouse and the article’s headline was “The new Guidelines for Computer Related Inventions are a big win for FOSS in India!”
To quote the article, “India is one of the few countries which permits patenting of software – a monopolization that has only benefited established corporations and largely throttled innovation in the software industry, worldwide. CIS has consistently advocated against patentablity of software and in a major victory last week, software patenting in India died a little more. This happened via the newly issued Guidelines for the Examination of Computer Related Inventions, which introduces a new test to restrict software patenting – in essence the same legal test that CIS had been proposing since 2010. This post highlights the new test and other noteworthy changes in the Guidelines.”
Several days ago it became apparent from the media that Facebook is still patenting and also creating hype around software patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Among the headlines we have “Facebook Patents Software To Track and Identify New Slang Terms” and “Facebook patents new software that creates a slang dictionary”.
“Facebook is a very big part of many problems, one of which is software patents.”These are software patents. Some in the press treat them like a good thing, which is foolish. Readers should remember that Facebook applies for software patents, buys software patents, and uses them to attack companies. Facebook is an aggressive company which is still patenting software and sometimes using these patents to sue much small companies.
“Like many big tech companies,” said the article above, “Facebook files a lot of patents. But its latest one, which was granted in February, is raising a few eyebrows; it’s a piece of software that scans the social media site for emerging terms and stores them in a “social glossary.””
Well, anyone who still uses (or being used by) Facebook ought to reconsider. Facebook is a very big part of many problems, one of which is software patents. █
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The end of heartless leadership
Summary: As Battistelli is expected to be on his way out (some sources tell us ejection is likely to happen in June), there is no denying that big changes are afoot and we take stock of some
We previously published hundreds of articles about the European Patent Office, which had threatened to sue us for writing about its many abuses. Two of the latest developments we might as well want to repeat/highlight/cover in depth. These developments are as follows:
- About 60% of the EPO’s staff voted for a strike two days ago. They are fed up with the management’s abuses. There are strikes and protests imminent.
- The President is probably about to get sacked (or pressured to resign), mostly for his abuses against the course of (in)justice and union-busting.
A lot of this is being covered in German and in Dutch (among other languages). It’s in newspapers, television programs, and radio. These articles or broadcasts also increasingly cover the role of EPO abuses in staff suicides, which soared under Battistelli.
“A more diplomatic president would have heeded the warnings earlier: when in a hole it’s usually best to stop digging.”
–AnonymousNot so much coverage about these matters can be found in the UK, possibly due to language barriers and the distance from the patent offices/headquarters, which are all in central Europe (continental). The Register, WIPR and a few IP-centric news sites are being the exception when it comes to coverage in the English language (there is only one writer at The Register who’s keeping abreast of EPO developments, so the other coverage mostly targets lawyers, who are a niche audience).
“The EPO said that the door is still open to SUEPO to sign the MOU,” said this very recent article from WIPR. So the wolf said his door is open to sheep. This is merely pretense of amicability or peace. How many people are willing to fall for it? Lesser informed journalists might interpret this as ‘evidence’ of these problems having been resolved, or SUEPO being the vicious, merciless party.
According to this new article from MIP (English site for lawyers):
The Administrative Council also discussed the envisaged structural reform of the Boards of Appeal which may lead to a relocation of the Boards of Appeal to premises not shared with other departments of the EPO, possibly even remote from Munich, such as in Berlin or Vienna. Concrete proposals could be decided upon by the Administrative Council as early as at its March meeting.
The headline of the article says “Organisational concerns in spite of performance gains,” but it shouldn’t be taking at face value the so-called 'results' that the EPO keeps repeating even in Twitter this morning and afternoon [1, 2, 3], despite these so-called ‘results’ being deficient and increasingly the subject of ridicule. See what Francisco Moreno, whom we recently mentioned here, wrote about it last week:
Filings & Applications
Churras & Merinas
Pears & Apples
Platos & Tazas
People who work in this area increasingly realise that the EPO isn’t telling the full story, just as it’s lying to journalists and lying to staff. When I leaked a document which the EPO later admitted was authentic the EPO’s Twitter account told angry lawyers that I was “wrong” (for merely showing a document!). A week later the EPO threatened to sue me.
We were rather amused this morning to see that someone in IP Kat doubting the legitimacy of the leaked documents we published last night. Well, we have the originals (definitely authentic) but published the text only in order to protect the source. Here is one response posted in relation to that:
This seems to show what will be the line of defense of battistelli will be: disciplinary authority is my prerogative, there is no legal basis for an external/independent review.
This guy does not seem to understand the pressure under which the AC – and the ministers at home (see the answer of Haas in the BR report) – find itself as a result of the intense media coverage about the EPO.
He may get away with his stupid arguments, but this will make the things only worse because the question will continue to linger:
if the disciplinary action were taken following the law – as they continue to repeat -, WHY IS IT THAT THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT WANT ANYBODY TO HAVE A LOOK AT IT?
If battistelli does not agree with the requests of the AC, he may always file an appeal at the ILO …
Here is a response to the above:
He won’t need to do that.
Look at Article 10 of the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Council:
“Article 18 – Specific provisions concerning the review and appeal procedures for Council decisions
(1) The President of the European Patent Office shall draft an opinion for the Council on the request for review.
(2) Taking into account the opinion referred to in paragraph 1, the Council, in accordance with Article 109 of the Service Regulations for permanent employees of the European
(a) shall decide whether the request for review is receivable and, if so,
(b) shall take a decision on the merits of the request for review.”
In other words all he has to do is to file a request for review.
He then gets to draft the opinion on the basis of which the Council decides on his request.
Lastly, here is a comment which says Battistelli “has dug himself into a hole” and that “when in a hole it’s usually best to stop digging.”
The President has dug himself into a hole, despite warnings and instructions to the contrary from the AC, and now he can’t get out of it without presenting SUEPO a major victory. A more diplomatic president would have heeded the warnings earlier: when in a hole it’s usually best to stop digging.
This presents the AC with a problem. What’s needed at the present time is conciliation, not a major victory for one side or the other. But the President is making conciliation impossible.
Whether the PR team admits it or not (it is paid to lie to or mislead people), the EPO is in a state of transition right now. There’s turmoil that only a major overhaul can end. █
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Summary: An analysis of a presentation from Dr. Ernst, who is rumoured to be among the possible options for EPO leadership after Battistelli, who is stuck deep in or under the mud right now
TECHRIGHTS is interested in knowing whether the EPO will adhere to the EPC and refrain from granting software patents, which software professionals don’t want anyway (they already have copyrights).
Currently, the only person who is rumoured to be a contender to become Battistelli’s replacement is Dr. Ernst, whom we believed to have been among the opposition to Battistelli in the last meeting of the Administrative Council (December 2015).
“What is interesting is not his presentation but that the roundtable was chaired by Julia Reda.”
–Anonymous“I’ve been looking a little more,” told us a reader (FOSS person), “and still not finding anything aside from neutral, political statements. Some are even issued through his lawyer. I did spot the following though. What is interesting is not his presentation but that the roundtable was chaired by Julia Reda. I do not know her but I do know that she’s been doing excellent work in the parliament. Maybe she is one of the people that could say what position Ernst has.”
We asked her yesterday, but have not yet received a response. A few months ago she warned that TPP would bring software patents to Europe and she knows the perils of software patents, being more technically literate than a lot of politicians out there.
Our reader found this video and asked about Dr. Ernst: “Is this him?”
“At 18:00 he seems to dodge naming software patents.”
–AnonymousWell, it sure looks like it. He mentioned the EPC too.
“The part about patents starts at 12:15 to 19:00 and he talks about EPC,” our reader says. “At 18:00 he seems to dodge naming software patents. At about 20:00 he begins about copyright.”
Here is the full video, which can be streamed non-sequentially.
When Battistelli leaves the Office and goes back to Corsica where he comes from (or rejoin his political allies who are Sarkozy-connected) it’ll be interesting to see if the EPO removes the ban on Techrights. █
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