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03.11.16

Business Profit Over Science: Patent Scope at the EPO Has Gone So Badly Out of Control That Even the European Parliament is Complaining

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reckless rubber-stamping ‘business’, like mortgage-giving bonanzas that created a bubble and eventually led to financial collapse

Green register

Summary: The increasingly greedy and unscientific EPO management led examiners to a detrimental point of no return, where the quality of European patents is being significantly compromised/reduced by inflation or ‘dilution’ (as if the goal or the required “result” is quantity, very much at the expense of quality)

EARLIER tonight we published a translation of a French article where the EPO's task is treated as (or framed like) a "business". This clearly isn’t what the EPO was supposed to be. People who signed the EPC would be terribly disappointed to see how it turned out. Many of them are already deceased. Battistelli, being a Republican, possibly believes that everything (including governance) should be run like a business. Past articles about his background and colleagues suggested so as well. When companies evaluate themselves (and assess their balance sheet) based on patent values as though these are intangible assets, patent bubbles (like software patents in the US post-Alice) can result in bankruptcies. There are severe long-term consequences for Battistelli’s misguided policies.

“People who signed the EPC would be terribly disappointed to see how it turned out”According to this new article from Republican media (the Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp.), patents on genetics are absolutely fine. The article is so optimistic about it that there are “billions” in the headline and it states: “Seldom has an intellectual property feud been freighted with so much commercial consequence, scientific implications and uncertainty as the patent battle involving the gene-editing advancement known as Crispr.”

We previously wrote about the European Parliament's complaint against the EPO's practice of granting patents on plants. A new article about this has just been published in lawyers’ media and it recalls: “The European Parliament has not digested the decision by which the European Patent Office ruled about the patentability of certain vegetables with specific characteristics (in this case, tomatoes and broccoli), obtained by conventional breeding techniques. Parliament has thus approved by a large majority (413 votes in favor and 86 votes against) a resolution which called on the European Commission to intervene urgently to clarify the actual scope of European legislation on biotechnological inventions.”

“There are severe long-term consequences for Battistelli’s misguided policies.”Not only patents on genetics/life forms are a problem. The EPO has thrown away scope limitations/restrictions to the point of granting software patents through loopholes. With scope totally out of control, the EPO’s status should be reconsidered; maybe the management too should be shuffled. They are expanding patent scope for their own selfish purposes/reasons and the whole of Europe suffers as a result.

Speaking of results, the EPO calls/dubs its self-serving misleading propaganda “results”. Like “the facts” (a term used by Microsoft in its propaganda) or “the truth” (often a term used/preferred by conspiracy theorists).

Well, the problem is, the “EPO results” (or #eporesults Twitter hashtag) don’t tell the full story; they are self-serving EPO propaganda as we noted here before (see an analysis in English or in Spanish, which is the latest among several).

“These dubious numbers, which torture statistics, shouldn’t be too shocking as the EPO also lies to journalists and even to staff.”Looking at the EPO’s Twitter account today, the propaganda carries on and it often latches onto articles that are themselves based on the EPO’s propaganda (cyclic ‘proof’). Contrary to what the EPO wants us to believe, when a rich country files more expensive/overpriced patents it’s only to be expected. There are false correlations here*, like claiming Switzerland is “most innovative” because of the number of patents/application per capita (ignores economic edge/advantage, which makes the process more affordable) and the wrong assumption that a patent is necessarily the same as innovation. The EPO latches onto other countries as well (not to mention foreign companies).

It’s all just EPO propaganda, and it is percolating its way into the media and then getting used by the EPO as ‘proof’ of the propaganda (it’s loopy, like the Bible proving God and God proving the Bible correct). And this is an institution which employs a lot of scientists? How do they feel about having a bunch of liars among them? These dubious numbers, which torture statistics, shouldn’t be too shocking as the EPO also lies to journalists and even to staff.
_________
* The EPO’s friends over at IAM now latch onto questionable research which they describe using the headline “Start-ups that file for patents are 35 times more likely to be successful than those which don’t, new research reveals” (from Massachusetts Institute of Technology). This sounds, at least on the surface, like very major propaganda from IAM (whether they’re misrepresenting the research or just relaying propaganda). Most likely, given common sense, companies that don’t succeed just don’t have money for patents (applications plus renewal fees). It’s not that their lack of patents leads to their failure. They reverse cause and effect to highlight bogus correlations. That’s just very unscientific. That’s a bit like saying, companies that are worth billions have their own accounting department, hence every startup should have an accounting department, as it would lead to growth and greater profit.

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