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03.12.16

The EPO ‘Results’ Are Bunk

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pseudoscience reigns supreme in Battistelli’s EPO

Lord Monckton

Summary: The EPO’s so-called ‘results’ get thoroughly debunked in an academic fashion (numerous independent analyses), leaving the EPO’s marketing department in a growing state of crisis and Battistelli incapable (or less capable) of convincing the Administrative Council (AC) that his iron-fisted, abuses-ridden regime ultimately paid off

A PATENT attorney, writing a blog post with some graphs he had produced, showed that the EPO was most likely "inventing" its so-called 'results' and figures. Soon thereafter, quite magically in fact, WIPO revisited its figures. How bizarre.

Well, based on some other research, from which figures have been produced, the EPO is lying to everyone about so-called ‘results’ in an effort to justify its many abuses. The thugs who (at least now) run the Office habitually like to paint it all as a compromise, or a toll taken due to a necessary ‘reform’.

Nonsense.

“The EPO has been telling all who will listen in recent years that its processing of applications is getting ever more efficient,” wrote IP Kat‘s Merpel earlier today, “while quality is also improving. Given that quality is somewhat intangible and that the perception of different users on what constitutes quality can differ so much let’s leave that aside. Surely the efficiency claims can be verified beyond doubt?

“The thugs who (at least now) run the Office habitually like to paint it all as a compromise, or a toll taken due to a necessary ‘reform’.”“Alas, the hard data and analysis has been somewhat sparse, leaving Merpel and the world at large in the position of having to rely on the EPO’s figures and claims with little opportunity to put these to the test.

“Until now…

“A valued reader who goes by the nom de plume of Archibald Calculus has been doing some number crunching. He has taken raw data of various types from the EPO, tabulated it, graphed it, and tortured it mercilessly until it gave up its essential truths.

“Over the next few posts, Merpel will be passing on to her readers the results of Archibald’s invaluable analysis. Are pendency times improving measurably? Does an independent analysis back up the claims of efficiency made to the AC?”

This very long post, which contains many graphs, shows that the EPO’s claims are most likely false. We have been hearing this for quite some time from numerous sources inside the EPO, but now there are more data points to prove it.

“Does an independent analysis back up the claims of efficiency made to the AC?”
      –Merpel
To quote just one bit, the EPO’s “practice of occasionally presenting median values for prosecution times, whether deliberate or not, hides this situation.”

On misleading statistics: “Information from the EPO on the duration of the procedure is rather piecemeal and seems confused as to what is being measured: mean, median, or proportion of files respecting some absolute criteria.”

Another bit says: “Despite the reassuring statements put out by almost all EPO Presidents in the last fifteen years including the present one, the delay to grant for European patents has worsened almost continually ever since the Office was founded.”

They are torturing statistics basically. Coming from PR people with massive outside help (lying to journalists and even to staff), this oughtn’t be so shocking. The only remaining question is, how long before yet another source shows (again) that the EPO’s ‘results’ are bunk, or simply propaganda?

Battistelli — like Lord Monckton (photographed above) — has no background in science, so it’s hardly surprising that he gleefully spits on science in an effort to advance his reckless agenda. How do the many scientists which the EPO employs feel about it? That’s like putting a person who denies human role in climate change in charge of NASA or CERN.

Battistelli Acting Like a Politician, Lobbying for UPC All Across Europe and Coming to London Soon

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The European public is asleep while the EPO lobbies for a new patent system that severely harms the public (to the benefit/gain of large foreign corporations)

Public nap

Summary: Battistelli’s UPC ‘world tour’, or the lobbying for the interests of his Office and big clients (not examiners or ordinary Europeans, SMEs and so on), carries on unabated

THE LOBBYING activities of the EPO have been covered in nearly a dozen posts so far. IAM’s editor in chief foolishly denies that EPO management intervenes in these matters (he told me this after organising a pro-UPC event funded in part by the EPO's PR firm).

Don’t believe the lies.

Battistelli acts like a politician. He is still close to Sarkozy, which in some sense disqualifies him or makes him unsuitable for his job.

Sometimes Battistelli acts like a lobbyist. See for example the following previous posts (there are more):

It is worth noting that there’s more to Battistelli’s notoriety and one day we may actually get around to covering it properly. The EPO is connected to WIPO in the scandals sense (similar kinds of scandals), potentially the Željko Topić sense, and Battistelli’s competition for the top position there (against Francis Gurry, whose leadership is equally notorious at WIPO). WIPO is cracking down on whistleblowers rather than address the serious problems which they highlight. Battistelli is doing the same thing — much to the outrage of the B28. In order to restore order at the EPO they should give Hardon and other staff representatives their job back, they should give the job back (no suspension/house ban) to the judge who is alleged to have spoken with Hardon (part of the dubious allegations made against her), and finally — most importantly perhaps — the independent/external investigators must look into what the judge is alleged to have spoken about, whereupon the only person likely to be left without a job (maybe just convictions) is Vice-President Željko Topić.

“Battistelli acts like a politician. He is still close to Sarkozy, which in some sense disqualifies him or makes him unsuitable for his job.”Like every abusive institution, such as the NSA, sociopaths in positions of power are to be expected. They can justify the unthinkable, at least to themselves.

The EPO’s President and his bodyguards (yes, plural) are going to London next month. This should be interesting for several reasons. Battistelli and his bodyguards, along with the large (or oversized) lawyers ‘industry’ of London, will be heavy in attendance, that’s for sure, and UPC will be on the agenda, just in time for Brexit debates. The lawyers whom Battistelli et al used to bully me for my reporting on the EPO are also patent lawyers who want UPC. I still have a lot to say about what the EPO did to me after I had pointed out its strong relationship with Microsoft and what Microsoft itself tried to do to me (calling my boss and more). There will be consequences, including greater resentment and increased coverage here. Censorship comes about through fear and I still refuse to be intimidated into silence. The harder one rocks the EPO boat (and gets closer to inducing change), the worse the consequences become. Staff of the EPO surely knows this. There are even suicides (induced by bullying) that serve as a reminder. Big corporations and greased up millionaires/billionaires fight with lawyers, thugs, assassins, PR firms like FTI Consulting, etc. Money matters and they try to play with their pockets, not with minds and words. Depending on which country one speaks out in, the exposed can resort to violent actions. Those who expose them fight only with words. EPO opposition only has words. Soon it might be strikes too; these are a form of expression — a nonviolent action.

“UNION’s dinners are becoming famous for their mix of good spirit and great speakers and they have surpassed themselves this time with their next dinner on 6th April 2016 featuring EPO President Benoit Battistelli himself.”
      –Darren Smyth
This new article from Darren Smyth (published this morning) says the “UNION’s dinners are becoming famous for their mix of good spirit and great speakers and they have surpassed themselves this time with their next dinner on 6th April 2016 featuring EPO President Benoit Battistelli himself. In his first public appearances in the UK for a long time, the President will be speaking on the topic “The EPO: Current and future role” and we’re looking forward to a fascinating evening, hosted by UNION President Gwilym Roberts who comments “this is a fantastic opportunity to show Mr Battistelli some British hospitality and hear a little more about future plans for the EPO in an informal and mellow environment”. Full details and tickets can be obtained from EventBrite at https://union-ip-battistelli.eventbrite.co.uk .”

Well, looking at the original site, we find (unsurprisingly) UPC lobbying on the agenda. To quote: “President Battistelli has inherited a giant and complex organisation at a time of great flux both for external reasons, for example the introduction of the UPC, and internal reasons with productivity and operational matters high on the agenda. This is an opportunity for the EPO to explain how it sees its role going forward, and what we can hope for from this major player on the global IP scene.”

Regarding our recent claims about EPO lobbying for UPC (“A Patent Office or a Lobbying Firm?”), one person sent us “More on EPO involvement regarding the UPC” (Unitary or Unified Patent Court; the name keeps changing, as it has for more than half a decade).

Days ago I wrote: “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.”

That’s alluding to the aforementioned IAM editor in chief, who is scrambling to distance himself from his buddy because of negative publicity.

When it comes to the UPC, the EPO has been closely involved from the very beginning. In the legislative proceedings, for instance, Battistelli was repeatedly heard by the European Parliament, wherein he presented his biased views that are self-serving (to the detriment of Europeans). This can be recaptured in the transcript volume published here [PDF] and in the video clips referenced there. He can be seen alongside Klaus-Heiner Lehne, whom we wrote about in past years [1, 2, 3] (early on throughout or preceding Battistelli’s presidency). Back then, i.e. about 6 years ago, Klaus-Heiner Lehne called it “unitary EU patent” (it kept changing names, going back to the days of Michel Barnier and Charlie McCreevy as chief proponents).

The bottom line is, EPO isn’t a patent office but also an instrument of lobbying. Battistelli appears to have taken this to new levels, working alongside horrible people such as Klaus-Heiner Lehne (see our past articles about him).

Growing Awareness of Microsoft’s Campaign Against Linux, Based on Poor Quality Software Patents and Secret Settlements

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 5:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Techrights at Reddit

Summary: Articles that we published about the past week’s Microsoft shakedowns (targeting Linux with software patents) are receiving unprecedented traffic levels

TECHRIGHTS is gratified to see that shortly after writing 3 articles about Microsoft’s latest anti-Linux patent deals [1, 2, 3] there is a Web-wide debate about it, and it extended far beyond the GNU/Linux world. The various threads about it are approaching 1,000 comments in all sorts of sites (hard to keep up with it all) and people express their justified anger at Microsoft.

“The various threads about it are approaching 1,000 comments in all sorts of sites (hard to keep up with it all) and people express their justified anger at Microsoft.”Yesterday we noticed this a angle getting press coverage in Germany. To quote: “Microsoft hat zwei Patentabkommen geschlossen, die sich auf Technologien beziehen, die in Linux und Android verwendet werden. Darauf weist Roy Schestowitz vom Techrights-Blog in einem Beitrag hin. Zwar versuche Microsoft derzeit, sich als besonders Linux-freundlich zu inszenieren, so Schestowitz, an der Praxis der Geltendmachung von Patentrechten gegenüber Linux und Android habe sich aber nichts geändert.”

An English-speaking news site wrote yesterday that “not all strands of the open source community are welcoming the open source-Microsoft rapprochement. Christine Hall at FOSS Force filed an analysis this week in which she wrote that Microsoft’s moves “are based solely on greed” and represent a “one-way street” to drive more business for Microsoft.

“Make a lot of money without lifting a finger, basically just sending a flow of patent applications, at the cost of millions, in order to earn billions from companies that actually make things“Similarly, Roy Schestowitz, one of the staunchest of the younger new generation of open source acolytes, writes that Microsoft has “blackmailed Linux.”

“At first glance, criticisms like these may seem merely to reflect deep-seated misgivings toward Microsoft on the part of open source fans who represent the more ideological part of the open source community. It would be easy to write them off as radical viewpoints with little mainstream significance.”

For those who don’t know enough about the controversy, the gist of it is that Microsoft wishes to:

  • Make Linux more expensive
  • Get leverage over Linux development/distribution, using threat of expensive litigation, in order to make Microsoft’s proprietary software (sometimes malware/spyware) preinstalled, e.g. on Android
  • Make a lot of money without lifting a finger, basically just sending a flow of patent applications, at the cost of millions, in order to earn billions from companies that actually make things

“It’s a scorpion or a snake in the parable sense.”Yesterday we mentioned Simon Phipps’ IDG article about this. Shortly afterwards, accompanying his IDG article (maybe stating what’s not suitable for publication there) Phipps released this piece in his personal blog and said: “I went to the Microsoft press release page looking for the news about Linux support for SQL Server and joining Eclipse. Much to my surprise, there was nothing there. But there was something else; a press release celebrating the signing of another Linux user into Microsoft’s patent licensing regime and another celebrating an Android patent win. Nothing about SQL Server, Eclipse or any other positive open source engagement.

“I’ll set aside the issues of the validity of software patents, or of the applicability of Microsoft’s portfolio of them to Linux, although both have real and significant issues. The surprise arises from my own experiences at Sun.”

This came after I had exchanged some words with Phipps, who concluded with: “That’s why I’ve written in InfoWorld a call for Microsoft to join OIN. Please join me in answering every Microsoft announcement related to open source with “But have they joined OIN yet?” until they do.”

They probably never will. It’s not in their nature. It’s a scorpion or a snake in the parable sense.

Earlier today, linking to a pro-Microsoft site, we noticed this Reddit post titled “Raining on the Parade: Microsoft shakes down company over Linux infringing patents” (a lot of the media overlooked this at the time because of plenty of distraction). There are now nearly a dozen Reddit posts linking to Techrights in relation to this topic (here is just one of them). Even Soylent News covered this earlier today by taking stock of Phipps’ article and ours:

Simon Phipps comments on Microsoft’s latest antics in regards to open source. Specifically, while the public is distracted by show, Microsoft is shaking down the Android/Linux and GNU/Linux communities for patent licenses.

Phipps asserts that it’s time for them to put up or shut up by either joining the OIN or admitting that they can’t be trusted in the open source community they now claim to love.

Roy Schestowitz has some harsher words on the same topic, noting that the media is ignoring malicious actions in favor of paying attention to the public relations campaign.

While the OIN cannot protect against NPE’s aka patent trolls, it is created for just this kind of situation and choosing to join — or not — sends a very clear message about their intentions towards the community.

“We hope that our few articles on the topic of Microsoft and GNU/Linux will be enough to leave a lot of people with sobering balance and a broader perspective on things.”There are many comments in there, including: “Simon has written more over at his personal blog. He asks people to join him in answering every M$ announcement related to open source with “But have they joined OIN yet? [webmink.com]” until they actually do. M$ can’t expect to carry on patent shakedowns and also be respected as an open source peer.

“Maybe joining OIN would work, but I’d rather seen M$ fold financially and their remaining assets seized. Nothing they have is needed or even advantageous to open source or free software. The world is better off without them. Certainly technology would be much further advanced. The decades of damage they have done to the software industry in general cannot be undone quickly or easily, even if they were to start in earnest, which they haven’t. But that complaint aside, I agree with Simon. The only way they can show that they are there to work with open source rather than against it would be to join the OIN.”

“This leads people closer to the truth.”There are currently close to 800 comments in Reddit about Techrights‘ latest article (I cannot recall ever attracting this many comments for one single article). FOSS Force has just said: “Although Microsoft mainly succeeded in its attempts to hijack the FOSS news scene this week by spreading open source love — better than spreading FUD, I guess — there was plenty of FOSS news happening away from the Redmond campus. Even Microsoft with all its billions, it seems, isn’t large enough to monopolize all of the news in the big, wide and wonderful world of FOSS.”

We hope that our few articles on the topic of Microsoft and GNU/Linux will be enough to leave a lot of people with sobering balance and a broader perspective on things. Microsoft is not a friend and we estimate that nearly a million people have come across our posts regarding Microsoft’s latest patent bullying. This leads people closer to the truth.

India Got it Right on Software Patents, But Gives Up on Pharmaceutical Aspects

Posted in Asia, Patents at 4:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some pills

Summary: India is surrendering to Western demands regarding patents on medicine that costs virtually nothing to produce and can save many lives

WHEN it comes to policy on software patents, we salute India in spite of the loopholes which remain (same as in New Zealand and in Europe). Last year we showed how a medical company, for instance, tried disguising software patents as "devices", or something along these lines (or “as such”).

“India’s new leadership is promising in many senses, including its policy on software procurement in government.”India’s new leadership is promising in many senses, including its policy on software procurement in government. It’s driving Microsoft mad, as we noted last year (see the Wiki page “Microsoft influence in the Indian government” for more details).

We were somewhat disappointed to have stumbled upon this IP Watch article from yesterday. “Today,” it said, “Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) filed a patent opposition against Pfizer’s vaccine for pneumonia in India.”

“How far can this patent maximalism go?”Yes, the Big Pharma industry (derogatory term for multinational drug monopolies) is getting its way and patent maximalists like IAM are seemingly jubilant. “Talking to operating companies and even a few NPEs [patent trolls],” IAM wrote, “they’re paying closer attention than ever. From where I’m sitting, the overall trend looks favourable for patent owners.”

A new article by Dr. Glyn Moody, citing this article from Reuters, said: “Techdirt has been covering India’s complex relationship with pharma patents since at least 2009. In particular, we’ve been following for years India’s use of compulsory licenses to provide its people with access to life-saving drugs at affordable prices. Naturally, Big Pharma companies in both the US and EU hate that, not least because it might encourage other countries to do the same. As a result, the US pharmaceutical industry in particular has been applying political pressure to get India to stop using compulsory licenses, even though they are a perfectly legitimate policy tool under the WTO TRIPS Agreement.”

“Why is India, a country with well over a billion people, tolerating this? To appease a few dozen countries whose overall (aggregate) population is about half that of India’s?”Read the whole thing. Glyn Moody wrote an entire book covering patents on genetics or the efforts to virtually privatise life in the DNA sense. It’s no wonder that he uses terms like “Big Pharma companies”; one class of patents which we deem as unethical as (if not more unethical than) software patents is patents pertaining to life itself, or naturally-recurring phenomena (recall what informed people wrote in relation to cancer). How far can this patent maximalism go? Have we not already lost sight of the original goals of the patent systems? Why is India, a country with well over a billion people, tolerating this? To appease a few dozen countries whose overall (aggregate) population is about half that of India’s? Are Indian lives of lesser value? What are they worth in terms of patents? And what happens when people are viewed as products to be monetised?

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