EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.26.16

Ingve Björn Stjerna’s New Book About the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Why It’s Important

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UPC is antidemocratic and the public is not being consulted at all about it

“It`s not the voting that`s democracy; it`s the counting.”

Tom Stoppard

UPC
Credit: ZBM patents

Summary: Roundup regarding the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court, the latest incarnation of a long-going and nym-shifting effort to transform Europe’s patent law, culminating in the publication of a detailed new book from Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna

THE UPC is not a new thing. It’s just the latest name of an old thing. I have personally been writing about it for many years and so have few people (other than patent lawyers and politicians) including Ingve Björn Stjerna. Going back to the Charlie McCreevy days (around 2008) and the Michel Barnier days (around 2010), it should quickly become abundantly clear that no matter how much resistance Europeans put up to stop this antidemocratic process, it just keeps coming back, usually with a new name that nobody knows anything about. Earlier this week MIP published this interview with Carol Arnold of Shell (yes, that Shell). Unsurprisingly, this covered the UPC. It said that “plans for the UPC have been met with mixed feelings. As the procedure for judge selection continues, many remain optimistic about the Court, while others become increasingly fearful about the prospect of forum shopping and patent abuse.”

We have already written many dozens of articles about the UPC, in addition to hundreds more about the same thing under another name (e.g. “Community patent”). What will it take to stop this injustice? Well, in our experience, the best way to deal with this issue is simply inform people, whereupon those who promote this thing become too shy to promote it in public (it’s career suicide) and everything cools down until the next rename, accompanying a new lobbying push.

Dr Ingve Björn Stjerna from Düsseldorf, Germany (we have mentioned him here several times in the past, e.g. [1, 2, 3]) was often cited here for his detailed analyses of the UPC. Not too surprisingly, based on some blog posts, he now has a book which costs nearly $100. As a patents-centric blog put it the other day, “German attorney and Certified Specialist for IP Law Ingve Stjerna is known to our readers as an alert and critical commenter of the UPC legislation process (see posts here, here, here, here, here) and constitutional issues. I do not know what was the reason to abandon the Opt-Out-fee but I think that Ingve’s convincing arguments might have played a role.”

Some of these helped show the role of Battistelli in UPC lobbying (even half a decade ago). So much for EPO as merely a patent office; it intervenes in policy.

Here is the cover of the book:

Ingve book cover

Stjerna’s book is already having some impact. Pro-UPC circles seem a tad worry. One who has criticised the lack of UPC transparency and some legal shortcomings says: “New book on #UPC – ‘The Parliamentary History of the European “#UnitaryPatent”‘ by Dr Ingve Björn Stjerna” (linking to the reviews/purchase page).

When a UPC critic (even if diplomatic/polite) writes a whole book it really means something because never before was there such an extensive body of information about the UPC in one single place. This book on the “unitary patent package” might actually give politicians — if not patent lawyers too — something to think about before blindly accepting the UPC as something beneficial because “unity” or “community” or some other euphemisms along those lines (calling it “Corporate patent” or “Wider litigation patent” wouldn’t be so wise, would it?).

See the new article titled “One Patent Law, Two Economic Sectors: Is The One-Size-Fits-All Patent Law Still Workable?” Another reason why the UPC would be a complete mess, impractical to implement, unworkable in practice and so on? It needs to be abolished before it even becomes a reality — something which would devastate Battistelli and his ilk, that’s for sure.

UPC critics are more widespread then we are generally led to believe because pro-UPC meetings are often restricted to boosters (e.g. by prohibitive costs to attend). Having written about the UPC boosters from Bristows recently, some input was sent to us anonymously. We wrote: “The Bristows folks presently act, e.g. in their blogs, as though Bristows is now a ‘think tank’ (part of the conspiracy of patent lawyers who try hard to make the UK join the UPC). This is a scandalous sham given that the British public is never at all consulted; it’s a sort of collusion, a TTIP/TPP-like corporate heist (with ISDS), and an attack on British democracy (for profits of those who are already super-rich, obviously).”

“Quite right,” a reader told us. “But they’re not the only ones and the British is not the only democracy being mocked here. Keep your eyes open, there’s a lot to be said about this very aspect. For the time being you may find interesting the comment section of this article by Ms Ward.” (she is from Bristows)

I clarified my singling out of Bristows as follows:

Yes, I read all the comments in IP Kat (via RSS feed, usually simplified HTML).

A lot of commenters in IP Kat are themselves patent lawyers and I don’t share their view on the benefits of UPC, not as a programmer anyway.

I singled out Bristows because they’re more vocal than the rest this way and if put under the limelight they might need to tone it down a bit, at least for their reputation (which is the only thing they go by).

I didn’t mention Annsley Merelle Ward, I don’t want to make it too personal. But it’s not just her anyway.

As seen with TPP, companies and people shy away from publicly promoting when the response from the public becomes harsh.

“Informing the public is particularly difficult in this case,” our reader stressed. “While anyone has at least some vague understanding of what TTIP or TPP are about, this is far more difficult with regard to patent litigation and its planned centralisation via UPC. Those having that insight and expertise are also the same people seeking to profit from the new system, so you will rarely find any well-founded critical voice. Bristows may be unusually loud, but others are far deeper involved and pulling strings in the background more discretely.

“An unusually revealing impression about law firm arguments in favour of the new system can be found in the comment section here, maybe you have seen this already.”

This seems to have involved Wouter Pors of Bird & Bird The Hague (a UPC booster) and Ingve Stjerna. To quote Stjerna:

Truly a remarkable statement from Mr Pors.

If a partner of an international law firm declares that the law should adopt to the circumstances “where needed”, this speaks for itself. I always thought that, at least in states abiding by the Rule of Law, it was the law setting the standards and forming the framework for legislative activity on “what is needed”.

For Mr Pors, an end which he deems desirable seems to justify the means, even if this involves sacrificing some very fundamental democratic rights and principles, e. g. transparency. I am not sure whether such legislation can really be called “progress”, as Mr Pors claims.

We shall see what the European Court of Justice’s position is.

Like Mr. Pors, Mr. Battistelli also seems to believe that the “end which he deems desirable seems to justify the means,” as it applies both to the UPC and growing the number of patents (irrespective of quality and public interest). “Coming back to the idea of measuring the quality of the EPO’s output,” wrote another reader to us regarding the recent criticism of the EPO's questionable claims about 'results'. “There are two quality parameters which would be really informative:

  • How many granted EP patents were later found by a national court to be invalid for reasons which were avoidable (ie which arose because the EPO search or examination was flawed)?
  • How many EP applications were refused by the EPO which a national court would have ruled to be valid?

“However, the EPO will never take the trouble to measure such meaningful parameters, because they’re happy with numbers which mean little but which can be generated with practically zero effort.”

One must remember that when dealing with non-scientists in this system (not the examiners) statistics are scarcely/barely grasped and policy is not facts-based. A lot of the UPC promotion seems to boil down to self interest — not of scientists but of people who are milking science for their bottom line in the form of applications, litigation, etc. We cannot simply allow these people to dictate policy.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 18/6/2019: CentOS 8 Coming Soon, DragonFly BSD 5.6 Released

    Links for the day



  2. 'AI Taskforce' is Actually a Taskforce for Software Patents

    The mainstream media has been calling just about everything "HEY HI!" (AI), but what it typically refers to is a family of old algorithms being applied in possibly new areas; patent maximalists in eastern Asia and the West hope that this mainstream media's obsession can be leveraged to justify new kinds of patents on code



  3. Patent Maximalism is Dead in the United States

    Last-ditch efforts, or a desperate final attempt to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101, isn't succeeding; stacked panels are seen for what they really are and 35 U.S.C. § 101 isn't expected to change



  4. Links 18/6/2019: Linux 5.2 RC5 and OpenMandriva Lx 4

    Links for the day



  5. Weaponising Russophobia Against One's Critics

    Response to smears and various whispering campaigns whose sole purpose is to deplete the support base for particular causes and people; these sorts of things have gotten out of control in recent years



  6. When the EPO is Run by Politicians It's Expected to Be Aggressive and Corrupt Like Purely Political Establishments

    António 'Photo Op' Campinos will have marked his one-year anniversary in July; he has failed to demonstrate morality, respect for the law, understanding of the sciences, leadership by example and even the most basic honesty (he lies a lot)



  7. Links 16/6/2019: Tmax OS and New Features for KDE.org

    Links for the day



  8. Stuffed/Stacked Panels Sent Back Packing After One-Sided Patent Hearings That Will Convince Nobody, Just Preach to the Choir

    Almost a week ago the 'world tour' of patent lobbyists in US Senate finally ended; it was an utterly ridiculous case study in panel stacking and bribery (attempts to buy laws)



  9. 2019 H1: American Software Patents Are as Worthless as They Were Last Year and Still Susceptible to Invalidation

    With a fortnight left before the second half of the year it seems evident that software patents aren't coming back; the courts have not changed their position at all



  10. As European Patent Office Management Covers up Collapse in Patent Quality Don't Expect UPC to Ever Kick Off

    It would be madness to allow EPO-granted patents to become 'unitary' (bypassing sovereignty of nations that actually still value patent quality); it seems clear that rogue EPO management has, in effect, not only doomed UPC ambitions but also European Patents (or their perceived legitimacy, presumption of validity)



  11. António Campinos -- Unlike His Father -- Engages in Imperialism (Using Invalid Patents)

    Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same



  12. António Campinos Takes EPO Waste and Corruption to Unprecedented Levels and Scale

    The “B” word (billions) is thrown around at Europe’s second-largest institution because a mischievous former EUIPO chief (not Archambeau) is ‘partying’ with about half of the EPO’s all-time savings, which are supposed to be reserved for pensions and other vital programmes, not presidential palaces and gambling



  13. Links 15/6/2019: Astra Linux in Russia, FreeBSD 11.3 RC

    Links for the day



  14. Code of Conduct Explained: Partial Transcript - August 10th, 2018 - Episode 80, The Truth About Southeast Linuxfest

    "Ask Noah" and the debate on how a 'Code of Conduct' is forcibly imposed on events



  15. Links 14/6/2019: Xfce-Related Releases, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  16. The EPO is a Patent Troll's Wet Dream

    The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it



  17. EPO Spreading Patent Extremists' Ideology to the Whole World, Now to South Korea

    The EPO’s footprint around the world's patent systems is an exceptionally dangerous one; The EPO amplifies the most zealous voices of the patents and litigation ‘industry’ while totally ignoring the views and interests of the European public, rendering the EPO an ‘agent of corporate occupation’



  18. Guest Post: Notes on Free Speech, and a Line in the Sand

    We received this anonymous letter and have published it as a follow-up to "Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF"



  19. Links 13/6/2019: CERN Dumps Microsoft, GIMP 2.10.12 Released

    Links for the day



  20. Links 12/6/2019: Mesa 19.1.0, KDE neon 5.16, Endless OS 3.6.0 and BackBox Linux 6

    Links for the day



  21. Leaked Financial 'Study' Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn't easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of "benefit of the doubt" the President thus far enjoyed



  22. Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

    Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today's joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics



  23. Granting More Fundamentally Wrong Patents Will Mean Reduced Certainty, Not Increased Certainty

    Law firms that are accustomed to making money from low-quality and abstract patents try to overcome barriers by bribing politicians; this will backfire because they show sheer disregard for the patent system's integrity and merely lower the legal certainty associated with granted (by greedy offices) patents



  24. Links 11/6/2019: Wine 4.10, Plasma 5.16

    Links for the day



  25. Chapter 10: Moving Forward -- Getting the Best Results From Open Source With Your Monopoly

    “the gradual shift in public consciousness from their branding towards our own, is the next best thing to owning them outright.”



  26. Chapter 9: Ownership Through Branding -- Change the Names, and Change the World

    The goal for those fighting against Open source, against the true openness (let's call it the yet unexploited opportunities) of Open source, has to be first to figuratively own the Linux brand, then literally own or destroy the brand, then to move the public awareness of the Linux brand to something like Azure, or whatever IBM is going to do with Red Hat.



  27. Links 10/6/2019: VLC 3.0.7, KDE Future Plans

    Links for the day



  28. Patent Quality Continues to Slip in Europe and We Know Who Will Profit From That (and Distract From It)

    The corporate media and large companies don't speak about it (like Red Hat did before entering a relationship with IBM), but Europe is being littered and saturated with a lot of bogus software patents -- abstract patents that European courts would almost certainly throw out; this utter failure of the media to do journalism gets exploited by the "big litigation" lobby and EPO management that's granting loads of invalid European Patents (whose invalidation goes underreported or unreported in the media)



  29. Corporate Front Groups Like OIN and the Linux Foundation Need to Combat Software Patents If They Really Care About Linux

    The absurdity of having groups that claim to defend Linux but in practice defend software patents, if not actively then passively (by refusing to comment on this matter)



  30. Links 9/6/2019: Arrest of Microsoft Peter, Linux 5.2 RC4, Ubuntu Touch Update

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts