03.29.16

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Crisis Deepens at the European Patent Office, General Strike Planned for Next Thursday

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Title of the strike will be “Lawfulness at the EPO”

Willy Minnoye caricature

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO), where Battistelli continues to serve (at least until June), continues to lose whatever is left of the reputation which took many decades to earn

Dr. Hans-Joachim Frieling from Munich blasts the EPO today. I’m far from fluent in German, but it’s clear that the EPO‘s lawlessness is becoming common knowledge in Bavaria. Even Bavarian politicians now take action against that [1, 2].

How did the EPO become a laughing stock and increasingly synonymous with abuse? Well, just look at EPO management. A fish rots from the head down, starting from Battistelli and further down to his confidants (mostly French), scandalous people such as Željko Topić, and people who take pride in being above the law (Willy Minnoye).

“How did the EPO become a laughing stock and increasingly synonymous with abuse?”Having watched some EPO-related matters over the long weekend (Easter), we found that an EPO patent on “sensoric imprinting [...] had been opposed at the EPO after grant,” which means that the examination process went awry. Well, speeding up examination for particular companies can’t help, can it?

“The EPO Boards of Appeal recently decided a case involving food products for infants,” said this article, “where it considered that the requirement “up to the hilt” in relation to prior art equated to “beyond reasonable doubt” rather than “absolute certainty”.”

Remember that Battistelli not only wishes to crush the boards but also breaks the rules in an effort to scare them all. “Three cheers for the stabilising effect on patent law in Europe,” wrote one patent lawyer today, “of the enormous accumulated specialist wisdom of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO. Long may it reign.”

“Battistelli just keeps lying to the media about the situation (unless he’s in total denial about it, in which case he’s wrong, not lying).”Battistelli’s messengers in Twitter carry on as if nothing is wrong, even though the Board says there is a crisis and a staff survey serves to confirm/reaffirm this. “We understand EPO staff are likely to strike on April 7,” MIP (Managing IP) told me this morning (citing Techrights too).

Expect the EPO to say nothing at all about this, either in Twitter or in its own site. Battistelli just keeps lying to the media about the situation (unless he’s in total denial about it, in which case he’s wrong, not lying). Here one can see the EPO repeating discredited figures [1, 2, 3] over at Twitter during Easter and right afterward. Well, “the absence of usable EPO statistics makes it difficult to see what is going on,” one comment said earlier today. Another person wrote: “Simply sad to see how the EPO is going into the wall. [...] quality standard that made the reputation of the EPO…”

“Judging by the EPO’s push towards UPC, maybe Europe will have its own Eastern District of Texas pretty soon.”One recent tweet from the EPO said, “Ask yourself the vital question: “Is there enough evidence to justify taking my idea any further?””

The term “taking my idea any further” just means paying tens of thousands of euros (or hundreds of thousands if the process doesn’t go smoothly, as per stories we covered before), plus renewal fees, for a patent that’s probably a waste of time and money. Companies that say they need patents to attract investors must be looking at the wrong places for investors (maybe in Texas).

Judging by the EPO’s push towards UPC, maybe Europe will have its own Eastern District of Texas [1, 2] pretty soon. We shall cover the UPC separately in our next post.

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