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04.14.16

US Lobbyist for Software Patents, David Kappos, Uses EPO’s Snubbing of the EPC to Spread Misinformation and Patent Monopolies on Software/Algorithms

Posted in America, Europe, Law, Patents at 11:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Kappos
Source: David Kappos 2013 interview

Summary: How the lawlessness at the European Patent Office (EPO) has a sort of knock-on effect on the US patent system, where powerful lobbies want to cement patentability of software

THE EPO‘s patent scope is a joke. Things got a lot worse in recent years and EPO staff marched the streets to protest against it. There are now patents on plants, sometimes patents on software in spite of a ban, and many patents (more and more of them) get invalidated by courts, which is indicative of declining examination quality, probably caused by pressure from the top.

Last night we spotted (from two places) this new article titled “Mobilisation for start of mass opposition against patent on tomatoes”. It recalls the cause for woes, amid Battistelli’s own reign (not predecessors): “In 2015, the European Patent Office (EPO) granted patent EP 1515600 to Syngenta, which claims tomatoes with a high content of so-called flavonols. These compounds are supposedly beneficial to health. The patent covers the plants, the seeds and the fruits. This so-called “invention”, however, is simply a product of crossing tomatoes from the countries of origin (Latin America) with varieties currently grown in the industrialised countries. Furthermore European Patent Law prohibits patents on plant varieties and on conventional breeding. All in all, around 1400 patent application on conventional breeding were filed at the EPO so far and around 180 patents are granted already.”

“We recently saw David Kappos doing a lot of lobbying for software patents, having been paid by large US corporations that always lobby for software patents.”This is absolutely horrible and several people we hear from are mortified by this trend, including patent lawyers and examiners. Is the EPO turning into another USPTO, where quality control is virtually non-existent any longer (because any such lenience helps profit and passes the toll/bill to the public)? Where are we going with this? As we shall show in this article, this actually helps companies from the US, or globalists whose interests are orthogonal to those of Europe (“sharply divergent”).

We recently saw David Kappos doing a lot of lobbying for software patents, having been paid by large US corporations that always lobby for software patents. Our writings about Kappos are thus reactionary and we hope he will get a life outside of the lobbying sphere, where he merely discredits the US patent system as a whole (the perception that it’s shaped, controlled and paid for by large corporations). The issues are magnified and the controversy deepens now that Kappos contributes to contamination of Europe with software patents. Kappos uses EPC snubs or the EPO’s perturbations of law (under Battistelli’s reign) to lobby for his clients in favour of software patents. To quote Benjamin Henrion from FFII, “Kappos has begun telling clients that patent protection for software is more robust in other countries like CN [China] or EU,” and to quote Kappos: “Courts in other countries like Germany have been moving in the opposite direction” or “It’s time to abolish Section 101, and the reason I say that is that Europe doesn’t have 101″ (it has the EPC actually).

“Kappos and Battistelli have much in common now. They pretend to be ignorant of the law in order to break the law and they’re both actively lobbying politicians. To whose advantage is this patent maximalism working? Kappos even mocks/disregards the highest US court, SCOTUS, just like Battistelli in the host nation, Holland.”It should not be so hard to see that Kappos now uses the out-of-control EPO as a pretext for software patents in the US, where these types of patents diminish (unlike in Europe, which goes the other way under Battistelli’s reign). Kappos isn’t a USTPO official but a lobbyist now (dangerous man, greedy man, whose clients are reckless and aggressive) and various sites that address patent lawyers carry his message (which is probably exactly what he wants and needs). Henrion asked the publisher, “could you make the whole article public?” It is a stubborn paywall, effectively ensuring that only patent lawyers with a subscription to Law 360 can see what their lobbyist, Kappos, is saying (“I found out that you can get the whole article by using their ow.ly link,” Henrion later added, so workarounds exist for those who know them). Mark Cuban “liked” our previous article about Kappos, so it’s important to elaborate on the subject and research it further. Cuban invests a lot of his own money in patent reform in the US, so given suitable information he can hopefully work towards crushing software patents, not just “bad” patents or “trolls” (that’s what his lawyers at the EFF are doing nowadays).

“In the law360 article,” Henrion explained, “Kappos says Europe does not have section 101, and what about art52 EPC? All the exceptions are about abstract matters” (exactly what most/all software patents count as, as per the SCOTUS ruling on Alice).

Kappos and Battistelli have much in common now. They pretend to be ignorant of the law in order to break the law and they’re both actively lobbying politicians. To whose advantage is this patent maximalism working? Kappos even mocks/disregards the highest US court, SCOTUS, just like Battistelli in the host nation, Holland. This is perhaps the first time that dots are connected between Kappos (former USPTO Director), the EPO, and Battistelli. Kappos has essentially declared himself enemy of software developers (not just FOSS developers), with money that comes from proprietary software monopolists. Then there’s the special treatment the EPO offers to Microsoft, so here again there are potentially interesting parallels. Last night I asked IBM’s and Microsoft’s patent chiefs, “how much did you guys at IBM/MS pay to help the attack on software developers using software patents?” Remember that both are paying Kappos for his lobbying work (the latter recently left or got sacked).

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