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05.09.16

Corporate Imperialism in Europe Through the UPC, the Horrible Patent Deal Almost Nobody Heard of

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli and his ilk hope to keep it under the wraps, without any public backlash/flak like TPP and TTIP have received

A statue

Summary: The coup d’état of the EPO, large applicants (massive global corporations), and their patent lawyers continues with shameless lobbying, new unsubstantiated rumours, and the self-fulfilling prophecies strategy (to depress the opposition and lower its morale)

THERE is virtually no open debate or investigative journalism in the corporate media about the UPC (when it’s mentioned at all, if it’s ever mentioned, it’s corporate propaganda), the corporations-leaning deal which patent lawyers and their largest clients are crafting and drafting with help from clueless politicians, national patent offices, and EPO officials such as Battistelli. This is a travesty because if the public knew about it (especially the broader impact), there would be riots and protests in the streets.

“This is a travesty because if the public knew about it (especially the broader impact), there would be riots and protests in the streets.”While patent law firms keep us distracted with puff pieces like “Protecting software inventions in Europe” or “EPO developments on patentability of biotechnology inventions” (April 11th [1, 2, 3]) much bigger things are happening (not the openwashing of UPC, as seen in [1] below), which can serve to legitimise software patents in Europe and also bring patent trolls to the entire continent and beyond it (Britain gets them already).

Proponents of software patents already start to insinuate that it will be easier to be granted software patents in Europe than in the Unites States. As one of them put it a few days ago [1, 2, 3], “Message from the EPO to US Software Applicants: Give us your rejected, your software applns in 3600 yearning to be granted; The Alice-rejected inventions of your teeming shore, Send these, the disrespected, tempest tossed software inventions to us: We lift our lamp beside the Golden Door to issuance and validation in Europe.”

“What about the option of blocking it altogether?”Sadly, under the regime of the clueless Battistelli there is already some truth to it and this closer look by Merpel suggests that a wholly horrible package is expected to come with UPC. To quote: “Of course there are a number of things that need to be resolved as the clock starts ticking down on the UPC opening its doors, the Code of Conduct being one of them. However, while there is still time, it is important that the uncertainty and issues outlined in CCBE’s letter should be fully considered and addressed, with the current draft being a launching off point. Further, Merpel hopes that the current draft is circulated more widely so that the larger European profession, who will be bound by the Code, is given an opportunity to comment.”

What about the option of blocking it altogether? And why does Merpel assume that this is inevitable and that “the clock starts ticking down on the UPC opening its doors”? There are all sorts of great barriers which remain. The Bristows colleague of Merpel, a longtime proponent of software patents and the UPC, would probably have Merpel and others aware only of the ‘good’ news about UPC, not the rest. This booster has been meddling in UPC affairs for quite a while, this time omitting any of the negative publicity around UPC and instead latching onto this speculation from Italy. Italy opposed this package vigorously and rejected it strongly half a decade ago when it was called “EU Patent” [1, 2, 3]. It still hasn’t consented to it. “After a sunny lunch this afternoon,” the Bristows employee writes about herself in third person narrative, “the AmeriKat returned to her desk to find some very exciting news from her friends at leading Italian IP firm, Trevisan Cuonzo, about the status of Italy’s UPC ratification process.”

They would wish so, wouldn’t they?

“They hope that by giving the impression that nothing can stop the UPC the UPC will eventually defeat the antagonists, having lowered their morale.”So a law firm hears from another law firm about something and now they hope to give Italians the impression that their language and interests are being abandoned and there’s nothing they can do to stop it? Seems like yet another go at self-fulfilling prophecies. They hope that by giving the impression that nothing can stop the UPC the UPC will eventually defeat the antagonists, having lowered their morale. For shame. Those propagandists have been doing a lot of damage and Bristows played a significant role in this propaganda for quite some time, often taking advantage of IP Kat as a platform (because almost nobody bothers with Bristows’ own platform, even when they opportunistically — for marketing purposes — call it “Bristows UPC”).

Here is one comment posted in response to the rumour mill:

My guess is that the Netherlands will try to be with the first implementing countries at all cost… It passed the stage Italy currently is in months ago, and presented the agreement (well: the law approving the UPC Agreement) to parliament 2 months ago and is currently busy answering the first round of written questions by the responsible parliamentary committee. The government also requested the legislation to be fast-tracked.

However, there seems to be trouble with the advice of the Council of State (Raad van State) on the implementing legislation. The implementing legislation was thus not accompanying the approval of the agreement, when it was presented to parliament (which was the plan from the beginning), and the government has requested additional advice from the Council of State on “a new European patent system” (which is very special).

My guess therefore: NL will be nr 13, but the implementing legislation will come later….

Well, it’s a de facto coup; the UPC keeps changing names, which makes effective public criticism difficult and also misleads/confuses the public. EPO officials are not traveling to nations that wish to leave the EU and push the UPC down their officials' throats to bypass the referendum (or equivalent process). Not a coincidence. Bristow wants London to become a patent litigation hub and many other patent firms also look after their own interests, irrespective of what the general public wants and deserves. Watch how the London-based IAM tries pushing a similar meta-industry (patent feuds) into Asia, making it sound like a contest again (preaching and shaming, not objectively reporting):

Authorities in Shanghai have made fresh calls for the city to become an IP centre in recent months. The plans include efforts to improve IP rights enforcement, in both the judicial and administrative spheres, which is surely a prerequisite to having any sort of transactional activity. But like past blueprints, it also calls for building an ecosystem for IP trading, for example by attracting services providers that can facilitate and advise on deals, and professionals with the requisite expertise. The head of the Shanghai IP Office says that an IP ‘trading centre’ will be established within the year.

For a long time, Singapore and Hong Kong have been the most prominent jurisdictions vying for the hub mantle. The Lion City’s efforts have been decade-long and wide-ranging, and resulted in significant changes to the IP environment; the drive has seen it introduce a positive grant patent system, train its own patent examiners and other IP professionals, and open up the market to competition from foreign patent agents. Hong Kong’s plans, by contrast, have been more narrowly focused on IP trading, premised on its combination of a common law legal system and easy access to mainland China. Malaysia joined the fray about three years ago, pledging $65 million towards an IP financing plan that emphasised the collateralisation of patents, especially by SMEs.

Asia has been a lot more pacific on the patent front, but patent lawyers in Europe and the US obviously want to change that. They profit from making a mess. IAM itself is more of an advocacy site (for patent trolls, lawyers etc.) and it previously used shame tactics to pressure European officials to adopt the UPC, as we repeatedly showed here.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. European Unified Patent Court goes Open Source

    Using Private Cloud and Drupal as a starting point together with small expert partners and agile management the new platform for the European UPC has been shaped to the exact requirements and quickly adapted while more needs surfaced. The only ready to use Open Source tool used has been Zarafa Collaboration Platform which integrated with the Case Management System will provide secure email, instant messaging, file sharing and video conferencing to the platform’s users.

    The result is that, thanks to Open Source based platform and by working with SMEs, the UK IPO team has been able to deliver to the Unified Patent Court team the project earlier than planned and under budget.

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