Defeating the whole point or purpose of a patent (examination) system
Summary: A glance at some of the latest news and developments at the European Patent Office and what the US system serves to teach about the long-term effects
SUEPO has not updated its public Web site in nearly a month (which is rather rare an infrequency), since around the time it had a hearing at The Hague. in Twitter, the EPO’s PR folks promote the EPO’s event in the US, next year’s lobbying event, and various courses, empty forums, etc. Basically nothing new. The media too is mostly silent and we are still working our way through ILO rulings, having recently explained how actions by Team Battistelli undermined the European Patent Convention (EPC). There are dozens of rulings to go through, so this may take some time (these cases are years old anyway, with only the outcomes/rulings being new).
“Will appeals even exist at the EPO under or after Battistelli?”After years of UPC promotion the editor of IAM, the EPO's mouthpiece, says that there is growing interest in Brexit’s impact. The UPC is a colossal threat to patent quality and a potential open door to patent trolls from abroad.
Quality control at the EPO is dying (Battistelli ended it using his utterly misguided policies) and judging by this new announcement [1, 2], it seems improbable that improper patent grants will be revoked fast enough or easily enough. Will appeals even exist at the EPO under or after Battistelli? The appeal boards are understaffed, they will soon be overpriced, and appeal windows will be narrowed (shortened time for appeals). It is already happening (effective a month ago, possibly to exacerbate in the near future).
Chloe Grover, writing in a sponsored “REPORT” (i.e. marketing) from a British law firm, Carpmaels & Ransford LLP, speaks about “designations of European patents where validity is also challenged”. Nowadays, as we pointed out before, it is harder to challenge validity because Battistelli does not wish for the weakness of examination to become apparent.
“The appeal boards are understaffed, they will soon be overpriced, and appeal windows will be narrowed (shortened time for appeals).”Europe is in growing need of a fix. There is a growing danger that low-quality patents will make it through to the point of attracting patent trolls (manifestation or fermentation of them). In the USPTO, as a cautionary tale, patent mazes/thickets and uncertainties accomplished what they’re supposedly there for: protectionism without studying the broader impact (facts-based cost analysis). But they also created a growing niche for patent trolls, to the point where nearly 90% of lawsuits there (in the technology sector) are filed by patent trolls, almost always with software patents. This means little of no progress in high-tech industry, as noted by Professor James Bessen the other day. One person says that it’s “because poor legalities like Patent Trolling [that can] destroy start up businesses” (this person is adamantly against software patents).
Even a new article by Professor Dennis Crouch complains about the USPTO this week. People are clearly not happy with the way things are run over there (the US) and Battistelli is rapidly emulating or copying all the mistakes made there. He brings neoliberalism to Europe, or patent liberalism in the quality sense (if in doubt, or under pressure of time/quota, grant liberally). █