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09.04.16

There is No Future for the UPC in Spite of What the EPO and the Patent Microcosm Keep Telling Us

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

…Just saying there’s hope cannot in its own right make it happen

UPC article

Summary: A UPC-centric event is planned for this week, but the matter of fact is, the likelihood of the UPC ever becoming a reality (in any shape or form) is low and chances of passing it as-is are extremely slim

LATER this month the EPO will promote software patents (disguised as “ICT”) in the US, as we last noted here yesterday. Starting Tuesday, moreover, there will be a pro-UPC event. This was covered a month ago by MIP and recalled in Twitter, where MIP has said: “Join us for #UPC, #UnitaryPatent & #Brexit patent discussions in Munich & Paris on September 6 & 8 – new blog post” (no longer new).

Well, Brexit effectively axed the UPC (without the UK’s participation it’s back to the drawing board), but some try to prop it up anyway, especially Team UPC. The “Future of UPC [is] in limbo,” says the headline of this new article (screenshot above) from a patent maximalism site, Intellectual Property Magazine. As we explained here before (especially back in July), the UPC is effectively dead, if not on the ice for several years to come. The article above is behind a paywall, but here is the publicly-accessible part: [via]

When it comes to the future of the unitary patent, the only thing that is known for certain is that nothing is certain. The vote by the UK to leave the European Union has created significant uncertainty around the future viability and implementation of both the unitary patent (European patent with unitary effect or EPUE) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC).

While a final date for implementation of the unitary patent and UPC had not been set, delivery of these two landmark arrangements was on the home straight. After over 40 years in the making, the UK’s so-called ‘Brexit’ vote threatens to at best delay and at worst derail any chances of the unitary patent and UPC coming into force. So what are the prospects for their continued

“Another positive of the status quo is that the fragmentation of the EU litigation system may also have hindered trolls,” Benjamin Henrion wrote earlier today. He is right. We already covered the trolls angle of the UPC many times before. So did some authors like Dr. Glyn Moody. It’s not a theory or some mere hypothesis; it’s a fact. The UPC is a threat to the EPO itself, as we explained a couple of days ago.

The summary of the above article says: “While the fate of the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent remains undecided, what planning should in-house counsel do in the interim?”

“The UPC is a threat to the EPO itself, as we explained a couple of days ago.”Well, they can carry on as usual and stop wasting time, money and effort trying to usher in what will never happen. The UPC in its previous incarnation is nearly a decade old and it never got close to happening, in spite of all the lobbying and propaganda from the likes of Michel Barnier and Charlie McCreevy. Battistelli himself has lobbied for the UPC for a very long time and now he spends a fortune (at the expense of the EPO) doing these political stunts, presumably to get himself a top UPC position somewhere like Paris, France (based on rumours alone). The EPO even pays to have pro-UPC events in the US (home of the USPTO which is another territory altogether, where US giants pursue far more patents than they bother pursuing in Europe). The angle we typically look for with these events, as was the case in CeBIT and another upcoming US event, is software patents, or what they nowadays call “ICT” as a weasel word. We are also interested in how much money is spent on such events (a lot seems to have been wasted in Canada, as we noted last night). There is a lot of nefarious stuff going on there. For instance, a pro-UPC event in the US was organised with FTI Consulting money (the EPO pays it over a million Euros) sent to IAM, and EPO as the main/sole supporter of the event. How ridiculous is this? Remember that IAM also pretends to be covering news while producing material for the EPO like a propaganda mill.

“Battistelli’s attacks on SUEPO are extremely revealing.”Speaking of propaganda mills, the EPO just can’t help embarrassing itself by 'spamming' universities (at 5:20 AM on a Saturday in this one particular case!). Here is the latest example, about the thirtieth by our count. They are probably running out of European universities to ‘spam’ at this stage, thus choosing smaller and more obscure ones.

What the heck has happened to the EPO I used to respect and send letters to (for constructive thoughts, e.g. regarding patent scope)? My close friend, a university professor who pursued many EPO patents over the years (and got them), has already grown tired of the EPO’s declining quality/status and in his capacity as a head of research department he is now speaking to the university’s administration about reconsideration of their relations with the EPO.

Under Battistelli the EPO truly goes down the drain and unless staff of the EPO is able to put an end to this death spiral there won’t be jobs left for anyone. That would definitely harm Europe and Battistelli can go back to politics (where he came from) if something hits the fan. He’s well beyond retirement age anyway (same as Willy Minnoye, who some people recently thought was leaving).

Just because Battistelli sticks/attaches an “EPO” logo (button) to his lapel doesn’t mean he’s loyal to the EPO. I personally feel a lot more loyal to the EPO than Battistelli has ever been (he is totally clueless about patents and demonstrably averse to science). SUEPO is hardcore loyal to the EPO, and passionate about it too. Battistelli’s attacks on SUEPO are extremely revealing. These attacks have been broadened recently.

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