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09.08.16

The European Privacy Offender (EPO) Sells Data But Only to the Rich and Powerful

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A programme wherein the EPO gives huge amounts of data, but only at a price

THE EPO has no shortage of scandals. We just have a shortage of time to cover them all. Privacy scandals alone are humongous and we mentioned violations that relate to medical data protection very recently and again two days ago.

One reader drew our attention to this new article from Switzerland (“Sur le Net, les entreprises se montrent trop naïves”). Translations would be very much appreciated, but we got the gist of it. “A Swiss based company named Centredoc bought back in 2015, 90 millions of data from the EPO,” one person told me a couple of times. “En Suisse, Centredoc a acheté, en 2015, les 90 millions de données de l’Office européen des brevets,” put in another language. “In general,” this person added, “they talk about storage of sensible information related to patents” (sounds familiar).

I asked, “does it say what data? Could use a detailed summary…”

In general, we kindly ask readers to become familiar with the following articles (published around last Christmas, so not many people paid attention):

  1. Jacques Michel (Former EPO VP1), Benoît Battistelli’s EPO, and the Leak of Internal Staff Data to Michel’s Private Venture
  2. Europatis: “Turnover of €211,800 and Zero Employees”
  3. Loose Data ‘Protection’ and Likely Privacy Infringements at the EPO: Here’s Who Gets Employees’ Internal Data
  4. Summary of the EPO-Europatis Series
  5. Revolving Doors of High-Level EPO Management: Jacques Michel and the Questel Deal With the EPO

“Suffice to say, this favours deep-pocketed companies and countries like Switzerland.”Having asked for additional information about this article from Le Matin Online, we got told that the “EPO sells Patent Data” and received a copy of anonymised communication (with hypos corrected), namely:

Dear *****,

The EPO sells the data to data providers on a marginal cost basis. We have big hosts, SMEs and natural persons as customers. The EPO encourages the use of the data and is happy about an active patent information market. The strategy was not on exclusivity … AND I think that this right.

You can find the various products in the EPO price list: http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponet.nsf/0/0B52985F1EFEBCBBC12574EC00263E07/$File/epo_patent_information_price-list_08_2016.pdf

Most probably the mentioning is about the mother of the databases: DOCDB

Please contact if you want to know more about this….

Best regards

******

Suffice to say, this favours deep-pocketed companies and countries like Switzerland. What ever happened to patent neutrality?

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