Source (original): Rospatent
Summary: Battistelli’s bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States
Battistelli has (almost singlehandedly!) done so much damage to the EPO. He brought into the EPO some truly dodgy people and former colleagues (and their family members), he attacked the staff representatives, and he even attacked justice itself (putting aside the poetic/Orwellian action of attacking a judge).
“He brought into the EPO some truly dodgy people and former colleagues (and their family members), he attacked the staff representatives, and he even attacked justice itself (putting aside the poetic/Orwellian action of attacking a judge).”How on Earth is Battistelli still working at the EPO and permitted to waste extraordinary amounts of money buying the media while lying to everyone? “In a sane world (not Eponia),” as I put it yesterday, “he’d be asked to pack up his things and leave by day’s end.” The only people dismissed so far are basically ‘whistleblowers’, i.e. people who are brave enough to say the truth — however politely — about Battistelli. It’s like Eponia became a miniature North Korea at the very heart of Europe and politicians lack the authority (sometimes even the will) to intervene.
According to this new article from Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP: “In an attempt to tackle the backlog, the EPO has launched a new initiative to encourage applicants to abandon their applications in exchange for a refund of the official examination fee.”
“Patent applications will have run out in a couple of years. What then? No more examination at all?”Well done, Battistelli. Great job! So granting/approving (often in error) all sorts of very old applications takes its toll on new ones. What will be left of the EPO other than a fossil if this carries on? Patent applications will have run out in a couple of years. What then? No more examination at all? No examiners? Machine 'examination' alone? All applications accepted by default, irrespective of merit and novelty? Quite a few EPO insiders seem to believe so when they fear the worst and look at the French system, examining its obvious failures.
Another new article from Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP says: “In this edition, we consider the IP5 offices’ proscription against the introduction of new subject matter into a patent application that has already been filed. While it is not surprising that all IP5 offices disallow introduction of new matter into a patent application, what constitutes “new matter” differs among the IP5 offices, as discussed below.”
IP5 is a collective term referring to large patent offices, including the notorious (for patent quality) USPTO. Mind the fact that the US is moving away from software patents right now (more on that in the weekend), whereas the EPO moves in the opposite direction. As a patent attorney implied the other day, the EPO is now more software patents-friendly than the USPTO. To quote [1, 2]: “I’m working on a family of software patents/apps where EPO allowed patent, surveved [sic] 2 oppos; but US rejected as ineligible. The software patent family is large, many countries. ONLY THE USPTO FOUND SUBJECT MATTER INELIGIBLE.”
“If the EPO gets away with granting more and more software patents (UPC would contribute a great deal towards that), then we should expect a lot of patent trolls to park in Europe and damage a lot of businesses (some of which I heard from personally).”The “EPO is corrupt,” Benjamin Henrion responded to him, reflecting a change in public perceptions.
If the EPO gets away with granting more and more software patents (UPC would contribute a great deal towards that), then we should expect a lot of patent trolls to park in Europe and damage a lot of businesses (some of which I heard from personally). This, in turn, would suck money out of the economy, elevate prices of things, and make Europe a lot less competitive. But hey, Battistelli can crow about “production, production, production!” (at least until the applications run out and operations dry up)
Yesterday we saw the EPO once again promoting its India-Europe software patents fest. Patent maximalists and boosters like Battistelli (who has no patents and no scientific background) would have us believe that the more the merrier; obviously! See what the page says; it speaks explicitly about software patents which are banned in Europe and also banned in India.
Speaking of which, here we have a British site publishing a new article titled “Patenting the abstract – can you patent code?”
It was published this morning and it talks about Europe and the UK:
Patent applicants, and indeed patent attorneys, can spend a lot of time gazing at that window, occasionally hurling rocks at it: where does the line lie between a computer program ‘as such’ and a computer program which can count as a ‘real’ invention? There is certainly no hard and fast answer to that and each idea must be assessed on its own merits. What we do have is a body of examples from cases which have been considered by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the UK courts which at least may help to clarify the boundary. In the examples which follow, I have made no particular distinction between cases in the UK and before the European Patent Office (EPO) although in fact there are differences (despite a broad intention of conformity). Currently, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) seems much more likely to raise an objection that an idea is excluded from patentability – is a non-invention – than the EPO. That doesn’t mean computer-implemented ideas get a particularly easy ride before the EPO; the EPO’s current practice is only to consider ‘technical’ features as contributing to the inventiveness of an idea and, if your only technical feature is a common computer, the same idea that could be identified as a non-invention at the UKIPO could be determined to be not patentable as it is not inventive when considered at the EPO. That said, if I was asked to choose how to attempt to protect a computer-implemented idea in the UK right now, I’d chose to do so via the EPO – it is my view that the UK IPO is currently less friendly to potential ‘non-inventions’ than the EPO.
Over in India today we found this clueless new rant from a patents-centric person, bemoaning India’s ban on software patents. Watch some of his arguments:
Elite technology companies (including TCS, Yahoo, Samsung, Ericsson, Microsoft and Philips) from more than 10 countries had their CRI applications rejected in India in the past six months. Besides rejections, many applicants, including high-tech Indian companies such as Wipro, have started to receive negative examination reports calling for rejection of their patent applications. This can call into question the quality of patent examination in India for inventions in advanced software as well as communication technologies.
A lot of the companies named above actively feed patent trolls (Ericsson and Microsoft for instance) and are using software patents offensively, in highly controversial circumstances. If India’s laws prevent them from expanding the plague of patent trolling to India, then that is absolutely great. This author calls “elite technology companies” not Indian companies but a bunch of multinationals trying to cement their monopolies (or near monopolies). These arguments are similar to those made by the patent profiteers in Europe, notably patent law firms and tax-evading patent tax-wielding giants like Apple and Microsoft (which Battistelli is totally clueless about and offers preferential treatment to)
At the EPO, unfortunately, Battistelli remains a “President” for now, but he lost respect; staff distrusts him and some prominent delegates tell him off; they’re not afraid of him anymore, even in the face of epic tantrums. █
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Summary: Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him
THE IP-CENTRIC MEDIA, even by a so-called “conspiracy of silence” as the late Pieter Hintjens once dubbed it, has become somewhat complicit with the EPO. It continues to stand by quietly and idly while the EPO is being destroyed and buys the media. Sometimes it even throws a bone to Battistelli or offers him a platform (for puff pieces and lies).
Quite frankly, we lost faith in much of the above media. Not even the local media in Munich is responsive anymore. It shuts its eyes, shuts its mouth, shuts its ears and pretends that EPO (or Eponia) does not exist in Munich and that nothing interesting or noteworthy happens there other than banal granting of patents. On IP Kat not covering EPO scandals (no lack of them!) anymore, one person wrote this yesterday: “Disappointing lack of EPO information here these days. Has Merpel been neutered? Or worse still had an accident with a diplomatic car. Let’s hope she’s happily chasing small furry creatures in Denmark and will be back soon.”
This alludes to this series of stories and this photo of a diplomatic car. Why are we the only site covering this and what does that say about European media?
The other day IP Watch (a decent site most of the time) issued a rare report about the EPO. It doesn’t write so much about the EPO anymore (more WIPO focus), but it used to write about the EPO more habitually. Readers should see the comment on this article, based on one item (from May). The article has been updated with damage control from Team Battistelli and it now says:
[Update:] Asked to confirm whether current disciplinary procedures have been suspended pending the December AC meeting, an EPO spokesman said later that the council “did not ask the President to take such a position.” Moreover, he emailed, the disciplinary committee is equally composed of management and staff representatives, and it decides independently on its recommendation, uninfluenced by any external authority. [end update]
Since it includes gender (“spokesman”), we are guessing it was Rainer. We have heard some unpleasant things about him from journalists and as we noted about a year ago, nowadays the EPO lies both to journalists and to staff (and to job applicants). These people simply cannot be trusted!
See the remainder of the article and the comment:
The statement of the EPO spokesman (see the above [Update]), is typical of EPO, and incorrect:
While it is true that the Council “did not ask the President to take such a position,” by the help of an official resolution during its October 2016 meeting, the Office is nevertheless walking a fine line:
Firstly, during the last Council meeting, several delegations, in particular CH, FR, UK and NL, insisted in clear words that no decision should be taken on running disciplinary procedures. Secondly, the position of the president is in contrast with the Administrative Council’s (AC) resolution of this March, which requested him, inter alia,
“to ensure that disciplinary sanctions and proceedings are not only fair but also seen to be so, and to consider the possibility of involvement of an external reviewer or of arbitration or mediation” and
“pending the outcome of this process and before further decisions in disciplinary cases are taken, to inform the AC in appropriate detail and make proposals that enhance confidence in fair and reasonable proceedings and sanctions”
The two requirements “that disciplinary sanctions and proceedings are not only fair but also seen to be so” and “pending the outcome of this process and before further decisions in disciplinary cases are taken” would clearly not be met if the president would take a decision on any disciplinary proceedings before revised regulations on investigative/disciplinary procedures have been approved by the AC. The requirement “to inform the AC in appropriate detail and make proposals that enhance confidence in fair and reasonable proceedings and sanctions” would not be met either since the proposals the president presented at the 149th AC meeting did not meet legal standards, such that the delegations forced him to withdraw them.
The first statement of the EPO spokesman that the Council “did not ask the President to take such a position,” is thus incorrect; the Council asked the President “to take such a position” in its March resolution.
The second statement in the email that “the disciplinary committee … decides independently on its recommendation,” is well-worded, but – irrespective of whether it is true – diverts the reader from the main subject; the Administrative Council’s resolution of this March.
By taking a decision on any disciplinary proceedings under the current regulations, the EPO president would be in breach of the March resolution. The Council would be obliged to dismiss him.
As we said back in May, Battistelli should have been sacked, but his pet chinchilla (Kongstad) continues to protect him no matter what, even hiding his contract and salary. What kind of oversight of this?!?! █
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They just refuse to let go, much to Battistelli’s satisfaction and everybody else’s chagrin (to use a French term)
Summary: The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who’s behind it other than the usual suspects
THE PATENT microcosm, and Team UPC in particular, wishes us to believe that the UPC is not dead. They spent years investing money and time in it, so they’re still in denial about its death. They’re still in one of these famous stages preceding “acceptance”.
“They’re still in one of these famous stages preceding “acceptance”.”Still trying to salvage what’s left of the dead UPC scheme, MIP sets up a so-called ‘webinar’ (basically live streaming some agenda) and says: “Please send us your questions on Brexit/Unitary Patent/UPC!”
Isn’t it a done deal already? The Brexit vote — however it winds up — eliminated UPC, and probably not just in the UK. “Why does MIP keep pushing the UPC agenda,” I asked online. “Is this reciprocated for by EPO people? Seems so (not directly)…”
“Today’s webinar on Brexit & #UnitaryPatent has just finished,” MIP later wrote. “Listen to & view the recording & vote results here! http://www.managingip.com/Web-Seminars.html … pic.twitter.com/yvoq7shTBM”
“We are still hoping that someone will explain to us why the EPO Boards of Appeal celebrated this week.”Responding to what I wrote, MIP said: “Roy, we’re not pushing the #UPC (or any other) agenda. We’re just providing a discussion forum. Did you listen to the webinar?”
I asked: “Any critics of the UPC in there?”
“Range of views expressed,” they said. “We’ll have a blog up soon with more details…”
That’s not actually answering my question but instead dodges it, so we’ll assume the so-called ‘webinar’ was a one-sided echo chamber, like the UPC-themed conference they set up last month to assist lobbying [1, 2, 3, 4] by the likes (or lies) of Margot Fröhlinger [1, 2, 3].
Earlier in the same day I asked publicly: “Does anybody know why the EPO Boards of Appeal are celebrating? Is the UPC dead? Well, it is. So what’s the news? AC meeting?”
We are still hoping that someone will explain to us why the EPO Boards of Appeal celebrated this week. No doubt the very prospect of the UPC was taking away their jobs (they’re grossly understaffed and perpetually besieged); among their jobs, or imperatives at times, was keeping software patents out of Europe, i.e. upholding the law. I actually wrote to the Enlarged Board of Appeal about this subject in the distant past.
Regarding UPC and Brexit, there is no lack of new pieces from various lawyers that want the UPC and would even lie for it. Here is a new piece by Boult Wade Tennant (“Is there a place for a post-Brexit UK in the Unitary Patent system?”) and another one in German (“Europäisches Einheitspatent und Brexit”). Another article, published yesterday by Li Zhu of Robins Kaplan LLP says this:
Some quick history — the Unitary Patent system is the European Union’s attempt in 2013 to propose a new European patent with unitary effect and a unified European patent court (“Unified Patent Court” or “UPC”). Both are designed to promote homogenous patent protection across participating EU states, so companies can enforce their patent rights with greater predictability and efficiency. Under the Unitary Patent system, when a patent is granted, the patentee can request (1) a unitary patent—which is enforced across all participating states in a single action; (2) a traditional European patent; or (3) a unitary patent alongside European patent protection for any country not covered by the UPC agreement. For parties enforcing or defending their patent rights, the UPC could eliminate the unnecessary duplication of multiple actions in different member states and avoid divergent results from parallel court proceedings.
That’s hardly a balanced interpretation but more like marketing of the UPC, parroting the tired old talking points.
The title of the article is “Brexit—The End of the Unitary Patent System as we Know it?” but it’s not just the end of UPC as we know it (the answer is “yes”) but quite likely the end of the UPC as a whole. Don’t believe those liars who advertised bogus job openings in the UK for the UPC; they have no credibility, no decency, and total disregards for UK and EU democracy. █
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