Summary: “Good for trolls” is a good way to sum up the Unitary Patent, which would give litigators plenty of business (defendants and plaintiffs, plus commissions on high claims of damages) if it ever became a reality
In the previous four parts we explained the reality of the situation and in upcoming parts we’ll explain why the UPC is still going nowhere — consistent with what we have been saying for a number of years. Some words on a Web page of the British government are not enough to make the impossible (or barely possible) magically attainable.
It’s worth reminding readers that the legal firm which the EPO unleashed at us for legal threats (in an effort to silence us) is itself part of the UPC's advocacy, which comes to show just how crooked things really are. Basically, a bunch of law firms are attempting to hijack the European patent system by means of endless lobbying, lies, fake (or biased) 'news', and fake job ads (for jobs that don't exist). These are some truly malicious actors. Morals don’t exist because they have a mission and they are willing to combat opponents. Our activism is largely reactionary.
Who is the UPC good for other than some legal firms? “Good news for patent trolls,” said this comment, possibly from Mr. Benjamin Henrion (FFII) by the sound of it.
Several days ago Patently-O wrote about last week’s news, noting that “Europe may overtake the US as patent-litigation-central” if the UPC becomes a reality. Another way to put it is, Europe can become a patent trolls’ hub, complete with software patents and everything they currently enjoy in the US (where they file the lion’s share of lawsuits). The Unitary Patent fantasists include those who can either represent these trolls in court or represent their victims (defendants). What’s not to like, eh?
Earlier today we noted that Microsoft agenda was interjected into an event that’s supposed to be about “International Women’s Leadership Forum” (here is the report about it). Well, Microsoft and even the UPC were interjected into this event. The latter subject was mentioned by “Deanna Kwong of Hewlett Packard Enterprise,” who said that the UPC “will be “fertile ground” for NPEs,” i.e. patent trolls (NPE is a euphemism).
Even MIP took note of it, writing in Twitter: “Consensus at #EUPatentUSA2016 that UPC system will attract troll-type activity – IT/TMT panel with @marksandclerk pic.twitter.com/2cbvgnBeSl”
Henrion replied with “oh really? what a surprise!”
We have been warning about this for years.
Here is the relevant part of the report from MIP:
The last six months (since the UK Brexit vote) have led to great uncertainty for Europe’s planned Unitary Patent and UPC system, said Bethan Hopewell of Powell Gilbert. But much progress has been made with 11 ratifications so far and much work on the IT system, the Rules of Procedure and the financing.
The latest news, she added, is yesterday’s announcement by the UK government that it will proceed with ratification of the UPC Agreement. “What needs to be worked on now is establishing certainty for industry so that the UPC is not undermined when the UK leaves the EU,” she said, adding that the UK’s role in the system post-Brexit remains to be seen.
Deanna Kwong of Hewlett Packard Enterprise said that despite the progress made there remains a lot of “uncertainty”: “I don’t know whether it will be a more favourable forum or not … at the outset it may be a more plaintiff-friendly forum to legitimate it as a forum.” Hopewell predicted it will be “fertile ground” for NPEs in the early years.
Kwong highlighted some differences between the UPC and the US system, including less emphasis on expert evidence, faster injunctions and the possibility to amend claims. “Fee shifting is a really big factor – hopefully that will be a counter-balance to the patentee-friendly aspects of the UPC,” she added.
It seems like both Henrion and I noticed this at the same time. HP is admitting that the UPC would be good for patent trolls. Remember all those who used to deny it and mocked those who even dared to suggest so?
“HP says EU Unitary Patent Court will fuel trolls,” Henrion later wrote.
“This is what patent prosecution & litigation in Europe will look like post-UPC,” MIP added, “says Bethan Hopewell of Powell Gilbert at #ipwomen Forum pic.twitter.com/NXxNaFgAuu”
Yes, “prosecution & litigation”…
Remember… “prosecution & litigation”…
That’s all it boils down to and no wonder prosecutors and litigators are lobbying so hard for it. They want ‘nuclear’ legal wars to profit from. It’s obvious at whose expense. █