EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.09.16

The EPO is Collapsing. Attacks on Journalists, Interns as Staff, Patents on Plants, and Bureaucratic Red Tape…

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pisa tower

Summary: A look at some of the latest issues surrounding the European Patent Office, whose insistence on denying the problems and instead attacking those who bring up legitimate concerns, will spell its doom

THE Administrative Council must act. It must act fast. Battistelli “will end up standing at the top of a pile of organizational rubble,” The Register said this week, alluding to Battistelli’s ambitions of power at the expense of the integrity of the EPO. WIPR wrote about the subject at least twice this month (so far) and one person noted: “What are the odds that WIPR will get by a DDOS attack soon …”

Well, IP Watch was recently down for a very long time (almost a day) and readers of ours suspected it was due to DDOS, so we asked them about it. Some speculated it may have been DDOS due to their reporting on EPO matters, but they told us this was not the case. As a reminder to all readers, at least 3 sites that regularly write about the EPO or its managers have come under repeated, chronic attacks, so this seemingly flippant response isn’t trivially reducible to paranoia. All those sites also received legal threats from the EPO or its managers.

The EPO is in an agonising process of collapse. It’s sad that it had to come to this and as The Register put it, “organizational rubble” may be the end result. Currently, as we noted earlier this week, the EPO is replacing staff with interns (we gave another example of this yesterday) and here comes the EPO again, reaffirming this belief with a ‘job’ advertisement (not really a job but an internship; warning: epo.org link). “Learning by doing,” they call it, “this programme involves working on actual case files & running prior-art searches…”

Imagine how low the pay will be. The EPO under Battistelli is certainly racing to the bottom, both in Europe and internationally. Patent quality is just one among several aspects of rapid decline and software patents seem to be entering Europe not through national patent offices but through the EPO, which is acting in defiance of European authorities and their clear instructions to the EPO.

Here again is the EPO pushing software patents. To quote: “Looking forward to tomorrow’s [today's] @EPOorg conference on #industry40, #IoT and #patents – Who will be there as well? http://bit.ly/2edht4A pic.twitter.com/EWMtUE37I0″

The software patents proponents are going to this EPO event that promotes software patents (see event’s description) and one of them, Bastian Best (nice person by the way), told his followers: “Looking forward to tomorrow’s @EPOorg conference on #industry40, #IoT and #patents – Who will be there as well? http://bit.ly/2edht4A”

He later told me: “EPOorg joined by many #founders, #entrepreneurs and #companies large&small who protect their inventions with #patents”

Benjamin Henrion corrected him by saying “those are called trolls.” Maybe an exaggeration there, but no doubt the event won’t attract actual developers but those trying to prey on or tax them. As Henrion put it on an earlier occasion, “yet another echo chamber?”

Well, yes, for sure.

Patent scope at the EPO has truly gone bonkers under Battistelli, who measures “production” (a commercial term) not in terms like patent quality, improving reputation etc. He just wants an assembly line manned by drones like interns, who cannot distinguish between novelty and gobbledygook.

Here is another new article from yesterday, about yet another area (not software) where the EPO simply ignores the European Commission/Parliament and patents the craziest things:

LSPN 2016: EPO patent director talks about patentability of plants

Heli Pihlajamaa, director of patent law at the European Patent Office (EPO), yesterday outlined the latest developments in the area of plant patentability.

She was speaking at the Life Sciences Patents Network Europe conference hosted by Life Sciences IP Review in London.

On November 3, the European Commission adopted a notice clarifying certain articles of Directive 98/44 on the protection of biotechnological inventions.

The aspects of the directive concerned have “always been criticised by the European Parliament and by several non-governmental organisations”.

The most important one, according to Pihlajamaa, is the patentability of products obtained by essentially biologic processes. The notice said such products are unpatentable.

Although the notice is a non-binding instrument, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has “followed such notices in their decisions”.

We are not sure why the EPO’s management actually believes this is a good idea. Well, it may be good for “production” in the short term (more patents), but what will people start to think about EPs and their worth? This actually damages anyone who has been granted EPs (European patents) over the past couple of decades.

Speaking of “production”, it looks as though the new bureaucracy — not the scandals — continues to occupy space in legal firms’ blogs/sites. “From 1 November 2016,” one of them has just said, “it is necessary that both the Assignor and Assignee execute an assignment document in order for such document to be accepted as evidence of a transfer. It is believed that this change has been made in response to an acknowledgment by the EPO that the practice to date was not consistent with Article 72 EPC.”

Will those new interns even manage to handle all this? It takes years to train an examiner and as for Patent Administration, this is the department under the most stress (with suicides), so giving them more work is just about the last thing the EPO needs. Does Battistelli intend to try to replace them too with machines? To quote an anonymous person who is familiar with the EPO, “For the state we’re in with EPO, an end would be an incredible progress.”

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. ...So This GNU/Linux User Goes to a Pub With Swapnil and Jim

    It's hard to promote GNU/Linux when you don't even use it



  2. How to THRIVE, in Uncertain Times for Free Software

    "The guidelines are barely about conduct anyway, they are more about process guidelines for "what to do with your autonomy" in the context of a larger group where participation is completely voluntary and each individual consents to participate."



  3. When They Run Out of Things to Patent They'll Patent Nature Itself...

    The absolutely ridiculous patent bar (ridiculously low) at today’s EPO means that legal certainty associated with European Patents is at an all-time low; patents get granted for the sake of granting more patents each year



  4. EPO Boards of Appeal Need Courage and Structural Disruption to Halt Software Patents in Europe

    Forces or lobbyists for software patents try to come up with tricks and lies by which to cheat the EPC and enshrine illegal software patents; sadly, moreover, EPO judges lack the necessary independence by which to shape caselaw against such practices



  5. Professor Dr. Maximilian Haedicke on Lack of Separation of Powers at the EPO (Which Dooms UPC)

    Team UPC (“empire of lies”) is catching up with reality; no matter how hard media has attempted to not cover EPO scandals (after the EPO paid and threatened many publishers that tried), it remains very much apparent that EPOnia is like a theocracy that cannot be trusted with anything



  6. As Expected, the Bill Gates Propaganda Machine is Trying to Throw/Put Everyone off the Scent of Jeffery Epstein's 'Incestuous' Ties With Gates

    Media ownership up on display; it's amplifying false claims for a whole month, whereas truth/correct information gets buried before a weekend is over



  7. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, October 14, 2019



  8. [ES] El Kernel de Linux está introduciendo Open Source Privative Software

    Linux, el kernel, continúa su trayectoria o el camino hacia convertirse en software propietario de código abierto (OSPS).



  9. Linux Foundation Board Meeting

    More sponsored keynotes and tweets — like more sponsored articles (or “media partners”) — aren’t what the Linux Foundation really needs



  10. Links 14/10/2019: Linux 5.4 RC3, POCL 1.4, Python 3.8.0

    Links for the day



  11. This Week Techrights Crosses 26,000 Posts Milestone, 3 Weeks Before Turning 13 (2,000+ Posts/Year)

    A self-congratulatory post about another year that's passed (without breaks from publishing) and another milestone associated with posting volume



  12. No Calls to "Remove Gates" From the Board (Over a Real Scandal/Crime), Only to "Remove Stallman" (Over Phony Distraction From the Former)

    Jeffrey Epstein's connections to Bill Gates extend well beyond Gates himself; other people inside Microsoft are closely involved as well, so Microsoft might want to cut ties with its co-founder before it becomes a very major mess



  13. “The Stupidest [Patent/Tax] Policy Ever”

    It’s pretty clear that today’s European patent system has been tilted grossly in favour of super-rich monopolists and their facilitators (overzealous law firms and ‘creative’ accountants) as opposed to scientists



  14. Meme: Software Patents at the EPO

    The evolution of “technical effect” nonsense at the EPO



  15. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 13, 2019



  16. Firm of Microsoft's Former Litigation Chief Uses Microsoft-Connected Patent Lawsuit Against GNU/Linux (GNOME Foundation) for New Breed of FUD Campaigns

    The patent troll of Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold has fed a patent troll that's attacking GNU/Linux and a firm owned by Microsoft's former litigation chief says it proves "Open Source Software Remains a Target"



  17. "Widespread Adoption" (Did You Mean: Takeover by Monopolies?)

    "Quite a few of them are people that would rather replace David with Goliath, just because he's bigger. Quite a few are already taking money from Goliath."



  18. Links 13/10/2019: Red Hat CFO Fired and KDE Plasma 5.17 Preparations

    Links for the day



  19. Bill's Media Strategy Amid GatesGate

    There are many ways by which to game the media’s news cycle — an art mastered by the groper in chief



  20. Hard-Core Micro-Soft

    The word "core" is increasingly being (mis)used to portray user-hostile proprietary software as something more benign if not "open"



  21. Free Software Timeline and Federation: When Free Software Advocacy/Support is a Monopoly Expansion Becomes Necessary

    Support for Software Freedom — like support for Free software (think Red Hat/IBM and systemd) — should be decentralised and compartmentalised to make the movement stronger and adaptable



  22. Projection Tactics

    The corporate media hasn't been doing its job lately; it has systematically defamed the wrong people, perhaps in an effort to distract from 'big fish'



  23. Meme: Richard Stallman Irrelevant

    Saint IGNUcius — Richard Stallman — just isn’t the Saint Bill Gates is



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 12, 2019



  25. Links 13/10/2019: Mastodon 3.0, GNU Binutils 2.33.1, and the Road to KDE Frameworks 6

    Links for the day



  26. The New York Times About the Real Epstein-Software Scandal (Nothing to Do With Stallman)

    The media is belatedly catching up with and covering the real MIT scandal which extends far beyond MIT



  27. Openwashing Reports Are on Hold

    The need to stress Software Freedom and shun all that "open" nonsense has quickly become apparent; some of the people who oppose Stallman turn out to be "Open Source" proponents who don't even value freedom of expression (free speech)



  28. Support the GNU Project and Support Free Speech

    Techrights is loyal to Software Freedom and those eager to promote it; it cannot, however, support those who don’t support free speech



  29. Today's EPO is Working for Patent Trolls and the 'Aye Pee' (IP) 'Industry' Instead of Science

    The EPO is making allegiances and alliances with groups that represent neither science nor businesses but instead push for monopolies, litigation and extortion; lawlessness appears to have become the EPO's very objective instead of what it intends to tackle



  30. The Campinos Car Crash

    The EPO is crashing and we know who’s to blame other than Battistelli


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts