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12.20.16

‘SIPO Europe’: The EPO’s Race to the Bottom of Patent Skills and Patent Quality

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Driving away the senior staff and bringing in temporary staff to just rubberstamp applications? Good for lawyers, no doubt…

SIPO and Battistelli
Reference: Loose Patent Scope Becoming a Publicity Nightmare for the EPO and Battistelli Does a China Outreach (Worst/Most Notorious on Patent Quality)

Summary: The EPO is quickly turning from the world’s leading patent office (on quality criteria) into one of the worst (as European patent lawyers too gradually dare admit)

WHEN this Web site was founded (2006) the EPO had already accepted that software was not patentable (before loopholes “as such”). The EPO was the least of our concerns! We were actually proud to say that software patents were no longer (much of) a problem in Europe.

Battistelli ruined the EPO in so many ways, including patent scope. He treats patent-granting (or examination) processes like a production line, where the goal is to produce as much as possible as quickly as possible (patents were never like this!) and this is what he calls “success”.

What can a President do when staff realises that examination is no longer being done improperly because of unrealistic “production” expectations? A reasonable President would listen to the staff and correct/rectify the error. But Battistelli is no President but a King and a ruthless tyrant. He’ll never ever admit an error. He’s crazy!

“Thinking of applying to Praktika Intern? Applications close on 31 January 2017,” the EPO wrote today, promoting that same trend of picking interns rather than experienced full-time employees (who are walking away or find themselves illegally dismissed based on trumped-up/made-up charges, or simply fail to reach impossible-to-fulfill quotas).

Make no mistake about it. The EPO grants A LOT of patents IN ERROR. Insiders told us so. They know so. They’re embarrassed to say so, but they feel compelled by ethics.

Last week the EPO pulled off a publicity stunt ahead of the meeting which was supposed to bring up the subject of patent quality. It’s about patents on plants. Here is a new article about it (shallow because it’s composed by the patent microcosm):

The European Commission Disagrees with the European Patent Office on the Patentability of Plants and Plant Parts Produced by Essentially Biological Processes

Following last year’s decisions by the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (“EPO”) on referrals G 2/12 and G2/13 (“Tomatoes II” and “Broccoli II”), the European Commission (“Commission”) issued an interpretative Notice on certain articles of the Directive 98/44/EC—known as the Biotechnology Directive—stating their view that when adopting Directive 98/44/EC, the EU legislator’s intention was to exclude from patentability products (plants/animals and plant/animal parts) that are obtained by means of essentially biological processes.

[...]

The European Commission Disagrees with the European Patent Office on the Patentability of Plants and Plant Parts Produced by Essentially Biological Processes

Following last year’s decisions by the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (“EPO”) on referrals G 2/12 and G2/13 (“Tomatoes II” and “Broccoli II”), the European Commission (“Commission”) issued an interpretative Notice on certain articles of the Directive 98/44/EC—known as the Biotechnology Directive—stating their view that when adopting Directive 98/44/EC, the EU legislator’s intention was to exclude from patentability products (plants/animals and plant/animal parts) that are obtained by means of essentially biological processes.

Andrew Sharples, head of practice group EIP Life (patent microcosm), wrote for IP Kat about this a short whole ago and said:

The EPO announced on 12 December that it has stayed all examination and opposition proceedings relating to plants and animals obtained by an essentially biological process. This is because of a notice of the European Commission questioning the availability of patents in these fields.

Following the Broccoli and Tomato cases (G2/12 Tomatoes II and G3/12 Broccoli II, discussed on the IPKat here), the Enlarged Board of the EPO ruled that even where an essentially biological process for the production of a plant or animal is not patentable, the resultant animal or plant may itself be patentable. This was on the basis that, effectively, the exclusion under Art. 54(3) EPC was an exclusion of a process, and there was no basis for giving this Article a broader interpretation.

This decision did not go unnoticed by the powers of the EU, and in December 2015, the European Parliament adopted a resolution asking the European Commission to look into the patentability of products of essentially biological processes. This resulted, on 3 November, in the Commission adopting a Notice on certain articles of the Biotech Directive (2016/C 411/03), in which the Commission took a different view from that of the Enlarged Board.

Well, the Enlarged Board of the EPO may not last much longer. Battistelli is in the process of squashing it because, based on a growing mountain of evidence, it doesn’t blindly accept Battistelli’s views and to make matter worse it’s actually granted — GASP — independence from the Office. That is absolutely not acceptable in Battistelli’s view, which is why he insisted that the chinchillas of the Council should send those people to exile (as they finally did a few days ago).

Battistelli has totally dismantled the EPO even on technical grounds. Battistelli is far from a technical person, so he can probably lie to himself about it with ease.

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