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

01.05.17

Technical Failure of the European Patent Office (EPO) a Growing Cause for Concern

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Applications that belong in the wastebasket are approved to become European Patents

The wastebasket

Summary: The problem associated with Battistelli’s strategy of increasing so-called ‘production’ by granting in haste everything on the shelf is quickly being grasped by patent professionals (outside EPO), not just patent examiners (inside EPO)

THE scandals at the EPO have not been abated, but we took a couple of days off and thus weren’t able to cover these.

The European Patent Convention (EPC), as it was put together with a vision almost half a century ago, has been thoroughly compromised. Respect for the EPC came to an end under Battistelli, who treats the EPC like Donald Trump treats the Constitution. Don’t fall for this latest spin from Battistelli’s PR department. Battistelli, a crooked boss with the temper of Donald Trump and the facial expression of Arsène Wenger, has managed to alienate just about any member of staff. He has also alienated patent attorneys and applicants. He’s now living on borrowed time and the longer he stays, the greater damage he causes.

Recently, the EPO’s legal professionals were publicly admitting the mistake of granting patents on things that European authorities explicitly and repeatedly oppose. The EPO belatedly realised that granting patents on life makes everyone angry, including many examiners. George Lucas from Marks & Clerk wrote about it today and another article on this subject was cross-posted in at least three sites of patent lawyers [1, 2, 3]. To quote the key part: “While the U.S. is still sorting out “natural products” jurisprudence under 35 USC § 101, the European Patent Office (EPO) is wrestling with the patentability of plants and animals, and has announced an immediate stay on all patent examination and opposition proceedings in which the outcome “depends entirely on the patentability of a plant or animal obtained by an essentially biological process.” The stay was prompted by a recent Notice from the European Commission (EC) concerning Directive 98/44/EC on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions. In the Notice, the EC concluded that plants or animals derived from essentially biological processes are not patentable under the Directive. Until the EPO provides further guidance on this issue, applicants should exercise additional care in drafting the description and claims for inventions related to plants and animals.”

Yes, now they pay the price for an awful decision made years ago by the EPO.

In the US there are similarly controversial decisions about patents on nature/medicine (Merck). IP Kat has this new article today about “patents covering… claim the use of this dosage regime.” Citing the FDA, IP Watch wrote:

Biotherapeutic medicines are made out of living organisms and cannot be replicated. No generic medicines, which are exact copies of the reference product, can be made. The generic equivalent of a biotherapeutic would be biosimilars, which are highly similar products. The United States Food and Drug Administration has issued a guide to help producers to prove how close their biosimilars are to the biotherapeutics.

Typically the Boards of Appeal (probably the Enlarged one) would weigh in and make sense of it, but Battistelli’s EPO is marginalising these people. Quality control is a nuisance to one who reduces patent quality in order to reach misguided goals. See “EPO Enlarged Board Of Appeal Finds The Cure For Poisonous Divisionals”, published this week in a couple of sites for lawyers.

Citing this paper from 2015, “Comment on Enhancing Patent Quality”, someone from the EPO sphere urged us to consider the importance of patent quality. Brian J. Love from the Santa Clara University School of Law wrote in his abstract: “This Comment responds to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Request for Comments on Enhancing Patent Quality, published February 5, 2015. It proceeds in two parts. First, I share two general observations about the PTO’s current slate of New Quality Proposals: specifically, it fails to include any reforms that apply post-issue or any reforms that exercise the PTO’s fee-setting authority. Second, building on these observations and two recent empirical studies of mine, I outline two proposals that I urge the PTO to consider: specifically, an increase in maintenance fees and a decrease in fees for post-issue administrative challenges.”

We don’t expect the EPO to learn from the mistakes made by the USPTO in the past (things are improving now). In fact, things keep getting worse as Battistelli drives away a lot of staff and still expects double-digit growth (percent-wise) in the coming (current) year, as measured by the number of patents (or “products”) dealt with.

Kluwer Patent Blog, typically a mouthpiece for the UPC if not the EPO as well, is obviously aware of the EPO crisis because this year’s leading posts, as judged by number of readers, is topped by EPO (specifically the scandals) and UPC. A reader of ours “found this highly interesting post” which resembles what happened in IAM, as mentioned at the time (before Christmas) and to a lesser degree IP Watch.

It sure looks like concern about the direction the EPO has taken, also on purely technical grounds (not labour law but patent quality), is growing. Readers who didn’t read Techrights during the holiday may wish to revisit the leaked letter to Quality Support (DQS) at the European Patent Office. Now compare this to this latest puff piece from today. It says: “Complaints to the European Patent Office (EPO) are dealt with by a central EPO department known as Directorate Quality Support (DQS), which is also solely responsible for drafting and sending the official EPO response to the complainant. The default position is that both the original complaint and the reply thereto issued by DQS on behalf of the EPO are not made public, but rather are kept in the non-public part of the file to which the complaint pertains. This default position was apparently established by a decision of the President of the EPO in 2007. On the face of it, this would not appear to be a particularly contentious position, and is possibly justified given that complaints could be prejudicial to the legitimate personal or economic interests of third parties. Presumably the EPO would rather not place itself in a position of being a public outlet for any such potentially prejudicial remarks.”

As we showed here during the holiday, Directorate Quality Support (DQS) has itself become a shameful failure and utter mess. Applicants who receive such terrible service even resort to complaining to politicians, only to discover that the EPO is immune to prosecution.

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. The Crook Goes to Brussels to Lie About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The person who spent years lying about the UPC and severely attacking critics (usually by blatantly lying about them) goes to Brussels for another nose extension



  2. The EPO's HR Roadmap Retrospective

    A look back at the terrible ‘accomplishments’ of the Jesper Kongstad-led Administrative Council, which still issues hogwash and face-saving lies, as one might expect from a protector of Battistelli that lies to national representatives and buries inconvenient topics



  3. Links 26/3/2017: Debian Project Leader Elections, SecureDrop and Alexandre Oliva FSF Winners

    Links for the day



  4. His Master's Voice, Jesper Kongstad, Blocks Discussion of Investigative and Disciplinary Procedures at the EPO

    The Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation is actively preventing not just the dismissal of Battistelli but also discussion of Battistelli's abuses



  5. Heiko Maas and the State of Germany Viewed as Increasingly Complicit in EPO Scandals and Toxic UPC Agenda

    It is becoming hard if not impossible to interpret silence and inaction from Maas as a form of endorsement for everything the EPO has been doing, with the German delegates displaying more of that apathy which in itself constitutes a form of complicity



  6. With IP Kat Coverage of EPO Scandals Coming to an End (Officially), Techrights and The Register Remain to Cover New Developments

    One final post about the end of Merpel’s EPO coverage, which is unfortunate but understandable given the EPO’s track record attacking the media, including blogs like IP Kat, sites of patent stakeholders, and even so-called media partners



  7. Everyone, Including Patent Law Firms, Will Suffer From the Demise of the EPO

    Concerns about quality of patents granted by the EPO (EPs) are publicly raised by industry/EPO insiders, albeit in an anonymous fashion



  8. Yes, Battistelli's Ban on EPO Strikes (or Severe Limitation Thereof) is a Violation of Human Rights

    Battistelli has curtailed even the right to strike, yet anonymous cowards attempt to blame the staff (as in patent examiners) for not going out of their way to engage in 'unauthorised' strikes (entailing dismissal)



  9. Even the EPO's Administrative Council No Longer Trusts Its Chairman, Battistelli's 'Chinchilla' Jesper Kongstad

    Kongstad's protection of Battistelli, whom he is supposed to oversee, stretches to the point where national representatives (delegates) are being misinformed



  10. Thanks to Merpel, the World Knows EPO Scandals a Lot Better, But It's a Shame That IP Kat Helped UPC

    A look back at Merpel's final post about EPO scandals and the looming threat of the UPC, which UPC opportunists such as Bristows LLP still try hard to make a reality, exploiting bogus (hastily-granted) patents for endless litigation all around Europe



  11. EPO Critics Threatened by Self-Censorship, Comment Censorship, and a Growing Threat to Anonymity

    Putting in perspective the campaign for justice at the EPO, which to a large degree relies on whistleblowers and thus depends a great deal on freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and anonymity



  12. Links 25/3/2017: Maru OS 0.4, C++17 Complete

    Links for the day



  13. Judge and Justice Bashing in the United States, EPC Bashing at the EPO

    Enforcement of the law based on constitutional grounds and based on the European Patent Convention (EPC) in an age of retribution and insults -- sometimes even libel -- against judges



  14. Looking for EPO Nepotism? Forget About Jouve and Look Closely at Europatis Instead.

    Debates about the contract of Jouve with the EPO overlook the elephants in the room, which include companies that are established and run by former EPO chiefs and enjoy a relationship with the EPO



  15. Depressing EPO News: Attacks on Staff, Attacks on Life, Brain Drain, Patents on Life, Patent Trolls Come to Germany, and Spain Being Misled

    A roundup of the latest developments at the EPO combined with feedback from insiders, who are not tolerating their misguided and increasingly abusive management



  16. It Certainly Looks Like Microsoft is Already Siccing Its Patent Trolls, Including Intellectual Ventures, on Companies That Use Linux (Until They Pay 'Protection' Money)

    News about Intellectual Ventures and Finjan Holdings (Microsoft-funded patent trolls) reinforces our allegations -- not mere suspicions anymore -- that Microsoft would 'punish' companies that are not paying subscription fees (hosting) or royalties (patent tax) to Microsoft and are thus in some sense 'indebted' to Microsoft



  17. Links 24/3/2017: Microsoft Aggression, Eudyptula Challenge Status Report

    Links for the day



  18. Bernhard Rapkay, Former MEP and Rapporteur on Unitary Patent, Shoots Down UPC Hopes While UPC Hopefuls Recognise That Spain Isn't Interested Either

    Germany, the UK and Spain remain massive barriers to the UPC -- all this in spite of misleading reports and fake news which attempted to make politicians believe otherwise (for political leverage, by means of dirty lobbying contingent upon misinformation)



  19. Links 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

    Links for the day



  20. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation Has Just Buried an Innocent Judge That Battistelli Does Not Like

    An innocent judge (never proven guilty of anything, only publicly defamed with help from Team Battistelli and dubious 'intelligence' gathering) is one of the forgotten casualties of the latest meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which has become growingly complicit rather than a mere bystander at a 'crime' scene



  21. Nepotism at the European Patent Office and Suspicious Absence of Tenders for Big Projects

    Carte blanche is a French term which now perfectly describes the symptoms encountered in the European Patent Office, more so once led by a lot of French people (Battistelli and his friends)



  22. “Terror” Patent Office Bemoans Terror, Spreads Lies

    Response to some of the latest utterances from the European Patent Office, where patently untruthful claims have rapidly become the norm



  23. China Seems to be Using Patents to Push Foreign Companies Out of China, in the Same Way It Infamously Uses Censorship

    Chinese patent policies are harming competition from abroad, e.g. Japan and the US, and US patent policy is being shaped by its higher courts, albeit not yet effectively combating the element that's destroying productive companies (besieged by patent trolls)



  24. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  25. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  26. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  27. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  28. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  29. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  30. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts