The European Patent Office is Wasting Its Already Limited Budget on Misleading Press Releases/Paid-for Coverage That Overlook Sharp Decline in Patent Quality
The steep slope of EPO doublespeak
See our response from yesterday: EPO Record Low on Quality of European Patents (EPs) in 2016
Summary: The media is awash with EPO talking points, which were not necessarily the result of objective journalism or fruits of labour but were sometimes simply paid for if not ghost-written too (as is typical by now)
THE arguably cash-strapped or debt-saddled EPO is now paying a fortune pushing a lie or a half-truth (lie by omission). Why? Because Battistelli will meet his supposed overseers one week from now. The EPO is attempting to distract from what is really happening. It’s like utterly autocratic and oppressive regimes that boast or brag about “reduction in crime”. It just depends whose, and at what cost…
“Time to say goodbye,” one person asked about Battistelli this week. “You wish …
“The EPO is attempting to distract from what is really happening.”“The rumours currently circulating inside the EPO indicate that he is planning to do all he can to block the Admin Council from kicking off the selection procedure for his successor which is due to be discussed at the quarterly meeting next week (15/16 March).
“He has no plans to go because it looks like there is no “cushy number” waiting for him back in France.”
We don’t expect Battistelli to be fired as long as the EPO is so thoroughly compromised (resignation is another matter altogether). Redemption will need to come from the outside, i.e. national/international interventions (ILO is not strong enough for this).
“We don’t expect Battistelli to be fired as long as the EPO is so thoroughly compromised.”The EPO likes to pretend that it’s all just business as usual with stock photography and tweets like this one that says: “During their EPO study visits, participants do practical exercises to learn more about patent filing strategies…”
The matter of fact is, the EPO is extremely unpopular (unprecedented recruitment problem/crisis and brain drain) and visitors too aren’t particularly fond of the management. “Did you search their telephones too,” I asked them about the visitors, as visitors too are now presumed "terrorists" until proven otherwise (which was always the case, there’s no genuine, solid basis for this paranoia at all).
“The matter of fact is, the EPO is extremely unpopular (unprecedented recruitment problem/crisis and brain drain) and visitors too aren’t particularly fond of the management.”Proceeding to the key point, the principal lie being pushed forth this week is that the EPO is doing better than ever before. An avalanche (collapse) of patent quality is being touted as a victory. To quote the EPO’s Twitter account: “EPO President Benoît Battistelli: “2016 saw significant advances at the EPO.” http://buzz.mw/b1w9z_l #AnnualReport #AnnualResults”
This links to another lame video of Battistelli — similar to the lame video we remarked on last year. When it comes to quality, he just likes to mention his propaganda mills, such as IAM, in such awkwardly-framed videos.
The EPO says “Granted patents up by 40% in 2016. See the full report: http://buzz.mw/b1w9w_l #annualreport #annualresults”
If a local hospital has a 40% rise “in demand” (an industrial term), does that indicate success or simply increase in illness? What is the actual goal of a hospital?
Watch this later tweet from the EPO. It uses a factory term, “patenting demand,” as if it’s all about supply and demand. It figures. To quote: “These are the TOP technology fields with the fastest growth in patenting demand in 2016 http://buzz.mw/b1w7n_l #annualreport #annualresultspic.twitter.com/ZSLCjhMzBA”
“…the principal lie being pushed forth this week is that the EPO is doing better than ever before.”The EPO also drew attention to this self-promotional tweet from Philips. The company said “2,568 patent applications at @EPOorg during 2016 = our commitment to innovation. Find out more http://philips.to/2mwoDHn”
“How many of these patents were granted after just 2 hours,” I asked them, linking to this EPO leak. Philips links not to an English article about it but a paid press release. What a waste of money pushing self-serving statements.
But Philips, being a corporation, has every right to spend its money doing this. What about the EPO? Well, Battistelli is in essence bribing various large publications, including this publication which now repeats his propaganda in French while censoring critical (and factual) coverage. Money well spent? The EPO's PR team, in the meantime, is pushing various publishers to parrot EPO talking points, probably even gratis!
Disappointing coverage came out of World IP Review (WIPR), which parrots the EPO’s claims without looking deeper and investigating the full picture. It says that the “European Patent Office (EPO) granted a record number of European patents in 2016, while the US led the charge for applications.”
“If a local hospital has a 40% rise “in demand” (an industrial term), does that indicate success or simply increase in illness?”What about patent quality and how were these supposed gains achieved? No remarks on that? Even IP Watch, which is typically OK, helps the EPO spread this nonsense (very promotional headline).
Patent systems are not a numbers contest. Without quality control we could have millions of patents granted PER WEEK. That’s hardly an accomplishment worth celebrating.
“What about patent quality and how were these supposed gains achieved?”To make matters even worse, the EPO now spreads (using press releases, i.e. EPO budget) misleading patent propaganda in the UK, conveniently enough amidst UPC talks. Using various press outlets, not to mention a total waste of money (paid propaganda for Battistelli), they are hoping to ‘sell’ lies in the meeting with Battistelli’s Chinchillas and also ‘sell’ this to British politicians. We have found numerous sites, e.g. [1, 2], where the EPO ‘planted’ the press release “2016 a good year for UK companies and researchers at the European Patent Office” (that is not what the numbers show; they equate raw numbers with other things). Watchtroll, in the mean time, contributed its own lawyers-leaning angle. In a later post we shall focus on what the EPO and the UPC (if it ever becomes something at all) mean to British businesses.
The EPO also disseminated a similarly misleading press release for the US, “European Patent Office Grants More Patents To US Companies Than Ever Before,” and the Swedish English-speaking media — basically the same bunch of sites as last year (we criticised them for it) — just does some puff pieces. The same network, incidentally, brainwashes the Swiss about it. The richest countries, which can most easily afford EPO fees (application, renewal, litigation etc.) are not necessarily “champions” (as the headline put it). But who cares about facts anyway? It’s the EPO’s day to “shine”, facts be damned!
“To make matters even worse, the EPO now spreads (using press releases, i.e. EPO budget) misleading patent propaganda in the UK, conveniently enough amidst UPC talks.”What the EPO speaks about isn’t good news. They’re aware of it. They rely on so-called ‘results’ that are framed in misleading terms, which assume that the goal of a patent system is just to yank out lots and lots of patents, irrespective of their merit.
“All results for 2016 are available here,” the EPO wrote, but these so-called ‘results’ say nothing about quality; quality is down sharply. Does that not matter? It has a profound negative impact on the value (or perceived legitimacy) of patents granted by the EPO for several decades. They’re muddying the water now.
One particular firm now treats the EPO’s numbers like a popularity contest and states: “We’re 63rd in @EPOorg’s 2016 patent rankings! We believe in the power of #science and #innovation: http://spr.ly/60138XqxB pic.twitter.com/Qq6gBNRSFW”
“It has a profound negative impact on the value (or perceived legitimacy) of patents granted by the EPO for several decades.”Unlike the EPO which believes in anti-science, post-truth and alternative facts?
If “patent rankings” are based on just raw numbers, where wealthy parties can just successfully ram lots of low-quality patents down the throat of the Office (the USPTO was notorious for this), then what we’re getting here is a system ripe for abuse, not a respected patent system that took nearly half a century to build its reputation. █