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

03.11.17

Higher Patent Quality Guarded Even Under the Trump Administration While the EPO Goes the Other Way

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 6:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patents by the bucketloads at EPO*, devaluing all European patents (past and present)

Empty bucket

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) keeps kicking the bucket, whereas the US patent system seems to be taking its old place, owing to more pedantic management that comprehends patent quality and its effect on patent trolls

THE EPO is all bad news these days, but the US patent system is exactly the opposite. We were delighted to learn today, based on this post published just after midnight, that “Michelle K. Lee is the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office” (i.e. she officially managed to keep her job under Trump, contrary to malicious rumours).

Regular readers of ours probably already know how she was personally attacked, heckled, falsely ‘scandalised’, subjected to a witch-hunt and even whispering campaigns (with fake news to that effect). She survived and endured all that. “I still do not sufficiently understand DC politics,” Patently-O remarked, “to grasp why the Dir. Lee’s position was not public for the past 50+ days, but I am glad that we may now return to some semblance of normalcy in relations between the USPTO and the public.”

“It’s a symptom of a real problem; many illegitimate patents are still lodged inside the belly of the Office, presumed valid unless or until proven otherwise.”We recently wrote about a dozen posts defending Michelle Lee, who had done a good job getting patent quality under control. We recently wrote about that notorious IBM patent on "out-of-office electronic mail messaging system” (covered before were even worse examples than that). It’s a symptom of a real problem; many illegitimate patents are still lodged inside the belly of the Office, presumed valid unless or until proven otherwise. Just a short while ago yet another site wrote about this IBM patent, noting that “In January 2017 the United States Patent Office granted a patent application lodged seven years previously by IBM for an Out-of-Office email notification system. Seven weeks later IBM formally disclaimed the patent. What does this say about software patents?”

What does that say about IBM’s widely-celebrated patents? What does that say about quality control among patent examiners in 2017, three years after Alice? Was this an accident, oversight, negligence, or simply an attempt to fill up quotas?

Earlier today in IP Kat someone commented on Merpel’s last post (regarding the EPO) and noted that “EPO used to work like a machine producing reliable and high-quality patents…”

Now, however (as Battistelli kills the EPO by opening the patent floodgates), “[d]epending on the examiner, I simply get a patent that should never have been granted” (like the USPTO a decade ago). See? Even stakeholders realise that it’s harmful to them and it’s hardly shocking that Battistelli’s approval rating among stakeholders sank to 0% (it does not get any lower than this). To quote the comment in its entirety:

Merpel, you really have done an excellent job. Many thanks for your dedication!

I had always great respect for the patent examiners working at the EPO. They produced detailed search reports. The correspondence with them during the examination phase showed profound technical know-how and a broad domain knowledge. I felt treated fairly in the procedures as well as in oral proceedings. The EPO used to work like a machine producing reliable and high-quality patents, no matter who was the primary examiner and no matter whether I was co-operative or not.

This has changed. Examiners told me that they mainly rely on the output of computer-generated overviews of the prior art now. Sometimes a simple search in Google produces better results than an EPO search report costing 1,875 euro. Furthermore, examiners now try to charge applicants for non-unity based on dubious reasons. I have received so many quasi-empty letters from examiners. It is obvious that they do not spend enough time anymore to get things right. Depending on the examiner, I simply get a patent that should never have been granted, or I have to deal with procedural traps into which they try to entice me.

I understand that the examiners have moved to this working practice because Battistelli introduced Rank and Yank. Last year, the EPO granted 90,000 patents, which is 50% more than in the years before. The examiners increased their production by 50% just to compete with their colleagues for a salary increase of about 2,000 euro per year, which only half of the examiners are entitled to receive.

I am sorry, but I have lost all my respect for the patent examiners in the EPO. They might be excellent scientists or engineers. But falling into this well-known trap shows that they are dumb, irresponsible, and greedy. The annual salary of a patent examiner is about 100,000 euro (tax-free). Battistelli managed to lure them with a bonus of 2,000 euro for every second examiner and achieved a performance increase of 50%.

But it is even worse. A judge remains in limbo, union officials have been fired, the appeal court will be moved to the outskirts of Munich. And the staff in the EPO remains silent. Poor people! They get what they deserve. “Even if you win the rat race, you are still a rat.”

The above stakeholder ought to take a look at this leak. It’s probably even worse than he or she imagines.
_________
* Covered here in five:

  1. EPO Record Low on Quality of European Patents (EPs) in 2016
  2. The European Patent Office is Wasting Its Already Limited Budget on Misleading Press Releases/Paid-for Coverage That Overlook Sharp Decline in Patent Quality
  3. Latest EPO ‘Results’ Should be Grounds for Immediate Dismissal of Battistelli Rather Than Celebrations
  4. ‘Evil Tongues’ Inside and Outside the EPO Explain Why Battistelli’s 2016 ‘Results’ Are Bad While the Media Mindlessly Repeats EPO Management’s Talking Points
  5. The EPO is Lying About Patent Quality in Its Official Web Site
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 Quality of Patents is Connected to the Quality of Life of Patent Examiners

    EPO staff is not happy (a new President has not changed things) and the problems associated with low quality of patents become more visible in courtrooms



  2. American Patent Courts Keep Narrowing Patent Scope, No Matter What Few Politicians Are Doing on Behalf of Litigation Firms and Patent Trolls

    Acts of desperation in the patent microcosm of the United States, where judges now overwhelmingly reject software patents at all levels (tribunals, lower courts, higher courts)



  3. Links 25/4/2019: Rancher Labs Releases Slim OS, OpenBSD 6.5 is Ready

    Links for the day



  4. Links 24/4/2019: Chrome 74, QEMU 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Supreme Court of the UK, Which Habitually Throws Out European Patents, May Overturn Troublesome Unwired Planet v Huawei Decision

    A lot of European Patents are facing growing scrutiny from courts (Team UPC, including Bristows, publicly complains about it this month) and "greenwashing" of the Office won't be enough to paint/frame these patents as "ethical"



  6. German Federal Patent Court Curbs the Patent Maximalism of the EPO, Which Promotes Patents on Nature and/or Maths Every Single Day

    European courts are restraining the EPO, which has been trying to bypass or replace such courts (with the UPC); it certainly seems as though European Patents rapidly lose their legitimacy or much-needed presumption of validity



  7. Any 'Linux' Foundation Needs to Be Managed by Geeks, Not Politicians and PR People

    Linux bureaucracy has put profits way ahead of technical merits and this poses a growing threat or constitutes risk to the direction of the project, not to mention its ownership



  8. Links 23/4/2019: Kodi 'Leia' 18.2 and DeX Everywhere

    Links for the day



  9. Code of Coercion

    Entryism is visible for all to see, but pointing it out is becoming a risky gambit because of the "be nice!" (or "be polite!") crowd, which shields the perpetrators of a slow and gradual corporate takeover



  10. António Campinos Would Not Refer to the EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal If He Did Not Control the Outcomes

    António Campinos and his ilk aren’t interested in patent quality because his former ‘boss’, who publicly denied there were issues and vainly rejected patent quality concerns as illegitimate, is now controlled by him (reversal of roles) and many new appointees at the top are "yes men" (or women) of Campinos, former colleagues whom he bossed at EUIPO (as expected)



  11. Links 22/4/2019: Linux 5.1 RC6, New Release of Netrunner and End of Scientific Linux

    Links for the day



  12. USPTO and EPO Both Slammed for Abandoning Patent Quality and Violating the Law/Caselaw in Order to Grant Illegitimate Patents on Life/Nature and Mathematics

    Mr. Iancu, the ‘American Battistelli’ (appointed owing to nepotism), mirrors the ‘Battistelli operandi’, which boils down to treating judges like they’re stooges and justices like an ignorable nuisance — all this in the name of litigation profits, which necessitate constant wars over illegitimate patents (it is expensive to prove their illegitimacy)



  13. IRC Proceedings: January 27th, 2019 – March 24th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  14. IRC Proceedings: December 2nd, 2018 – January 26th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  15. Links 21/4/2019: SuperTuxKart's 1.0 Release, Sam Hartman Is Debian’s Newest Project Leader (DPL)

    Links for the day



  16. The EPO's Use of Phrases Like “High-Quality Patent Services” Means They Know High-Quality European Patents Are 'Bygones'

    The EPO does a really poor job hiding the fact that its last remaining objective is to grant as many European Patents as possible (and as fast as possible), conveniently conflating quality with pace



  17. A Reader's Suggestion: Directions for Techrights

    Guest post by figosdev



  18. Links 20/4/2019: Weblate 3.6 and Pop!_OS 19.04

    Links for the day



  19. The Likes of Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), Team Campinos and Team UPC Don't Represent Europe But Hurt Europe

    The abject disinterest in patent quality and patent validity (as judged by courts) threatens Europe but not to the detriment of those who are in the 'business' of suing and printing lots of worthless patents



  20. The Linux Foundation Needs to Change Course Before GNU/Linux (as a Free Operating System) is Dead

    The issues associated with the Linux Foundation are not entirely new; but Linux now incorporates so many restrictions and contains so many binary blobs that one begins to wonder what "Linux" even means



  21. Largest Patent Offices Try to Leave Courts in a State of Disarray to Enable the Granting of Fake Patents in the US and Europe

    Like a monarchy that effectively runs all branches of government the management of the EPO is trying to work around the judiciary; the same is increasingly happening (or at least attempted) in the United States



  22. Links 19/4/2019: PyPy 7.1.1, LabPlot 2.6, Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 18/4/2019: Ubuntu and Derivatives Have Releases, digiKam 6.1.0, OpenSSH 8.0 and LibreOffice 6.2.3

    Links for the day



  24. Freedom is Not a Business and Those Who Make 'Business' by Giving it Away Deserve Naming

    Free software is being parceled and sold to private monopolisers; those who facilitate the process enrich themselves and pose a growing threat to freedom in general — a subject we intend to tackle in the near future



  25. Concluding the Linux Foundation (LF) “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 3)

    Conferences constructed or put together based on payments rather than merit pose a risk to the freedom of free software; we conclude our series about events set up by the largest of culprits, which profits from this erosion of freedom



  26. “Mention the War” (of Microsoft Against GNU/Linux)

    The GNU/Linux desktop (or laptops) seems to be languishing or deteriorating, making way for proprietary takeover in the form of Vista 10 and Chrome OS and “web apps” (surveillance); nobody seems too bothered — certainly not the Linux Foundation — by the fact that GNU/Linux itself is being relegated or demoted to a mere “app” on these surveillance platforms (WSL, Croûton and so on)



  27. The European Patent Office Does Not Care About the Law, Today's Management Constantly Attempts to Bypass the Law

    Many EPs (European Patents) are actually "IPs" (invalid patents); the EPO doesn't seem to care and it is again paying for corrupt scholars to toe the party line



  28. The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Once Again Pours Cold Water on Patent Maximalists

    Any hopes of a rebound or turnaround have just been shattered because a bizarre attack on the appeal process (misusing tribal immunity) fell on deaf ears and software patents definitely don't interest the highest court, which already deemed them invalid half a decade ago



  29. Links 17/4/2019: Qt 5.12.3 Released, Ola Bini Arrested (Political Stunts)

    Links for the day



  30. Links 16/4/2019: CentOS Turns 15, Qt Creator 4.9.0 Released

    Links for the day


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