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03.12.17

Fake News From the EPO and Team UPC About Unitary Patent in the UK in Spite of Brexit

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They said we’d have UPC ratified in the UK on March 7th. Nope! Didn’t happen. As usual, it’s faked optimism (a lobbying tactic akin to learned helplessness).

The undemocratic patent conspiracy (UPC): We'll just call it something misleading

Summary: For lobbying purposes, the EPO pretends that the reality of Brexit in no way undermines UPC and proponents of the UPC (few law firms looking to profit from a transition) keep lying about it, in a coordinated effort — EU-wide — to induce defeatism among UPC opponents, causing political panic and near surrender amid a perceived rush, as if UPC will definitely start soon and those not joining will be left behind

THE EPO recently had the media reprint and repeat its lies, maybe owing to these massive PR contracts that Battistelli had secretly signed and later even expanded with fracking lobbyists. They are truly desperate to sell lies to the public — as facts are not convenient — and as we have witnessed before, that form of lobbying from paid media extends to UPC puff pieces.

The EPO makes it no secret that it meddles and intervenes in UPC matters (politics). “This online course provides easy access to the main concepts involved in patent litigation,” the EPO wrote last week. The chart in the page contains a fictional (wishful thinking) element, Unitary Patent, as if they take it for granted before it even exists, except in draft papers. Meanwhile, the same media which habitually produces puff pieces for Battistelli (silly lies about Apple patents with this publication, and never even a single article about the EPO conflict) helps spread fake news about the UPC. It’s lobbying disguised as news, with the headline “Unitary patent expected this year, despite Brexit” (expected by who? The liars who lobby for it? Or those who want others to believe so and then make it so?).

“The EPO makes it no secret that it meddles and intervenes in UPC matters (politics).”As we showed here before, based on a very recent poll, the large majority of patent professionals does not believe this. “EU will find a way to keep UK in unitary patent, says EPO chief” is another new puff piece. It’s even worse than a puff piece; it’s just a Battistelli placement, not in any way an investigative report (typical for lazy people in the corporate ‘journalism’ business). Éanna Kelly from Science|Business apparently thinks that copy-pasting Battistelli makes this a “report”.

“Brexit is clouding its future role in the new common patent,” says the author, “but Benoit Battistelli, head of the European Patent Office thinks there are ways to keep the UK in the system” (like lobbying and manipulating the media?).

“Meanwhile, the same media which habitually produces puff pieces for Battistelli (silly lies about Apple patents with this publication, and never even a single article about the EPO conflict) helps spread fake news about the UPC.”“The latest EPO “puff piece”,” one reader told us shortly after this press release [1, 2] (warning: epo.org links), reminds us that Battistelli keeps making photo ops with subservient British politicians who don’t know what they’re doing. “The patent posterboys,” another one of our readers called it. “EPO President meets with Jo Johnson, the new UK intellectual property minister,” says the headline. It’s a lobbying trip, like the one with Lucy (exactly coinciding with the EPO strike).

Here is what this puff piece says:

EPO President Benoît Battistelli met the UK Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Jo Johnson in London on 8 March to discuss recent developments in patents and their role in supporting innovation. Mr Battistelli and Mr Johnson discussed the European patent system and recent reforms at the EPO to further improve the quality and efficiency of the patent grant process, ahead of the EPO’s future role in the unitary patent system.

Minister Johnson said: “It was a pleasure to meet with President Battistelli today to discuss the European patent system and wider efforts to support innovation. Driving economic growth across the UK is a priority for this Government and therefore IP has never been more important.” He added: “Successful intellectual property regimes protect the hard work of inventors, underpin innovative economies, and help inspiring ideas become a reality.”

EPO President Battistelli said: “I was very pleased to hear the reconfirmation by the Minister that the UK government is committed to finalize the national ratification of the UPC treaty in order for the Court to be operational on 1 December 2017 and thus for the EPO to be able to deliver the first Unitary Patent at the same time.”

These words (the above quotes) sent a wave of shock among UPC sceptics and antagonists, who don’t know that everything the EPO says these days contains a lot of lies. Does Johnson even realise the ramifications of such a move? Brexit is not compatible with the UPC (legally and technically impossible), as we already explained in a series last year. It came in 7 parts:

A few days ago MIP posted: : “Will Poland become a safe haven from the #UPC for manufacturing/service companies? Litigation strategy panel at #patentforum2017 discuss” (there is also a photo in there, it’s a UPC lobbying event/opportunity which we will revisit later).

“But if the brother of Brexit proponent Boris Johnson, together with his new friend ErdoganBattistelli, defies British law as well as common sense, then Britain will not only lose this advantage but also become easy prey to patent trolls.”The UK would become that safe haven, assuming other countries go on with something resembling the UPC (they need to redo it because the UK would not participate). But if the brother of Brexit proponent Boris Johnson, together with his new friend ErdoganBattistelli, defies British law as well as common sense, then Britain will not only lose this advantage but also become easy prey to patent trolls. Why?

Well, last week we drafted a press release with FFII, with the goal of getting a debate in the British Parliament as soon as possible. We got some quotes from 3 or 4 business people (from the UK). Among the quotes put forth towards the end:

  • “The Unitary Patent will be the nail in the coffin for the european software industry. This court will be populated by members of the patent industry, which has broaden the scope of patents to software for the last 30 years.”
  • “UK has still 2 years to ratify, the rush is coming from the patent industry and foreign governments who blackmailed the UK government ‘if you don’t ratify now, we will rewrite the UPC and go without you’. The rush for Mr Johnson is to ratify without a new debate in Parliament before the end of March, when Brexit is triggered. No impact analysis of UPC has ever been made for the software industry.”
  • “UPC means job losses. Small software companies can’t defend themselves against threats by patent trolls, and this is the biggest risk for the UPC. In the US, the only line of defense for small companies is the Alice decision. But with UPC, the fox will be in charge of the henhouse.”
  • “Many other software companies accross Europe are opposing the Unitary Patent. American patent trolls are already lurking at Europe as a better place to do litigation than in the US.”
  • “The UPC is a luxury castle for those multinational companies who can afford litigation. This is not the case for small software companies.”

“The worst thing about this is UK companies which trade only in the UK can be hit by Patent Trolls from the EU regardless,” one person wrote the other day.

An E-mail was also sent out by the FFII regarding a new UK-centric campaign against “Unitary Software Patents ratification” (to better target those who are affected in the software industry). Alex Macfie, of FFII UK, eventually sent around the following mail to FFII supporters, expressing concisely what’s at stake:

Dear FFII UK supporter,

Today FFII UK is launching a campaign in order to oppose the ratification of the Unitary Patent treaty. The failed 2005 software patent directive was replaced by the Unitary Patent Court at the request of large software companies, and we are now 12 years later where they are very close to achieve what they wanted.

We are inviting to you to sign the petition, and more importantly, to call your Member of Parliament, and ask him on a parliamentary debate on the consequences of UPC on the software industry:

http://www.nounitarysoftwarepatents.uk/

The UK government wants to ratify this international treaty before the end of March, when the Brexit process starts. This can happen at any day now, and only a Parliamentary debate can stop it.

Please call your MP now, and help us to stop the ratification of this undemocratic treaty.

Best regards,

About 25 companies and more than 100 people have signed the UPC petition, in spite of not many people comprehending patents and knowing what the UPC is actually about. There is still time to sign some more and send the link around (to solicit more signatures). The date which Team UPC said would be the day for ratification is already 5 days behind, so their optimistic prediction (as always) turns out to have been bunk. Just like their job advertisements — for openings that did not even exist and probably will never exist.

“The date which Team UPC said would be the day for ratification is already 5 days behind, so their optimistic prediction (as always) turns out to have been bunk.”But don’t think that Team UPC is defeated. As we shall show in the next few posts, Team UPC works tirelessly and resorts to dirty tricks in an effort to ram the UPC down the UK’s throat by this month’s end. They know it’s going to take a miracle, or simply mischief. Bird & Bird, a large part of Team UPC (trying to profit from this), wrote this a month ago: “#UPP2017 insight. Want to know how to prepare for the #UPC and #UnitaryPatent this spring? Okay, @twobirdsIP have got you covered: pic.twitter.com/TuN3wiRl7r”

So they’re so optimistic about it that they already approach clients for money, as one might expect. One of their vocal workers, Wouter Pors, even takes advantage of Merpel's throwing of the towel to promote the UPC. Here is his self-serving (promotional towards the end) comment:

Dear Merpel,

It is indeed a pity that so far no majority could be reached in the Administrative Council to take the decisions that would improve the situation at the EPO. It is also a pity that the decision to move the Boards of Appeal to Haar, which doesn’t seem to serve any sensible purpose, was not stopped by a majority in the Administrative Council. However, that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. In my view, it is important that those delegations that do strive for improvement and spend enormous amounts of time and effort to achieve positive results continue to be supported. An independent and critical press can play an important role in the process. Your posts are widely read thoughout the EPC conutries and I think it is worthwhile to keep this up.

The EPO as such is a wonderful organisation for patent harmonization and will become even more crucial with the introduction of the Unitary Patent. It is and will remain important to closely monitor developments and stimulate progress, certainly also towards and after 30 June 2018.

Wouter Pors

Wouter Pors, who has been pushing for the UPC for personal gain, weighs in and pushes the perception that the UPC is inevitable and unstoppable. This isn’t the first time he comments in this British blog to promote the Unitary Patent; of course not. We covered other examples and later on we’ll show how he and his colleagues in the Netherlands use their own blog to advance misleading stories.

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