The European Patent Office is in a State of Collapse and It Coughs Up Rubbish Patents Until Its Death
Considering declines in number of applications, not even as a patents register (like INPI) can it survive fiscally
This could, potentially, be terminal…
Summary: An EPO insider explains how severe the crisis at the EPO has become, especially now that patents are coughed up at a far higher pace in spite of decreasing “demand” from European applicants
“The Battistelli system,” an EPO insider privately explained to us, is not working. “I think the scandal regarding the colleague who produced 63 searches and 20 grants in one month deserves a deeper look into. For anybody who’s ever done a search and an examination it’s clear that 83 products a month (in January) is an impossible achievement.”
For those who missed it, see this leak that we published about it. The EPO seemed to be trying to distract from it at the time, by issuing a perfect diversion just hours after we had leaked the material/evidence.
“But enquiries of the staff as to the preposterous 83 products a month were brushed aside by the director in those fateful emails in a knee-jerk reaction that shows that nowadays at he EPO production, even unrealistic, is protected from all critics…”
–Anonymous“Even if one admits that some of the files were transferred from the previous month,” the insider told us, “as explained by the director, this is not a remotely credible…
“December is a short month and an average of 40 products per month in two consecutive months which include the winter holidays is in the realm of fantasy. Moreover, if a search is started, according to the new regulations, the examiner has ten days for finishing the search, so if one starts treating files in December without finishing them there will be a lot of red-flagged files in January.
“That should’ve rung a bell for the director who is supposed to keep an eye on timeliness. He should also have known that the respective production was impossible in the given time period. But enquiries of the staff as to the preposterous 83 products a month were brushed aside by the director in those fateful emails in a knee-jerk reaction that shows that nowadays at he EPO production, even unrealistic, is protected from all critics…
“Even better, Battistelli should retire (which he will certainly not do of his own will) or the Administrative Council should finally grow a spine (hard to believe either) and decide to oust him and let somebody else restore the credibility of the EPO after the disastrous years.”
–Anonymous“What happened is a compound failure of the examiner and the director, symbolic of the “everything goes” scam system implemented by Battistelli in which production figures are disconnected from quality in spite of the achievements trumpeted by Battistelli in the all too subservient press and his self-serving events.
“It’s not that quality at all levels is that compromised but the high producer bonus system incentives a low number of greedy examiners to cut corners and attempt to produce a high number of searches and grants regardless of quality in search of the yearly bonus. If Battistelli really wanted to restore a minimum of credibility to the office he should start by ordering the Quality Control Department to carry out an examination of [...] searches and grants – and make the findings public. Otherwise the EPO will be regarded with even more mistrust and its reputation will continue to sink. Even better, Battistelli should retire (which he will certainly not do of his own will) or the Administrative Council should finally grow a spine (hard to believe either) and decide to oust him and let somebody else restore the credibility of the EPO after the disastrous years.
“With his own secret service, destroying the lives of the inconvenient staff representation members by firing them, one can only imagine his behaviour, and his opponents’ end, had he been the president of a Central Asian or African country.”
–Anonymous“We’ve seen over and over again that dictators are adulated during their reign and accepted even by democratic countries but after their demise all the dirt comes out from under the carpet tainting all those who supported them in the past. There is no reason to believe that Battistelli will suffer a different fate after his departure. A petty wannabe grand dictator who, fortunately for the world, has ended up mistreating only a [European institution] instead of a whole country. With his own secret service, destroying the lives of the inconvenient staff representation members by firing them, one can only imagine his behaviour, and his opponents’ end, had he been the president of a Central Asian or African country.”
Bastian Best, a proponent of software patents in Europe (and by extension a patent maximalist), doesn’t appear to have grasped all that. The EPO occasionally uses him as some sort of ‘poster child’ for his propaganda, whether he cares to admit it or not.
People like Best hope to make software officially patentable both in Europe and the US (where such patents are facing challenges under Alice).
“Examiners tell us that they are against software patents, but Battistelli’s terrible system compels them to grant anyway.”I politely explained to Best that insiders from the EPO say they are granting software patents against their will. Examiners tell us that they are against software patents, but Battistelli’s terrible system compels them to grant anyway. It’s a monstrous operation in the making, as one day it will devastate engineers across the whole of Europe (more so if the UPC ever becomes a reality). At today’s EPO, as noted again above, examiners are not given enough time to examine patent applications. In a sense, the Office has no quality control anymore. It only has the pretense of it, and what’s left of several decades of aging (and decaying) reputation.
Benjamin Henrion told Best: “US can copy the EPC, and get in its law all abstract items clearly mentioned as not patentable. As such can also go.”
Well, today’s EPO doesn’t care what the EPC or even Parliament might say. The EPO operates like a body above and outside the law. “Examination matters” is an event that the EPO has just advertised, saying that “Examination matters for various reasons.”
“Examination matters NOT at the EPO under Battistelli’s regime,” I responded to them by saying, “not ANYMORE!”
It’s a very dangerous thing as it’s lethal to Europe’s competitiveness. The staff of the EPO knows it and maybe the management knows it too. But what do they care…
“They turned it into a personal cow, filled by stakeholders for the enrichment of even patently corrupt officials.”How do stakeholders feel about it? The EPO’s stakeholders have apparently caught up already and patent applications are decreasing in number. What’s Battistelli’s plan? Hello Erdoğan? See this EPO tweet from yesterday. “Turkey joins the Federated European Patent Register,” it says.
Yesterday there was also this new article about Battistelli’s EPO and Putin’s Russia. To quote: “The European Patent Office (EPO) and the Russian Patent Office (ROSPATENT) have agreed a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme between the EPO and ROSPATENT that commenced on 1 February 2017 and will run until 31 January 2020.”
How is this beneficial to Europe and how many Russian patents are there at the EPO anyway? Not that much more than Turkish patents. More than Cambodian ones (zero), sure, but Russia’s size can be misleading; its GDP is lower than that of tiny South Korea.
“How is this beneficial to Europe and how many Russian patents are there at the EPO anyway?”It seems apparent that people all across Europe are becoming familar with the EPO scandals (at least some of them). Yesterday we caught this comment about Battistelli's Chinchilla. It says: “One also wonders what’s in it for this Kongstad chap. He seems to be going out of his way to block action. Is he best buddies with Battistelli? What reason can he have to help Battistelli?”
“The Chairman is the one protecting Battistelli apparently. Drinking buddies? Someone has a skeleton in the closet?”
–AnonymousOne person responded by saying: “The Chairman is the one protecting Battistelli apparently. Drinking buddies? Someone has a skeleton in the closet? Or just the normal politics of: “I”m not going to do what you tell me to because I am the POWER!”?”
There are a few more interesting (and new) comments in there, but no new information in them.
Today’s EPO in a nutshell is something like this (as I put it the other day in relation to Team Battistelli rewarding itself again)
Battistelli to Kongstad: I want more money. Kongstad: want more money? Go for it. It's not like I ever stand in your way.
Someone should fire Kongstad, who is growingly complicit, not just Battistelli. But who can possibly do that? What a rogue state of affairs. An animal slaughterer is ‘supervising’ one who ‘supervises’ staff into their deaths (illness and suicides). Is this the best Europe has to offer?
The EPO is a horrible place and it is only getting more horrible every week. We strongly encourage Dutch readers to contact their officials. Mind the fact that the EPO has just removed the Netherlands from the map, for ‘daring’ to decrease patent applications amid Dutch concerns and uncertainty. █