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03.31.17

EPO Likes to Pretend to be Tolerated in Spite of Patenting Life, Seeds, Plants and More

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Photo op time!

CPVO

Summary: The EPO is exploiting CPVO again, in yet another shallow effort to make the practice of patenting seeds, plants etc. seem acceptable

SOME of the loudest EPO critics are farmers who bemoan patents on living things (pigs, seeds, etc.) — possibly an issue to receive more media attention now that a German company owns Monsanto (Carlsberg of Denmark, for example, now wants patents on crops and actually receives these). So the EPO is scrambling to construct a misleading, inverted narrative. The above is not the first of its kind; we covered such examples before.

“So the EPO is scrambling to construct a misleading, inverted narrative.”The EPO has been granting patents on human life (it’s still in the news right now, with new press releases coming out from opportunists [1, 2]), not just on seeds and plants, even in defiance of directives. Today (a few hours ago) this ‘damage control’ came out (warning: epo.org link). To quote part of the puff piece:

Technical and legal experts from the EPO and the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) gathered for a second joint workshop to exchange information on plant-related patents and plant variety rights. The event, which took place at the EPO’s headquarters in Munich on 30 March, was organised within the framework of the Administrative Arrangement signed between the two organisations in February 2016. The agreement aims to strengthen bilateral co-operation between the EPO and CPVO and to increase transparency through the exchange of information.

We don’t know to what degree (if any) the Community Plant Variety Office represents the interests of farmers, gardeners etc. We have not yet researched the subject thoroughly, but the EPO certainly uses CPVO quite a lot for PR purposes. We don’t even know if CPVO represents the interests of Europeans, including more agricultural economies than Germany’s. CPVO is French and it seems to be associated with monopolies. Wikipedia says “[i]ts task is to administer a system of plant variety rights, also known as plant breeders’ rights, a form of intellectual property right relating to plants.” Patents are not properly and ascribing to them terms like “intellectual property” says quite a lot about the agenda. Plants have existed far longer than humanity. To quote further from Wikipedia: “The CPVO’s budget is principally derived from PVR application fees paid by breeders who wish to protect their creations.” As if humans “created” nature and are “protecting” it by taxing everyone for this supposed “creation”. Sounds like something out of Monsanto’s playbook.

“We don’t know to what degree (if any) the Community Plant Variety Office represents the interests of farmers, gardeners etc.”We ought to remind readers that Germany is becoming a hub for patent trolls, hence law firms. It is a host to the EPO and it makes a whole lot of money out of it. Merkel’s government seems to be pursuing the UPC as another cash cow for Germany (litigation) and this is why we suspect the German media remains silent on many of the scandals, including the above. Even if the corporate media understands that something is ethically wrong, it’s still perceived as beneficial to Germany. Perks for some local firms, notably law firms and those servicing them, are of no use to other countries. It’s like in parts of Texas (which ‘eats’ the US economy in patent courts that are infested with patent trolls). This morning we saw this new press release from “Munich, Germany” and it serves to reinforce this idea that it’s mostly Germany benefiting from the EPO, in the same way Germany benefits a lot from the EU. We don’t wish to deviate away and veer into subjects like the EU (EPO is not an EU-affiliated institution, unlike EU-IPO) but simply to highlight possible explanations for that “conspiracy of silence” among German publishers.

“We ought to remind readers that Germany is becoming a hub for patent trolls, hence law firms.”The EPO has attracted less patent applications than last year (even fewer than what is claimed by the EPO), yet the EPO is trying to spin these numbers (tweet from yesterday, similar to this from today). Is that because stakeholders recognise that EPO-granted patents (EPs) aren’t worth the price (fees) now that the EPO is over-granting and delivering poorer service? See what the EPO wrote about Spain yesterday. Unlike the large majority of European nations, which the EPO conveniently removed from the map, in Spain it is claimed that ‘demand’ for EPs was marginally up (these numbers can be disputed). What about over a dozen nations which are less interested in EPs and are apparently divesting? Maybe they too realise that the EPO does not serve their interests? That it’s being reduced to a cash cow of Battistelli and his clique?

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