04.04.17

Latest EPO Crisis: Junk Patents Granted in Preparation for Vision of Europe as Litigation Central (UPC)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Board too recognised that there is a "crisis" (in its own words, shown below)

EPO crisis

Summary: Europe is rapidly turning into one of the world’s worst places to have a practicing business as it’s now a fertile trolling territory

THE EPO, as we noted here quite recently (in several articles), started granting terrible patents (EPs) on life — patents that even the USPTO is denying for obvious reasons.

“The EPO want time for discussion and consideration of the effect of this divergence.”
      –Isobel Finnie, Haseltine Lake LLP
Not too long ago even the EPO’s management begrudgingly admitted that monopolies on life had to be stopped and this new legal analysis looks back at it, noting the role played by the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA):

The European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a Notice advising that proceedings before its examining and opposition divisions will be stayed if they depend entirely on the patentability of plants/animals, or plant/animal parts (eg seeds, fruit) obtained by “essentially biological processes”. This is because directly opposing views have been reached by the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA), (its highest level of review) in a 2015 decision, versus the view set out by the European Commission in a Notice issued on 3 November 2016 on whether this type of product should be patentable in Europe. The EPO want time for discussion and consideration of the effect of this divergence.

We expect that the Boards of Appeal will also stop the EPO from granting any further patents on CRISPR (possibly invaliding those already granted in the process), but this can take years and the Boards of Appeal are under a massive attack from Battistelli, who isn’t even supposed to have any authority over them (violation of the EPC).

“We expect that the Boards of Appeal will also stop the EPO from granting any further patents on CRISPR (possibly invaliding those already granted in the process), but this can take years and the Boards of Appeal are under a massive attack from Battistelli, who isn’t even supposed to have any authority over them (violation of the EPC).”As of yesterday, even the British establishment could see that the EPO had gone off the rails. To quote a org.uk Web site: “The European Patent Office (EPO) has declared that it intends to grant a broad patent for the use of CRISPR technologies to the University of California, the University of Vienna and Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max-Planck Institute in Berlin.”

This should never have been granted. Another .org Web site seems to have just realised that EPO is now one of the world’s worst for patent quality; this is doing enormous damage to all existing EPs! The article said: “The European Patent Office, or EPO, announced its intentions to grant the University of California a broad patent for CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology in late March.”

“It would be completely unimaginable some years back, but look what patent examination has been reduced to under Battistelli.”We have already explained what CRISPR is about, especially to the uninitiated. There are ethical, contractual, and common sense issues, putting aside the importance of patent scope. It would be completely unimaginable some years back, but look what patent examination has been reduced to under Battistelli. How long before examination becomes altogether negligible or redundant like in France?

Anyone who has spent some time working with or reading about patents would know that lousy patents with broad range/scope are profoundly detrimental to science — a toxic mix or a dangerous cocktail, as a certain lunatic might dub it.

“Of course,” one comment said yesterday, “another way to pump up business for the UPC is to push for more patent applications at the EPO to go through to issue without carefully policing prosecution amendments under Art 123(2) EPC. That would serve very nicely, wouldn’t it? I recall that grants at the EPO have recently risen by 40%.”

“How long before examination becomes altogether negligible or redundant like in France?”Yes, exactly! People are finally getting it.

Earlier this morning the EPO wrote: “Take a look at patent litigation, from A to Z!”

So that’s all they care about now? Litigation? The EPO needs to focus on examination, not litigation.

“For all we know, Britain cannot join the UPC and thus, the UPC might never get off the ground at all (it strictly depends on Britain’s participation in its current form).”Where is IP Kat when one needs it to cover these alarming developments? IP Kat is taking a bow to the EPO today with this promotional puff piece, but nothing is said about the EPO crisis, except in very old comment threads. It ought to be obvious by now that the EPO under Battistelli doesn’t give a damn about the EPC (see the latest example) and unless something is done to stop this abuse, damage will spread to the whole of Europe, inflicting all sorts of companies with troll lawsuits (potentially from China and the US).

There is a portion in new comments which spreks of UPC and Britain. One person said “this raises an interesting question: will unitary patents, at least for the short while from the start of the UPC to Brexit, automatically cover Gibraltar? We know that they will cover the Isle of Man, but only because a specific Order was passed in order to reconcile the fact that UK patents are protected under Manx law with the Isle of Man’s non-EU status. Gibraltar’s situation, on the other hand, is the opposite: uniquely among British Overseas Territories, it’s (for the time being) in the EU, but UK patents aren’t protected under Gibraltar law.”

“As we noted here earlier this week, there is a growing belief that Battistelli wants to completely demolish the EPO as a ‘necessary’ sacrifice for the UPC regime.”For all we know, Britain cannot join the UPC and thus, the UPC might never get off the ground at all (it strictly depends on Britain’s participation in its current form).

“Regarding the UPC comment,” one person responded, “it is incorrect to state that Gibraltar is in the EU, because clearly it is not, but I am not one to split hairs, so I am prepared to accept that it is.”

This then disrupted the whole thread, making it about the EU and Gibraltar rather than the UPC.

As we noted here earlier this week, there is a growing belief that Battistelli wants to completely demolish the EPO as a 'necessary' sacrifice for the UPC regime.

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