04.06.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

Thorsten Bausch (Hoffmann Eitle) Bemoans Declining Quality (Service and Patents) at the European Patent Office

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thorsten Bausch (Hoffmann Eitle)

Summary: Some courageous stakeholders are willing to say the truth about what the EPO has turned into, even without a cloak of anonymity (for fear of retribution)

RECENTLY, Benoît Battistelli met Michelle Lee and then spread the lie of “higher quality patent procedures”, shortly after we had criticised the EPO preparing photo ops (sometimes the EPO publishes things just to distract from Techrights, e.g. [1, 2]).

“Think prosecution. Think litigation. Battistelli makes it easier to sue companies in Europe and issue injunctions against more of them (in several countries) in one fell swoop.”A rebuttal to the latest nonsense from Benoît Battistelli is necessary because the EPO is just dripping lies. It’s embarrassing. The EPO now promotes this ‘blog’ post Battistelli, which ends with (warning: epo.org link): “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Under Secretary of Commerce and USPTO Director Michelle Lee, Commissioner Komiya of the JPO and the industry representatives for their engagement in supporting this important process. Following this Trilateral session, it is clear that we can look ahead with confidence to the upcoming IP5 meeting in May, where we will deepen our harmonisation efforts with our colleagues from China and South Korea.”

What he means by “harmonisation” (similar to the language used to promote the UPC well before it was known as “UPC”) is not what people typically assume. We wrote about this in great length more than half a decade ago. We provided extensive proof — at times citing material from Wikileaks as evidence — just over half a decade ago. Think prosecution. Think litigation. Battistelli makes it easier to sue companies in Europe and issue injunctions against more of them (in several countries) in one fell swoop. He is swapping quality examination with maximal sanctions. It’s a nightmare for innovation and also for trade. It’s everything that the patent system was not supposed to be for. But let’s leave aside UPC for a moment, as we intend to deal with it separately later today.

“Anyone who still thinks that the EPO is a world leader in patent quality is clearly not paying attention, relying on past (outdated) truisms instead.”What we are seeing these days at the EPO is a rapid transition; it’s a transition away from quality examination and into patent maximalism. See this new press release for example (turned up this morning). Not only does the EPO grant controversial patents on cancer but it also grants a patent before JPO, SIPO and the USPTO do (because EPO quality control does not really matter anymore). To quote the press release: “In addition to Europe, Cantargia has submitted patent applications for CAN04 in several other territories, including the United States, Japan and China.”

But it certainly seems like the EPO was the first to grant, just like it recently granted patents on life (which the USPTO objected to as a matter of principle).

“Thorsten Bausch, an attorney from the firm Hoffmann Eitle, is a brave man.”Anyone who still thinks that the EPO is a world leader in patent quality is clearly not paying attention, relying on past (outdated) truisms instead. In one year alone the number of granted patent is claimed to have skyrocketed/gone up by 40% (while demand decreased). What does that tell us? What do these leaked EPO E-mails teach us? There is poor quality of service and patents from the EPO and the EPO keeps lying about that in an effort to hide and discourage discussion about it. If the staff speaks about, watch or recall what happens.

Thorsten Bausch, an attorney from the firm Hoffmann Eitle, is a brave man. Using his real name (not a pseudonym like “Merpel”) he has begun a series diplomatically criticising the EPO’s policies on technical grounds. His opening part states:

…is everything now in order with the EPO’s speed of handling cases? I am afraid not. The latest initiatives by EPO management seem to be focused on working on a problem (“early certainty” in examination) that most applicants do not really have, while not doing much, if anything, about the EPO’s real problem: the extremely slow speed of appeal proceedings.

Examiners too are complaining about “early certainty”; they don’t like it. Neither do we and we have repeatedly explained the dangers of issuing any judgment at all before facts are known because it biases the outcome (attempting to support a premature conclusion). In part 2, Bausch went into specifics: (we have added emphasis)

In my personal opinion, receiving an early and well-reasoned search report is, indeed, of great value for many users of the EPO. However, as concerns the examination stage, there are practical consequences of the President’s program, which may, in fact, be highly undesirable and will not be liked by applicants and their representatives.

First and foremost, it is my impression that the pressure exerted by the “Early Certainty” program on the work output of examiners has considerably increased. Perhaps unsurprisingly, several colleagues of mine have started to observe that the quality of the reasoning and the depth of analysis of official communications at least in some technical areas has been declining to a noticeable degree. This is exactly what should not happen. Superficial examination, whatever its outcome may be, helps no one.

Additionally, we are currently experiencing a significant surge in summons to oral proceedings by examining divisions in some technical areas. Some of my colleagues have received the same number of summons by examining divisions in the last half year that they had received in the previous ten years. And not only the frequency of summons is without precedence, but also the stage of the procedure at which summons are issued. Of nine summons received by one of my colleagues for oral hearings before examining divisions this year, five were issued after a single (!) examination report under Art. 94(3) EPC. Such early summons, on such a broad scale, are unheard of and certainly not welcomed by applicants.

Fortunately, this new practice has not been implemented with the same rigorousness in all technical fields (“clusters” in EPO speak). And it should not (principiis obsta)! This is because such a change in practice would have quite dramatic consequences for applicants and their European representatives, particularly if it is implemented all of a sudden rather than gradually over some years.

[...]

Conclusion

In summary, I am afraid that the “early certainty” program in examination proceedings, at least if implemented as described above, i.e. if it results in a significant increase in the number of oral proceedings at an early stage of the examination proceedings, will – needlessly – have quite significant negative consequences for most applicants. In my view, there is no need to introduce such an “early certainty” program in examination proceedings at all, provided that the EPO continues its previous practice to accelerate examination proceedings when so requested by the applicant (via a PACE request) or a third party (via observations under Art 115 EPC).

This would also give the examiners the necessary leeway and resources to speed up those (usually more important) cases where an actual dispute needs to be quickly resolved, i.e. contentious examination proceedings and opposition proceedings.

“Knowing patterns of Battistelli’s character, all he might do now is punish the stakeholders (particular firms/people if not collective punishment) — just what he allegedly did to the French in retaliation for political complaints.”The EPO under Battistelli is in a state of collapse and 'only' 0% of stakeholders (like Bausch) tolerate him. What should the EPO’s Council or Board conclude from all this? Knowing patterns of Battistelli’s character, all he might do now is punish the stakeholders (particular firms/people if not collective punishment) — just what he allegedly did to the French in retaliation for political complaints. The man acts as though he is clinically insane. As one person recently put it, “this man should not have been in charge of anything more involved than a hamster cage (without the hamster, because that would have been animal cruelty)…”

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 17/10/2021: Blender 2.93.5, Microsoft Bailouts

    Links for the day



  2. Links 17/10/2021: GhostBSD 21.10.16 and Mattermost 6.0

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 16, 2021



  4. [Meme] First Illegally Banning Strikes, Then Illegally Taking Over Courts

    The vision of Team Battistelli/Campinos is a hostile takeover of the entire patent system, not just patent offices like the EPO; they’d stop at nothing to get there



  5. Portuguese Network of Enablers

    Instead of serving Portuguese people or serving thousands of EPO workers (including many who are Portuguese) the delegation from Portugal served the network of Campinos



  6. In Picture: After Billions Spent on Marketing, With Vista 11 Hype and Vapourware, No Real Gains for Windows

    The very latest figures from Web usage show that it’s hardly even a blip on the radar; Windows continues bleeding to death, not only in servers



  7. [Meme] [Teaser] Double-Dipping Friedrich Rödler

    As we shall see tomorrow night, the EPO regime was supported by a fair share of corrupt officials inside the Administrative Council



  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Portugal

    How illegal “Strike Regulations” and regressive ‘reforms’ at the EPO, empowering Benoît Battistelli to the detriment of the Rule of Law, were ushered in by António Campinos and by Portugal 5 years before Campinos took Battistelli’s seat (and power he had given himself)



  9. Links 16/10/2021: SparkyLinux Turns 10 and Sculpt OS 21.10

    Links for the day



  10. “Facebook Whistleblowers” Aside, It Has Been a Dying Platform for Years, and It's Mentally Perverting the Older Generation

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  11. [Meme] Microsoft Has Always Been About Control Over Others

    Hosting by Microsoft means subjugation or a slavery-like relationship; contrary to the current media narrative, Microsoft has long been censoring LinkedIn for China’s autocratic regime; and over at GitHub, as we shall show for months to come, there’s a war on information, a war on women, and gross violations of the law



  12. EFF Pushes for Users to Install DuckDuckGo Software After Being Paid to Kill HTTPS Everywhere

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  13. The Reign in Spain

    Discussion about the role of Spain in the EPO‘s autocratic regime which violates the rights of EPO staff, including Spanish workers



  14. [Meme] Spanish Inquisition

    Let it be widely known that Spain played a role in crushing the basic rights of all EPO workers, including hundreds of Spaniards



  15. Why You Shouldn’t Use SteamOS, a Really Incompetent GNU/Linux Distribution With Security Pitfalls (Lutris is a Great Alternative)

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  16. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 15, 2021



  17. Links 16/10/2021: Xubuntu 21.10 and DearPyGui 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  18. DuckDuckGo’s HQ is Smaller Than My Apartment

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  19. Post About Whether Vivaldi is a GPL violation Was Quietly Knifed by the Mods of /r/uBlockOrigin in Reddit

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Spain

    The EPO‘s António Campinos is an ‘Academy’ of overt nepotism; what Benoît Battistelli did mostly in France Campinos does in Spain and Portugal, severely harming the international image of these countries



  21. From Competitive (Top-Level, High-Calibre, Well-Paid) Jobs to 2,000 Euros a Month -- How the EPO is Becoming a Sweatshop by Patent Examiners' Standards

    A longish video about the dreadful situation at the EPO, where staff is being ‘robbed’ and EPO funds get funnelled into some dodgy stock market investments (a clear violation of the institution’s charter)



  22. [Meme] Protecting European Patent Courts From EPO 'Mafia'

    With flagrant disregard for court rulings (or workarounds to dodge actual compliance) it seems clear that today's EPO management is allergic to justice and to judges; European Patents perish at unprecedented levels in national European courts and it should be kept that way



  23. Links 15/10/2021: Pine64's New PinePhone Pro and Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Codename

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] GitHub Isn't Free Hosting, It's All About Control by Microsoft

    Deleting GitHub isn’t a political statement but a pragmatic decision, seeing how Microsoft routinely misuses its control over GitHub to manipulate the market



  25. With EPO 'Strike Regulations' Belatedly Ruled Unlawful, EPO Management May be Lowering the Salary Even Further by Introducing Outside 'Temps' or Casual Workers

    Institutional capture by an 'IP' (litigation) Mafia is nearly complete; with illegal so-called (anti) 'Strike Regulations' out the door, they're quickly moving on to another plan, or so it seems on the surface



  26. Links 15/10/2021: 95% of Ransomware Targets Windows

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 14, 2021



  28. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection

    The EPO‘s presidency (led by Frenchmen for nearly 15 years out of the past 18 years; Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are both French despite their somewhat misleading surnames) is extremely unlikely to even be mildly scrutinised by the French delegates because of a web of nepotism and protectionism



  29. [Meme] Another Maladministration Meeting Comes to an End

    Did the EPO‘s overseeing body properly tackle Benoît Battistelli‘s illegal acts, authorised by that very same overseeing body? Don’t hold your breath as António Campinos continues to crack down on staff (maybe ILOAT will rule on it in 2030)



  30. Links 14/10/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.2, Happy Birthday to Jolla, Ubuntu 21.10, Devuan GNU+Linux 4.0, OpenBSD 7.0

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts