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04.07.17

IP Kat or IP Troll? IP2Innovate Warns That UPC Would Help Patent Trolls While IP Kat Promotes UPC

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Now we have even massive corporations on our side, gently antagonising the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

IP2Innovate
Who’s behind IP2Innovate? Some big names.

Summary: The fightback against the UPC finds unexpected allies — those who are clearly concerned about the detrimental effects that the UPC would have on practicing businesses

THE EPO cannot be replaced per se by the UPC, but UPC-like regimes can transform the EPO in defiance of the EPC and thus violate not only national laws and constitutions but also the very vision and rules, whose violation should be the deprecation of the EPO itself. The whole thing is a disaster in the making and what looks like EPO insiders can’t be blamed for being angry at IP Kat for aiding Battistelli's UPC agenda. They continue to slam IP Kat for its UPC lobbying/agenda-driving effort and here is the latest comment about it:

Quite frankly, the opinion of this author whose firm is heavily invested in the UPC is as biased and thus irrelvant as that of the other UPC proponents. They are all in vain trying to cherrypick from the apparent mess something to suit their needs and further their agenda. Whether it’s Tilmann, Mooney, Hoyng or now Mr Smyth.

They start suble exercises of interpreting official statements e.g. by the government or even the CJEU (Opinion 1/09), giving them a meaning that was certainly never thought of nor intended. The technique is always the same and one is left to wonder whether these people, apparently lacking any meaningful level of creativity, do really think that they can still be taken seriously.

An inevitable part of their story always is the remark “How numerous are likely to be CJEU referrals by the UPC anyway?” Quite frankly, as it has been pointed out elsewhere (bit.ly/2k0nOCV), in the end it may well be that CJEU involvement will not be as limited as now alleged. Of course, this allegation likewise serves the purpose of trying to paint the UPC picture that everything will be fine and coherent, but in reality it is not. The stage has already been set for allowing the CJEU to assume interpretation competence also with regard to interpreting material patent law, some unwary commentators have clearly said so, Mr Tilmann being amongst them. The main purpose of the ‘compromise’ on Articles 6 to 8 apparently was to hide this CJEU competence for later, until it can be ‘activated’.

But, of course, how would any UPC proponent ever be willing or able to just notice the facts and discuss on this basis, they rather prefer to build their own reality and sell this to others as facts.

As some people may have noticed, there is now a corporations-backed push which antagonises the UPC. That’s what we have been waiting for. Suffice to say, low patent quality leads to and supports patent trolls, as clearly shown in the US, China, etc. Battistelli actively supports trolls if he persists with that UPC crusade of his. Even large companies are growing nervous about it and some are eager to push back. One UPC observer/critic wrote that “patent trolls cases outside the US-German courts see more than 2/3 of all patent litigation held in Europe [] [quoting the relevant document] ‘Germany (and China, another bifurcated country) offers the best patentee win rate in infringement actions’ #unitarypatent #UPC #NPEs”

This is recognition of the contribution of UPC to trolling. The relevant citation for this is “The Rise of Non-Practicing Entity (NPE) Cases Outside the United States”, citing “Global Patent Litigation: How and Where to Win” from Michael C. Elmer and C. Gregory Gramenopoulos.

The UPC would be ever more useful to trolls now that a lot of bad patents are being granted in error. Last night we saw this puff piece titled “EPO Grants Record Number of European Patents in 2016″, but a better headline would be: “EPO doesn’t do quality control, just grants patents like a factory.”

This isn’t the fault of examiners by the way but the fault of policy (i.e. management).

Many of us software developers are concerned. The fear of patent trolls in Europe is real and was covered last night by Florian Müller, whose company would definitely be an attractive and ripe target for trolls. Several people associated with FFII have already felt the wrath of trolls (it devastated their employers). Here is a new article about the story which we believe a press release ‘broke’ (with Müller first to cover it):

‘Trolls’ file a “staggering” 20% of patent lawsuits in Germany, according to an advocacy coalition with members including Adidas, Google, Intel and Spotify.

IP2Innovate, formed last year, alleged that that EU is facing an “explosion” of patent infringement suits from patent trolls that are abusing Europe’s legal system for financial gain.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, April 4, the advocacy group demanded urgent action from the European Commission.

Here is the key part: “Patrick Oliver, executive director of IP2Innovate, said: “The risk will only increase with the implementation of the Unified Patent Court, which will make Europe an even more attractive venue for patent abuses. The European Commission must get tough with US patent trolls.””

Indeed. Thank you, Sir.

It’s time for everyone — EPO insiders included — to recognise that the UPC is an enemy of Europe and only a friend of few large corporations and their patent lawyers, who regularly lie 'on behalf' of SMEs.

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