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06.12.17

The EPO is Committing Suicide by Granting Invalid Patents That No Recipient Should Ever Desire

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even Slobodan Milošević knew better than to commit suicide

European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg
Photo licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit: Alfredovic.

Summary: Some of the colossally misguided policies of Battistelli leave neither applicants nor workers satisfied — to the point where complaints are being made to European authorities and to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, respectively

BOGUS patents help nobody. They deplete/drain money/resources out of both the plaintiff and the defendant, especially when there’s a lawsuit; patent maximalism may be beneficial in the short term to patent law firms and patent offices, but at whose expense?

In an article last updated 3 days ago, Isobel Finnie from Haseltine Lake LLP wrote about EPO patents pertaining to life (which is of course absurd!). “If your European patent/patent application involves products of essentially biological processes,” she wrote, “such as crossing of whole plant or animal genomes, proceedings may be stayed.”

Not too long ago the EPO disappointed many grantees by saying that their patents had become worthless. The EPO should never have granted these patents. Judging by leaks from the EPO, such as these messages from Mr. Vacca, quality at the EPO suffers considerably from Battistelli’s policies. All that Battistelli can do is lie about it (as recently as days ago). Here is what Marco Lissandrini from Bugnion SpA wrote about amending patents/applications at the EPO:

The trap is caused both by the examiner, who granted the patent, and by the applicant who introduced fresh subject-matter.

In practice, however, due to Battistelli’s policies, examiners are urged to work in a fear-induced rush and barely take into account what the applicant is saying. What does that mean to the applicant? No applicant wants a bogus patent granted (with renewals fees to later be paid in vain).

The following new comment jokes about what Battistelli has done to the EPO. “Customer satisfaction trumps everything else these days,” it says sarcastically. We already covered examples where customers complained to politicians about the unsatisfactory EPO service. Here is the full quote:

Anybody wondering how the Board could conclude that the claimed subject matter exhibits an inventive step should bear in mind that this was a decision on appeal from the Examining Division. The Applicant enjoyed its “right to be heard” but the Division has no such right. It wasn’t there at the Hearing. The Board heard only one side of the argument.

Presumably the Decision made the EPO managers happy though. Customer satisfaction trumps everything else these days, right?

So might the Board’s Chair and Rapporteur now be rewarded with an uptick from the quality managers, for putting DG1 straight?

Well, Guillaume Minnoye, the Vice President of DG1, is leaving this summer. DG4, in the meantime, is about to make things even worse:

More “good news” from EPONIA

A new policy will be presented to the June Council. It foresees that if one does not do his/her job (whatever this means) the EPO can withdraw 1/20 of his/her salary as a consequence for the day during which the job was not done as expected (this opens the door to more arbitrariness eg a manager does not like someone, instructs him/her to do something stupid which obviously the employee will not do, BINGO the manager can then retaliate via cutting a share of his/her salary without the need of a disciplinary board).

But this is not all, more non-sense is in planning:

DG4 currently works on documents for the December Council which foresee:

1- to stop with the “old fashion” concept of duty of care of the employer towards his employees. The aim of the new policy is to replace it by a duty of employability – thus shifting the burden of responsability entirely on the staff’s shoulders (not sure the ILO-AT finds this to its taste).

2 – no more permanent jobs but 3 years euro-contracts for all new staff from January 18 (again provided the AC supports this). Imagine the level of the candidates they will recruit with such stupid rules which solve no existing problems. Who will leave his/her country for a boring examiner job limited to three years where one can be taken his/her salary or fired via abusive discretionary decisions and this with no defense rights ?

All this non-sense stemms from the minds of PD HR and her accolytes. Stunning.

We wrote about this a few days ago. “That all sounds as if the EPO management is pushing for turbocapitalism rules,” another person wrote in another thread. “Despite the most definitely not being a capitalistic company earning money for their owners…”

Pretty much all insiders agree that the EPO is going down/heading in the wrong way, having become one of the world's worst in terms of quality (some professionals say so too, as we shall show in the coming days).

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