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07.26.17

The ‘New’ IP Kat on Patents: A Front Group for Team UPC (Bristows) and CIPA (British Patent Microcosm)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bristows EPO

Summary: Another quick look at today’s output from IP Kat, which turned from a proponent of EPO staff into a proponent of Battistelli’s oppressive agenda

THERE is a lot to be criticised/said about what happened to IP Kat, a site or blog that covers various issues/themes/topics including trademarks and copyrights. As far as patents go, it’s no longer what it used to be. Coverage of EPO scandals is now suppressed as a matter of principle, since the EPO sanctioned the site about a year ago. Over 10,000 articles were blocked with the flip of a switch at the EPO, leveraging great power over the site’s operator and perhaps sending a warning sign (threats of lawsuits, like those we received from the EPO's lawyers after identical sanctions).

As a media critic myself (in areas other than patents too), I come across lots of manipulation in the media (I worked as a journalist a decade ago and saw the censorship from the inside). Today alone, for example, one can find this puff piece (borderline press release about US patents) and here is today’s example of ‘articles’ that are not. They’re just ads/spam, this time for the patent ‘industry’. It’s incredible that stuff like this even gets published, let alone in official media. Here is local media in the US turning a ‘shopping list’ of patents into a puff piece; pointless ‘article’.

“Coverage of EPO scandals is now suppressed as a matter of principle, since the EPO sanctioned the site about a year ago.”Former IP Kat insiders have expressed similar concerns about IP Kat. It’s just not what it used to be; it’s “marketing” (their word, not mine).

As an example of this, consider what was published there only hours ago. Very belatedly (almost a month too late) proponents of patent trolls and the UPC write about EPO changes. Yes, it’s one Bristows employee quoting another (Gemma Barrett and Annsley Merelle Ward) and it’s just the latest reminder that IP Kat has in many ways (especially when it comes to patent coverage) been taken over by Bristows. Comments too are being deleted (if deemed “unwanted” by Bristows) and they do the same thing in other blogs.

Among the comments on the dysfunctional patent office we have this: “In its decision Art 23 1/16 the EBA explicitely stated that it felt threatened by the President of the Office, and not protected by the Administrative Council, in a disciplinary case which a few weeks ago culminated in the dismissal by the AC of a member of the boards of appeal, in violation of Art 23 EPC. Can anybody in these circumstances reasonably expect the boards to question the new rule?”

“Comments too are being deleted (if deemed “unwanted” by Bristows) and they do the same thing in other blogs.”Then comes CIPA lobbying promotion (it lobbied for patent maximalism, before the announcement on the above came out). The next comment says: “The new rule is illegitimate. CIPA have produced an excellent position paper on this: http://www.cipa.org.uk/policy-and-news/latest-news/observations-of-cipa-on-proposals-to-exclude-organisms-produced-by-biological-processes-from-patentability/”

The next comment says: “If I understand those smart folks at CIPA correctly – its not just odd, but cat-on-hot-tin roof odd!!”

“Not the same people are writing the blog (quite a few writers left).”To make matters worse, IP Kat is now literally occupied by a top official from CIPA. It’s occupied by the patent microcosm and was even upfront about it. There are posts from CIPA on matters pertaining to patents and a lot of this invites commentary about the EPO. The latest, for example, says “that “solution” is not an option for EP patents, I’m afraid. The EPO forces applicants to delete any passages in the description that cast doubt upon the scope of the claims. See, for example, the Guidelines at F.IV, 4.4 (https://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/html/guidelines/e/f_iv_4_4.htm). To me, this kind of suggests that the SC and the EPO do not fully agree on the interpretation of Article 69 EPC… but then what do I know?”

It’s sad to think that just about a year ago IP Kat was still fighting for justice at the EPO. Now it does the very opposite (injustice) by pushing for the UPC, essentially helping Battistelli [1, 2]. Not the same people are writing the blog (quite a few writers left).

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