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10.04.17

EPO Management Gambled on Europe Being a Patent Litigation Hub/Capital, But It’s All Coming Down in Flames Now

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli’s legacy is one of gaslighting and denial

Work for firefighter

Summary: Work for the EPO keeps declining (decreasing number of applications), quality of patents has clearly collapsed, and the UPC isn’t coming to fruition, which means that layoffs are inevitable and the reputation of the EPO cannot be recovered

THE EPO, as always, carries on pretending that the UPC is coming. “This guide looks at how to obtain, maintain and manage Unitary Patents,” it wrote yesterday, but there is no Unitary Patent and there probably never will be. As it stands at the moment, the UPC is a dangerous EPO management fantasy, which has already led to the unprecedented and premature assault on appeal boards. If there’s no UPC at the end, there will be neither patent quality nor justice. It will be chaos.

“Very few SMEs actually need “unitary” anything because they don’t operate in many countries.”Bristows, which used to rave about the UPC, has almost nothing left to say. Yesterday it just threw this puff piece about a non-event and IP Kat wrote about a post-Brexit paper from UCL’s Ilanah Simon Fhima. It’s focuses on trademark law, but it’s partly applicable to patents and it speaks of the “unitary” effect.

Also yesterday, the EPO carried on with its lies about SMEs (it started two weeks ago and the EPO has repeated these lies every day since). Very few SMEs actually need “unitary” anything because they don’t operate in many countries. The UPC is a gift for those who fight against SMEs, notably multinationals and trolls. “These twelve examples stand as proof,” the EPO wrote yesterday, adding that silly hashtag #IPforSMEs just like these radical front groups.

“About 4 years ago we expressed deep concerns about the European Patent Office moving in the exact opposite direction (opposite to the rest of the world), namely inviting trolls and software patents.”As we said yesterday, software patents seem to be on the way out everywhere by China. We wrote about how, even in Japan (historically pro-software patents), courts have become very strict and intolerant of abusive litigators.

Yesterday, in fact, IAM too reinforced that view. It sounds as though JPO, the patent office in Japan, is getting fed up with patent aggressors harassing the real industry over there. To quote:

On Friday, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) said it would issue guidelines on SEP licensing negotiations after a month-long public consultation period. The policy document will stake out an official view on issues such as what constitutes good faith and reasonable royalties in SEP talks. But we don’t know for certain how – if at all – the new plans are connected to an earlier proposal to introduce an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system that has been described as “compulsory licensing for SEPs”.

[...]

It is possible that this latest JPO consultation reflects a scaled back attempt to have a say on key SEP issues after the more aggressive ADR plan met with resistance from industry. On the other hand, if the ADR plan is resurrected at some point, then these guidelines – particularly the provisions on royalty calculations – could wind up forming the basis for how the JPO determines rates in very important disputes.

About 4 years ago we expressed deep concerns about the European Patent Office moving in the exact opposite direction (opposite to the rest of the world), namely inviting trolls and software patents. This ugly legacy isn’t the fault of Battistelli’s predecessors but Battistelli himself. No doubt he’ll be remembered as the worst ever EPO President — the one who ushered in human rights abuses and made it acceptable for the EPO to lie to the public every day while corrupting the media.

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