EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

10.12.17

Patent Quality at the EPO (European Patents) is Slipping While Battistelli’s Office Boasts “Expansion of Early Certainty” (Even Worse)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Down graph

Summary: The EPO is staring down the abyss as high-level EPO management, quite frankly as usual, looks for new ways to further exacerbate patent quality (for superficial gains in the number of granted patents) rather than improve it

THE EPO will likely have been broken — even beyond repair — when Campinos takes over. In fact, estimates suggest large-scale layoffs are to start next year. This is coming from insiders.

“In fact, a fairly recent survey showed that 0% among surveyed stakeholders wanted Battistelli to stay.”“European Patent Office staff rep blames prez for ‘slipping quality’” is the latest headline of an article from Kieren McCarthy, who is in San Francisco and writes for British media. EPO stakeholders are already aware of the slipping quality and some speak out about it. So to attribute this claim only to “European Patent Office staff rep” may, in some sense, miss the broader picture. Battistelli can lie about patent quality all he wants — as he habitually does — but people don’t trust Battistelli. In fact, a fairly recent survey showed that 0% among surveyed stakeholders wanted Battistelli to stay. The EPO soon lied about this survey from Juve, spinning it to look like it showed support the the EPO’s current leadership. Lying has become a way of life for the EPO. It’s not even funny.

To quote McCarthy:

And then, raising the takes further, the rep raised a taboo topic that has most upset staff in recent years: the deaths of their colleagues from work-related stress.

“Psycho-social risks are rising,” the rep noted. “Only ten days ago, the Dutch police had to come into the [EPO's Netherlands offices] to prevent a seventh suicide. The staff representative wishes the social dialogue. We would like to see a new President who is committed to social dialogue.”

The intervention comes at an extraordinary time for the organization: its former chairman, who was a fervent supporter of Battistelli, unexpectedly quit in July and was replaced at the meeting with critic Christoph Ernst.

More significantly, a new president for the organization – António Campinos – was chosen. Campinos will take over from Battistelli on July 1, 2018 after Battistelli’s term comes to an end.

Clearly, the staff felt now was the time to try to force a cultural change on the organization, and the plea from the staff rep was backed up by yet another demonstration by EPO staff outside the headquarters in .

A flyer advertising the demo listed no less than 14 reasons why people should join the protest, including the dismissal of three staff representatives by Battistelli, the blatant distortion of the organization’s appeals systems (which have been repeatedly criticized by national parliaments and the International Labor Organization), “ever-increasing production targets”, and unfair “continuous reforms.”

[...]

Meanwhile, the EPO is being investigated by the European Court of Human Rights for how it has treated staff. The EPO claims it is not beholden to the laws of the countries in which it is based – Germany, Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands – because of its status as an international organization.

And the long-planned Unitary Patent Court (UPC) is on hold in part because reforms imposed by Battistelli that have undermined the EPO’s independence.

Things get a little interesting in the comments. Battistelli has not much experience in this domain and people do notice this. As we pointed out before, only in his mid-fifties was he introduced to this domain, which probably makes him less experienced than even yours truly. I have been writing about this topic for longer than Battistelli was in this domain.

“Sadly, the comments thread has been derailed by anonymous provocateurs or what looks like it could be EPO PR agents/trolls.”Battistelli, apparently, just knows how to break things in his authoritarian fashion — an ENA specialty as some would rightly allege.

Sadly, the comments thread has been derailed by anonymous provocateurs or what looks like it could be EPO PR agents/trolls. They try to paint ‘spoiled’ staff as the problem, totally deflecting from the original subject, which is deterioration in patent quality.

Battistelli has wasted millions of Euros (stakeholders’ money) glorifying himself and laundering his image. What we have among the first few comments is a reference to his exceptionally air-brushed Wikipedia page:

According to his Wikipedia article, he was a civil servant of some significance for about 22 years and then spent the years from 2004 onwards in high ranking positions in intellectual property organisations, in the french national organisation and then the EPO. So, on paper he seems to be an ideal person for the job.

I wonder why he seems to have ‘gone freaky’ at the EPO.

People who base their judgment of Battistelli based on some short Wikipedia page are part of the problem. The man is already spending a fortune (not his own money) on PR firms that also work for fracking companies.

The next comments say stuff about the staff. Total deflection.

“People who base their judgment of Battistelli based on some short Wikipedia page are part of the problem.”The EPO would say anything to distract from the scandal and barely even attempt to refute reports (for fear it might draw attention to these reports). For example, the SMEs nonsense was repeated again yesterday. The EPO tries hard to distract from the fact that it actively discriminates against SMEs, just like it actively tries to pretend that patent quality is high.

Yesterday it also wrote: “Patent appeal oral proceedings will be held from now on at this address” (in Haar; Battistelli 'punished' judges for daring to do their job, but the EPO won’t publicly admit this).

Battistelli sending judges to exile for daring to show patent quality at the EPO has decreased? Yes, sounds like a real hallmark of ‘leadership’. Maybe in a Sultanate.

Latest example of the judges doing their job is this case of Nike and Adidas, which somehow now deal with patents rather than branding. To quote this new report (“EPO board confirms Nike patent revocation in Adidas dispute”): “Adidas had opposed the patent, EP 1 746 909, which protects a garment with “zones of different air permeability which are to be determined using a certain measurement device”, according to Adidas’s representative Bardehle Pagenberg.”

“Battistelli sending judges to exile for daring to show patent quality at the EPO has decreased? Yes, sounds like a real hallmark of ‘leadership’. Maybe in a Sultanate.”And EP 1 746 909 is, indeed, invalid. But there’s not much more coverage of it. It’s like the media barely cares. Just like it barely cares about WIPO's abuses and even deaths.

Speaking of patent quality, yesterday the EPO tweeted about “this year’s 2nd Online Services User Day in Prague,” linking to its Web site. (epo.org link)

“A new approach to filing at the EPO with DOCX format,” one of the headings says. “How to file in DOCX format,” it says further down. For those who don’t know, DOCX is the file suffix of OOXML, which involved plenty of Microsoft corruption; we wrote many hundreds of articles about that a decade ago.

“As insiders repeatedly explain, telling whether an application will be successful before even studying prior art (and the likes of it) is truly bizarre.”Further down it speaks of “Industry 4.0 and its impact on the patent system”; it has long been a codeword for things like software patents and general expansion of patent scope using buzzwords (like “Industry 4.0″, which is itself a meaningless marketing term).

Scroll down a bit more and find further evidence of lowering patent quality. “The expansion of Early Certainty” is a session’s title. As insiders repeatedly explain, telling whether an application will be successful before even studying prior art (and the likes of it) is truly bizarre. It’s like tentatively giving a job applicant a job, before even a job interview.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 16/8/2018: MAAS 2.4.1, Mesa 18.2 RC3

    Links for the day



  2. USPTO Craziness: Changing Rules to Punish PTAB Petitioners and Reward Microsoft for Corruption at ISO

    The US patent office proposes charging/imposing on applicants that are not customers of Microsoft a penalty; there’s also an overtly and blatantly malicious move whose purpose is to discourage petitions against wrongly-granted (by the USPTO) patents



  3. The Demise of US Software Patents Continues at the Federal Circuit

    Software patents are rotting away in the United States; it remains to be seen when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will truly/fully honour 35 U.S.C. § 101 and stop granting such patents



  4. Almost Two Months After the ILO Ruling Staff Representative Brumme is Finally Back on the Job at EPO

    Ion Brumme gets his position at the EPO back, owing to the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (ILO-AT) ruling back in July; things, however, aren't rosy for the Office as a whole



  5. Links 15/8/2018: Akademy 2018 Wrapups and More Intel Defects

    Links for the day



  6. Antiquated Patenting Trick: Adding Words Like 'Apparatus' to Make Abstract Ideas Look/Sound Like They Pertain to or Contain a 'Device'

    35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101) still maintains that abstract ideas are not patent-eligible; so applicants and law firms go out of their way to make their ideas seem as though they're physical



  7. Open Invention Network (OIN) Member Companies Need to Become Unanimous in Opposition to Software Patents

    Opposition to abstract software patents, which even the SCOTUS and the Federal Circuit nowadays reject, would be strategically smart for OIN; but instead it issues a statement in support of a GPL compliance initiative



  8. President Battistelli 'Killed' the EPO; António Campinos Will 'Finish the Job'

    The EPO is shrinking, but this is being shrewdly disguised using terms like "efficiency" and a low-profile President who keeps himself in the dark



  9. Links 14/8/2018: Virtlyst 1.2.0, Blender 2.8 Planning Update, Zorin OS 12.4, FreeBSD 12.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  10. Berkheimer Changed Nothing and Invalidation Rates of Abstract Software Patents Remain Very High

    Contrary to repetitive misinformation from firms that 'sell' services around patents, there is no turnaround or comeback for software patents; the latest numbers suggest a marginal difference at best — one that may be negligible considering the correlation between expected outcomes and actions (the nature of risk analysis)



  11. Lockton Insurance Brokers Exploiting Patent Trolls to Sell Insurance to the Gullible

    Demonstrating what some people have dubbed (and popularised) "disaster capitalism", Lockton now looks for opportunities to profit from patent trolls, in the form of "insurance" (the same thing Microsoft does)



  12. Patent Lawyers Writing Patent Law for Their Own Enrichment Rather Than for Innovation

    We have become detached from the original goals and come to the point where patent offices aren't necessarily run by people qualified for the job of advancing science and technology; they, unlike judges, only seem to care about how many patents get granted, irrespective of their quality/merit



  13. Links 13/8/2018: Linux 4.18 and GNU Linux-libre 4.18 Arrive

    Links for the day



  14. PTAB is Loathed by Patent Maximalists Because It Can Potentially Invalidate Thousands of Software Patents (More Than Courts Can Handle)

    The US patent system has become more resistant to software patents; courts, however, are still needed to invalidate such patents (a potentially expensive process) because the USPTO continues to grant these provided some fashionable buzzwords/hype waves are utilised (e.g. "facial recognition", "blockchain", "autonomous vehicles")



  15. Gene Quinn and 'Dallas Innovates' as Couriers of Agenda for Patent Trolls Like iPEL

    Failing to hide their real purpose and malicious agenda, sites whose real purpose is to promote a lot of patent litigation produce puff pieces, even for patently unethical trolls such as iPEL



  16. Software Patents, Secured by 'Smart' and 'Intelligent' Tricks, Help Microsoft and Others Bypass Alice/Section 101

    A look at the use of fashionable trends and buzzwords to acquire and pass around dubious software patents, then attempting to guard these from much-needed post-Alice scrutiny



  17. Keep Boston (and Massachusetts in General) From Becoming an Infestation Zone for Patent Litigation

    Boston, renowned for research and innovation, has become somewhat of a litigation hotbed; this jeopardises the state's attractiveness (except perhaps to lawyers)



  18. Links 12/8/2018: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Mesa 18.1.6 Release Notice, New Linux Imminent

    Links for the day



  19. Thomas Massie's “Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act of 2018” (RALIA) Would Put the US Patent System in the Lions' (or Trolls') Mouth Again

    An anti-§ 101 and anti-PTAB bill from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) strives to remove quality control; but by handing the system back to patent trolls he and his proponents simply strive to create more business of litigation, at the expense of innovation



  20. EPO-Style Problem-Solution: Tackling Backlog by Granting Lots of Low-Quality (Bogus) European Patents, Causing a Surge in Troll/Frivolous Litigation

    The EPO's lack of interest in genuine patent quality (measuring "quality" in terms of speed, not actual quality) may mean nothing but a litigation epidemic; many of these lawsuits would be abusive, baseless; those harmed the most would be small businesses that cannot afford a legal defense and would rather settle with those who exploit questionable patents, notably patent trolls



  21. Links 11/8/2018: PGP Clean Room 1.0, Ring-KDE 3.0.0, Julia 1.0

    Links for the day



  22. Propaganda Sites of Patent Trolls and Litigators Have Quit Trying to Appear Impartial or Having Integrity

    The lobbying groups of patent trolls (which receive money from such trolls) carry on meddling in policy and altering perception that drives policy; we present some new examples



  23. Months After Oil States the Patent Maximalists Still Try to Undermine Inter Partes Reviews (“IPRs”), Refusing to Accept Patent Quality

    The patent maximalists in the United States, seeing that the USPTO is moving away from patent maximalism, is desperate for a turnaround; prominent patent maximalists take it all out on PTAB



  24. The Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement is Paralysed, So Team UPC is Twisting Old News

    Paralysis of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) means that people are completely forgetting about its very existence; those standing to benefit from it (patent litigation firms) are therefore recycling and distorting old news



  25. Patents as Profiteering Opportunities for Law Firms Rather Than Drivers of Innovation for Productive Companies

    A sample of news from yesterday; the patent microcosm is still arguing about who pays attorneys’ fees (not whether these fees are justified) and is constantly complaining about the decline in patent litigation, which means fewer and lower attorneys’ fees (less work for them)



  26. Links 9/8/2018: Mesa 18.2 RC2, Cockpit 175, WPA-2 Hash Cracking

    Links for the day



  27. Patent Maximalists -- Not Reformers -- Are the Biggest Threat to the Viability of the Patent System and Innovation

    Those who strive to infinitely expand patent scope are rendering the patent system obsolete and completely losing sight of the very purpose of the patent system, whose sanity US courts and lawmakers gradually restore (one ruling and one bill at a time)



  28. WeMove.EU Tackles Low Patent Quality at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The breadth of European Patents, which now cover even nature itself, worries public interest groups; Team UPC, however, wants patent scope to expand further and António Campinos has expressed his intention to further increase the number of grants



  29. Links 8/8/2018: KDE Neon for Testing, New LibreOffice Release, Dart 2.0

    Links for the day



  30. Links 7/8/2018: TCP Vulnerability in Linux, Speck Crypto Code Candidate for Removal

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts