10.19.17

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Europe is Being Robbed by Team Battistelli and the UPC/PPH Would Make Things Worse

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Campinos and Battistelli in 2011
Battistelli and his French successor

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) has put litigation at the forefront, having implicitly decided to no longer bother with proper patent examination and instead issue lots of patents for judges and lawyers to argue about (at great expense to the public)

THE EPO has become a pariah organisation. All it cares about is money and patents’ legitimacy does not matter at all. As everyone from the inside (e.g. examiners) ought to know, patents don’t magically help money (or wealth) grow on trees. There are economic aspects to it and the general equation does not say that the greater the number of granted patents, the better off society will be. That’s just a dangerous mythology, typically perpetuated by the patent ‘industry’ (e.g. litigators, patent trolls, Team UPC).

“If trolls are described as “SMEs”, then sure… the EPO is their dream come true. They can run amok blackmailing real SMEs for ‘protection’ money, knowing these real SMEs cannot afford or justify a legal battle over crappy patents (invalidated only at enormous cost to the defendant).”Nowadays the EPO has a true fetish. It’s called “SMEs”. Those are probably the EPO’s biggest victims — biggest in terms of their suffering. If trolls are described as “SMEs”, then sure… the EPO is their dream come true. They can run amok blackmailing real SMEs for ‘protection’ money, knowing these real SMEs cannot afford or justify a legal battle over crappy patents (invalidated only at enormous cost to the defendant).

The EPO posted three tweets about these old lies regarding SMEs on Thursday morning and the night before (from another account). These three [1, 2, 3] have all appeared before midday today (we have not checked since). If one searches the Web for “EPO” and “SME” (we’ve tried this), the search results page will be dominated by EPO propaganda rather than leaks about how the EPO actively discriminates against (and directly harms) SMEs. That’s called “googlebombing”. They identify some kind of negative publicity and then do whatever they can to drown it out.

We generally assume that EPO insiders know all this. It seems to be common knowledge among examiners.

“The EPO has become just a cash cow for French men in suits and they externalise all the costs to the public (those who get sued using dubious EPs).”Earlier today the EPO also wrote that “Latin American PPH agreement enters into force.”

Without getting down/delving into all the technicalities, what it generally means is even more hastened patent examination. The EPO cares not about quality but about “prosecution” (the P in PPH).

The EPO has become just a cash cow for French men in suits and they externalise all the costs to the public (those who get sued using dubious EPs). There is already a lot of suffering inside the EPO; I occasionally hear from those who suffer outside the EPO due to patent trolls taunting them.

Does the EPO care? Does Team Battistelli care? Naaaa. It doesn’t even know what the word “care” means, judging by the way ordinary EPO staff gets treated by them (sometimes driven to suicide).

To ensure that patent quality remains low at the EPO (not detecting errors), Battistelli has already sent BoA (the appeal boards) to exile and watch what the EPO wrote a few hours ago: “The Boards of Appeal commenced operations at the new location. If you don’t know the details yet, have a look here…”

Don’t expect Ernst or Campinos to reverse this travesty. These boards are still grossly understaffed and skyrocketing costs have made appeals unaffordable to most (especially SMEs). They are being driven to extinction by inducing lower demand.

“As we argued at the start, the EPO has become a pariah organisation. Those who refuse to see it are either preoccupied with something else or are paid (possibly by the EPO) to turn a blind eye.”It sometimes looks like the EPO is now broken beyond repair. It has become a liability rather than an asset to Europe. Even the USPTO, according to some law firms, is more strict than the EPO these days (and that says a lot). As this one comment put things this morning: “The situation outline by “Still Examiner” is one which has been de facto situation in the USPTO. The difference is that in the US, the request for continued examination is available allowing applicant to continue the prosecution. It seems to me that the EPO MUST introduce such a procedure to compensate for the push for a streamlined examination.”

The more interesting comment comes after it and asks: “Firstly, where is all of the additional income going, especially within the EPO?”

Well, ask Battistelli. He’s wasting millions of “dark money” building himself a secret ‘bar’ at the top floor and he’s gifting Team Battistelli with all sorts of massive bonuses.

What else is happening to the money? Well, maybe ‘gifts’ (bribes) to buy delegates’ support and control the media, organise lobbying events and pay lawyers to intimidate bloggers like yours truly. That too is where some of the money goes. Maybe they also buy fake Twitter "followers"; we already know that they pay for journalists’ flight tickets (they told us), in order to cover EPO lobbying events that cost several millions of euros (for just one afternoon!). The ‘king’ likes a good show. He is always, by definition, the star of the show. He thinks he’s Alfred Nobel.

Anyway, here is the comment in full:

In the light of the comments on this thread (and on other blogs / sites that more directly address the issue of quality at the EPO), I find it interesting to mull over the following points.

EPO fees have certainly not been reduced in recent years (in fact, they have gone in the opposite direction). However, the level of service provided by the EPO in return for fees paid by applicants has, despite the valiant efforts of many examiners, pretty much fallen off a cliff.

With grants and “efficiency” (ie cases “disposed of” per year) driven up under the current EPO management, it is clear that the net income from fees (ie gross income minus the costs of conducting the tasks for which those fees were paid) will be significantly increased for both the EPO and the EPC Member States.

This raises a number of questions.

Firstly, where is all of the additional income going, especially within the EPO?

Secondly, for how long will applicants continue to accept having to pay premium level fees for bargain basement level service?

Thirdly, where is the voice of the professional associations in all of this? I would have thought that at least the epi ought to be complaining long and hard (and publicly!) about the all too obvious drop in quality. And if they are not doing this, then why not?

At the end of the day, it is clear that a majority of EPC Member States are addicted to the fee income, and so care more about maintaining that income than they do about maintaining standards at the EPO (whether standards on quality or on fundamental issues of human rights). There is nothing to suggest that the Member States will change this of their own free will. Not even being dragged before the European Court of Human Rights has shamed them into taking action. But they will listen to those that pay the fees upon which they rely.

As we argued at the start, the EPO has become a pariah organisation. Those who refuse to see it are either preoccupied with something else or are paid (possibly by the EPO) to turn a blind eye.

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