11.04.17

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In October, Silence in the Media Regarding EPO Scandals Turned From Self-Censorship Into Censorship

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

2 years ago: Did the EPO Spike a BBC Story Regarding Discriminatory Practices, Legal Bullying of Bloggers, and/or Microsoft Bias?

China censors discussion of North Korea's bomb test
Reference: China censors discussion of North Korea’s bomb test

Summary: Censorship of information regarding EPO oppression has extended from media to blogs and now applies to blog comments too (peak censorship, China style)

THE EPO will say “Goodbye” (or “Good riddance”) to Battistelli is just under eight months. We don’t know if the Office can ever recover after him, but we certainly hope so. We’re pro-EPO, not anti-EPO (we’re anti-UPC, which is different altogether) and Battistelli’s pro-UPC agenda has truly damaged nearly half a century’s worth of reputation.

Press coverage regarding the EPO is virtually non-existent. Nobody wants to say much about the EPO scandals, with very few exceptions here and there. A week ago people were still speaking about IP Kat‘s self-censorship, which culminated in censorship too (removal of all comments on this matter). Days ago came the following comment, which passed moderation:

“However, before complaining that the IPKat is no longer concerned, have you considered that the blog’s panel of contributors changes over time, and that each contributor tends to post on topics that happen to interest them? The lack of posts about EPO governance may simply be due to changes in personnel, rather than a deliberate policy of discouraging debate.”

I regret to say that I cannot entirely concur with you on this.

One may indeed take the position that the blog’s panel of contributors are entirely free to pursue their own particular hobby horses and that this may account for the lack of attention to EPO matters.

However, if this really is the case it would – in my humble opinion – amount to a decline into “idiocy” in the classical Greek sense of the word.

“In ancient Greek society, an idiotes was a layperson who lacked professional skills. The idiot contributed nothing to public life or the common good. … This contrasted with the status of the public citizen, or polites, such that to be an idiot was to be withdrawn, isolated and selfish, to not participate in the public, political life of the city-state.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/12/opinion/trump-and-the-true-meaning-of-idiot.html

The point here is that the EPO is a public inter-governmental institution and its governance is a legitimate matter of public interest and -consequently – a legitimate subject for public comment.

If the blog’s panel of contributors have decided for whatever reason that matters concerning the governance of the EPO are no longer worth writing about then by all means let them pursue other subjects of interest which take their fancy.

Unfortunately according to the Greek model referred to above such a state of affairs would arguably relegate the status of the blog to that of the “idiotes” rather than the “polites”.

It may well be that times have changed but those of us who can fondly remember the bygone days when IPKat seemed to be more “polites” than “idiotes” must be excused for feeling a bit disappointed by such a development.

We can imagine that more strongly-worded comments were posted and not approved (or that published comments were self-censored by the submitters, for fear their comments would be rejected). This is how censorship works. Yesterday, the blog carried on with the maximalists’ agenda; IP Kat wrote about SPC — a controversial subject which is under the microscope again. Nothing was said about the EPO abolishing holidays. Nothing. Apparently that’s of no interest to their European readers. Apparently.

Two days ago we saw this press release which said “TiGenix strengthens European IP protection around lead development program Cx601 [...] In addition, the EPO has also granted TiGenix the divisional European patent EP 2944688…”

This company presents itself as a “cell therapy company with a proprietary validated allogeneic expanded adipose-derived stem cell,” i.e. more patents on life at the EPO (because under Battistelli, anything goes, except human rights or justice or transparency et cetera).

Another article was published on Thursday by Hazel Ford from Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP. She is, as usual, overlooking the serious governance issues and focusing on patent assignment changes. To quote:

The process of recording assignments with the EPO is likely to be quicker and simpler if supporting evidence of authority to sign is provided when the assignment document is filed at the EPO. Because the EPO requires the signatures of both the assignor and assignee, it should be ensured that the relevant evidence of authority is obtained from both parties when an assignment is completed.

Yesterday an article by Kevin Kabler and Andrew Whitehead resurfaced. They work for Fenwick & West LLP, who are patent maximalists that promote software patents. Now they are setting up lobbying events in which they try to foist/impose patents on life, even in Europe. These are people to whom a lot of litigation means a lot of money. These are the sorts of people (like Team UPC) who Battistelli works for.

Since IP Kat picked some writers from the litigation ‘industry’ (CIPA for example) we can imagine why they prefer to no longer even mention Battistelli, let alone anything related to him. Regarding the UPC they will only ever say positive things (otherwise, nothing at all).

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