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12.03.17

Patents Roundup: Federal Circuit, Domino’s Pizza, Roku, and W3C Patent Policy

Posted in America, Patents at 5:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hello

Summary: A potpourri of coverage regarding patents, assembled over the past week in an effort to highlight trends and developments

THE USPTO has reluctantly become a battleground between people who care about science and people who just care about litigation. Don’t fall for the recent media scam that frames it as a rift between “tech” and “pharma”. It’s nothing like that at all.

Recently, the Federal Circuit reaffirmed that patents are not just a corporate welfare system. As Patently-O put it last week:

Normally, patent infringement liability stems from an infringer using all-elements of a claimed invention. However, a quirky provision found in 35 U.S.C. 271(f)(1) creates liability for exporting some components of a patented invention. Particularly, the statute requires export/supply of “a substantial portion of the components.” In its 2017 Life Tech decision, the Supreme Court interpreted this provision — holding that: export of a single component of a multicomponent invention could not meet the “substantial portion” threshold requirement. Namely, one component cannot be a “substantial portion of the components.”

On remand, the Federal Circuit has issued a new opinion in the case — this time affirming the district court judgment that patentee (Promega) failed to prove infringement under 271(f)(1) as required by the Supreme Court decision.

One problem with this analysis though – according to Promega is that – for some of the infringing kits, “it was undisputed at trial that LifeTech supplied more than one component. . . Taq polymerase and primer pairs.” In a footnote the Federal Circuit dismissed this argument – finding that Promega had not proven particular damages regarding these 2-component exports and thus had no right to collect any damages for the infringement.

Words like “damages” are misleading. They’re a misnomer. It’s like calling patents “assets”, “property” and so on. Words like “owned” or “stolen” are also frequently misused. How about “Intellectual Property” or “Intellectual Property Rights” (IPR)? Complete nonsense. Proprietary software for patent maximalists (only available to ‘customers’ of Apple and Microsoft) has just been described as “Much-Needed Tools for Inventors to Protect Intellectual Property” and this page is so filled/saturated with buzzwords and misnomers that it’s ludicrous. Yet this is the type of stuff that has shown up in the news this past week…

“Words like “damages” are misleading. They’re a misnomer. It’s like calling patents “assets”, “property” and so on. Words like “owned” or “stolen” are also frequently misused.”What else did we see? Watch this patent trial update from CBS and pay attention to what’s at stake. We did not read the individual patents, but it certainly sounds to like software patents which should be null and void. To quote a portion:

The Federal Court of Australia has postponed a patent infringement trial between Domino’s Pizza Enterprises and Precision Tracking, with the presiding judge agreeing that in the interest of fairness, additional time should be provided to Domino’s to prepare for the trial.

Precision, a small Chippendale, Sydney-based technology company claiming to be the creator of the Domino’s GPS driver tracking system, initiated legal proceedings for alleged infringement of innovation patents filed in October 2014 and August 2015.

Precision, based on its Web site, is definitely not a patent troll. There is an actual product, but Australia does not permit patents on software and this might become an issue/liability to Precision. We are not against patents as long as they are not covering abstract ideas (like algorithms/mathematics). There are plenty of things we do not bother scrutinising.

“SecureLogix Corp.,” according to this, “filed a patent for a biometric authentication system for mobile and real-time communication.” This might be a software patent, but closer scrutiny is needed (of the patent and respective product). There are new examples from Apple, from MyDx, from Flex Logix [1, 2] and from Medicrea which certainly seem strictly connected to physical and inseparable devices. So these will likely be fine. Compare these to this press release [1, 2, 3] which is itself admitting “processing technology and software patents” (in a country where these are not allowed). “Element Data, Inc., a decision support software platform that harnesses artificial intelligence and machine learning has acquired the assets and six patents of Auguri Corporation,” it says. How many of these patents are pure software and thus invalid (or to be unvalidated if tested in court)? These patents are software patents and thus worthless.

In other news, Nexenta issued a press release [1, 2] in which it boasted 50 patents and PhishMe [1, 2] said that litigation recently resulted in a settlement. The case in the “District of Delaware will be dismissed, and the proceedings pending at the United States Patent and Trademark Office will be terminated,” it said. They got a licence agreement.

Speaking of licence agreements, Roku and TiVo look as though both — not just TiVo — will resort to patent aggression. Based on this post from last week:

Last month, Roku Inc. debuted on the NASDAQ, with its shares skyrocketing 67% from its IPO price at $14 per share. Over the last few weeks, Roku’s stock has continued its ascent, most recently closing at just shy of $40 per share. The company operates a television streaming platform, and allows users to personalize content, and also monetizes its service through ad-supported channels. With the streaming video space becoming increasingly competitive from dominant players such as as Netflix, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon’s Prime Video and its Fire TV Stick, Roku faces stiff competition in terms of user acquisition. Envision IP analyzed Roku’s US patent portfolio to understand the extent of its intellectual property focus, as well as how the company is innovating its platform to differentiate itself from the competition.

[...]

That being said, Roku recently inked a multi-year patent agreement with TiVo, where Roku obtained a license to thousands of Rovi and TiVo patents. While the specific terms of the deal have not been disclosed, in the event that Roku has been granted defensive assertion rights, it may not need to rely heavily on third-party patent acquisitions to bolster its defensive patent portfolio. To that point, we did not identify any instances where Roku has asserted any of its patents, either offensively or defensively (via a counter-suit in response to being sued by a third-party), as of the date of this research.

As a reminder, Rovi is connected to Intellectual Ventures, the world’s biggest patent troll.

Sadly, a lot of decent things are becoming patents-saddled. The other day the W3C released this statement:

In accordance with the W3C Patent Policy, W3C has launched a Web Payments Working Group Patent Advisory Group (PAG) in response to disclosures related to specifications of the Web Payments Working Group; see the PAG charter. W3C launches a PAG to resolve issues in the event a patent has been disclosed that may be essential, but is not available under the W3C Royalty-Free licensing requirements. Public comments regarding these disclosures may be sent to public-wpwg-pag@w3.org (public archive). Learn more about Patent Advisory Groups.

We have been writing about the W3C Patent Policy for nearly a decade. They have not yet screwed up on patents like they did on DRM and other controversial matters. We hope it remains this way because any patents pertaining to the Web would definitely be software patents.

How CEIPI in Strasbourg is Allegedly Facilitating Another Battistelli ‘Scam’ Surrounding the Unitary Patent (UPC)

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Patents at 3:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It helps to be French

Bergot letter

Summary: The French Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI), which will absorb Battistelli, is believed to be a temporary place for this grossly under-qualified man who fancies himself judge/jury/executioner in UPC

THE megalomaniac/President of the EPO is nearly 70, but he’ll soon take the job of someone two decades his junior at CEIPI. What for? Well, that someone is Campinos, the next President of the EPO. The EPO is already stuffed with French ‘buddies’ (and family members, like Bergot above). Even Battistelli’s successor, Campinos, is French (dual nationality, but Team Battistelli prefers to not emphasise this). Except Brimelow, that’s 4 French EPO Presidents in succession!

“Is CEIPI aware of this? How about Ernst?”In response to this morning's post about CEIPI (which also contains an image, showing that the EPO could no longer hide Battistelli’s destination) an EPO insider told us: “Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours ([Battistelli] & Campinos). Keep in mind, it’s also a subtle plan of Battistelli. Departing from the EPO he is 68 years old (normally = retirement) BUT … he wants to take the position as President of the Court in Paris if the Unitary Patent is born. [] With this position at CEIPI, Battistelli can claim that he has kept his activities despite his retirement and can therefore apply for the position as president if the Court should eventually take up his duties (because the treaty provides that its 1st President will be… French)” (no surprise here).

Is CEIPI aware of this? How about Ernst? Will they continue to ignore also the alleged back room deal with Belgium? Or alleged buying of votes by Battistelli? All those who ignore this behaviour or conveniently look the other way (even when presented with evidence) are becoming growingly complicit. They accommodate a person who has not only disgraced his country but also shames the whole of Europe. By extension, he also damages the image of the EPO.

Insiders might joke that this insidious person has done such profound damage to the continent that only a sworn foe like Russia would want him installed inside key institutions.

At Patently-O, Daniel H. Brean Tries — and Fails — to Make a Case for Software Patents

Posted in America, Patents at 3:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Photo source: Daniel’s official homepage

Daniel H. BreanSummary: The patent reform-hostile and software patents-friendly Patently-O has a new essay/article whose core premise is weak if not altogether flawed

THE BLOG known as Patently-O is influential. It’s also quite popular among the patent microcosm, so ignoring it altogether would not be wise. But Patently-O is not objective; it just tries to appear so, albeit the people who run it have vested interests.

The other day this blog (re)published some essay from Daniel H. Brean, who uses TRIPS (in its own right an injustice) to do gymnastics in logic and assert that Alice ought to be left behind. Brean’s core argument, to put it bluntly, is totally nonsensical considering the fact that the vast majority of the world (bar China perhaps) has already banned software patents and thus the US should follow suit. If anything, Alice puts it in closer alignment or cohesion with TRIPS. From Brean’s essay:

The fact that at least some computer-implemented business methods are patent eligible in the U.S. itself suggests that the field is technological, even if many methods in the field ultimately fall short on inventive merit. Eligibility at the threshold is a long way from patentability, and what Alice would view as mere computerization of a well-known business process will rarely be inventive enough to be patented as a novel, nonobvious process. But arranging and employing computers and software for practical business purposes is nonetheless a technological endeavor that brings such methods under TRIPS’ protections.

As the United States considers more changes to the availability and enjoyment of patent rights, it should end this discrimination in favor of technology-neutral practices or reforms.[xv] Otherwise, it sets a precedent of singling out disfavored technologies for disadvantageous treatment on a country-by-country basis, which could undermine the international patent law harmony that TRIPS is intended to facilitate.

What a laughable argument. Putting aside the apparent misunderstanding of how software works, it wrongly assumes that the entire world must follow the US rather than the US following everybody else (more than 200 countries). But being anti-Alice, this essay perfectly suited Dennis Crouch’s agenda. He’ll never ever speak against software patents and the last time he published a piece sceptical of software patents it was about half a decade ago (and merely a rare guest). The other day he shared this graph about basis of rejection of applications. It suggests that “obviousness” is surging:

The USPTO released a new data set of office action rejections, including an action-by-action breakdown of the basis for each rejection and the prior art relied upon. The first chart below shows the frequency that obviousness and anticipation rejections are found in office actions. The shift since 2009 is quite interesting — obviousness rejections are up significantly following KSR while anticipation rejections are way down.

A lot of applications are nowadays being rejected based on Section 101 (inspired by Alice), but the graph does not show this. Either way, another week passes with another pro-software patents piece from Patently-O. Do not believe for a second that this blog (or Crouch for that matter) is objective. We already said that six years ago.

IAM in Think Tank Mode Promotes Patent Maximalism, Characteristically Sponsored by the Patent Microcosm

Posted in Asia, Australia, Patents at 1:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IPBC Australasia

Summary: Another week of IAM lobbying for patent maximalism in the United States, Australia and Asia, as well as the obligatory promotion and whitewashing of large patent trolls

IAM never gets tired because it’s being paid to press on with its agenda in its capacity as lobbyist/think tank. More sites out there ought to rebut the weak arguments made by IAM, but as we’ve stated for years, coverage regarding patents is largely controlled by the patent microcosm. They even infiltrate the mainstream media, which either quotes uncritically or hands over the platform (for lack of proficient journalists who grasp patent law). This is a very serious problem.

Last week IAM organised another lobbying event, obviously funded exclusively by the patent microcosm (see list of sponsors) and stacked in the panel sense with the patent microcosm. Those attending (again, the patent microcosm) will only hear what they want to hear (and tell officials), so in effect it’s another echo chamber where the patent microcosm preaches to the choir and maybe some public officials in Australia and Asia. Among those speaking? Shelston IP, which we covered last month and also last year (on several occasions). It’s lobbying both Australia and New Zealand for software patents, thankfully to no avail.

“Corporates from Australia and New Zealand ignore IP issues in Asia’s developing countries at their peril,” IAM wrote, “delegates to IPBC Australasia heard today.”

‘Delegates’…

The whole thing was a charade and a lobbying opportunity, facilitated as usual by IAM and sponsored by those who have plenty to gain. IAM has basically just given a lobbying platform to malicious and parasitic firms like Shelston IP which push an extremist agenda.

To quote a portion:

Of course there was also no shortage of discussion of the local IP dynamics facing Australian and New Zealand companies. The recent IP policy recommendations made by the Australian government elicited strong debate on both sides, particularly over the usefulness of the second-tier innovation patent, which the government plans to abolish. For moderator Grant Shoebridge of Shelston IP, it was a reminder that what he called an “anti-innovation mindset” can create its own species of IP risk, much closer to home.

Shelston IP as a moderator? Seriously?!

Shortly beforehand IAM resumed its lobbying against the USPTO, where software patents had been severely weakened. With Andrei Iancu sounding almost like a ‘mole’ of the patent microcosm inside the USPTO, IAM must feel emboldened. Here is what it said: (it mentions David Kappos, a lobbyist, as well as Coons, a politician for patent trolls)

In response to a question from Senator Coons, Iancu admitted that he was well aware of some of the strident criticisms levelled against the post-issuance review process – a particular sore point for some patent owners – and admitted that, in some cases, those criticisms were justified. “It’s true that the system is heavily criticised and that’s important to note because if the inventor community does not have confidence in the IP system then investments do not get made and inventions slow down and the economy doesn’t benefit,” he commented. He took a similar line when asked about patent eligibility in the wake of the recent string of Supreme Court cases which have thrown the issue into some level of confusion – particularly with regard to medical diagnostic and computer implemented inventions.

[...]

Just two senators, committee chairman Senator Grassley and Senator Coons, the author of the STRONGER Patents Act and one of the few legislators with a keen interest in the functioning of the patent system, remained to ask questions. That apparent lack of interest from many committee members and the relatively benign questions that Iancu faced suggest that his confirmation should be straightforward. The job awaiting him is anything but.

The STRONGER Patents Act (last mentioned by us last month as it’s pretty much dead and barely even mentioned by anyone any longer) will hopefully receive a cold shoulder from Iancu and the likes of him (although it’s not for him to decide on). Those who still mention the STRONGER [sic] Patents Act are those who try to promote it. Expect no mention of it next year. It’s a lame duck, more so than the UPC.

Last but not least, watch how IAM interacts directly with and props up a patent troll, Provenance Asset Group [1, 2]. This is why we started referring* to IAM as the “patent trolls’ lobby”. Inadvertently, IAM has become a valuable source to those who try to keep abreast of patent trolls and their activity. Provenance Asset Group CEO Dan McCurdy is referred to as some kind of expert rather than a troll. IAM amplifies apologists of patents trolls, so why not quote him and others as follows?

As well as McCurdy’s comments about why the Yahoo! assets had so far failed to find a buyer, the panel discussion also looked at a range of other reasons for why patent deals fall apart. Friedman pointed out that deals often face competition from other assets such as real estate, which might be more appealing and perhaps better understood than an IP transaction. Plus dealmakers in the IP space still run up against a familiar narrative which can turn investors off. “The zeitgeist on Wall Street is that anyone who asserts a patent is a troll,” Friedman commented. “We’ve had deals fall apart because an investor has this irrational fear of assertion.” Creating a competitive dynamic for patent assets with that kind of concern is still a huge challenge for dealmakers. Just ask Yahoo!.

The above contains a falsehood. People allude to entities which create nothing (like Provenance Asset Group) and “assert a patent” (euphemism for lawsuits/extortion) as trolls. Is Friedman one of those people who fail to grasp the simple fact that entities which sue and make absolutely nothing are by definition trolls? Nobody wants to be called a “troll”, so they just lie to themselves about what they do and what they really are. Even IAM, which hides behind euphemisms such as “asset management”, is little more than a facilitator or enabler of patent trolls.
_____
* We also call Watchtroll that. Watchtroll is such an utterly dumb site that it not only lobbies for patent trolls but also said “Pirated Free Software” yesterday. Fredrik Ohrstrom actually alluded to Minix. It’s not an issue if BSD-licensed (like Minix), yet he used that to fling a lot of FUD at “Free Software”. Watchtroll is a premiere source of misinformation, albeit misinformation which comforts the patent microcosm.

Guest Post: Free Dental Care in BRD (Banana Republik Deutschland)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dr. Ernst of EPO

Summary: Christoph Ernst’s position on Benoît Battistelli as explained by a Techrights reader

After reading the interview given by the head of the AC, Mr. Ernst, I was speechless. In particular the statement ” Benoît Battistelli’s tenure at the European Patent Office (EPO) has been undoubtedly positive but there has been a heavy-handed approach” is repugnant. However. the statement induces a question, “positive” for whom?

If Mr. Ernst would care to consider the last statistics about staff satisfaction, he would “undoubtedly” remark that the degree of satisfaction during Battistelli’s tenure among EPO staff is 0%, no more, no less. If Mr. Ernst would care to consider the number of Mayday letters that he as received during the tenure of Mr, Battistelli, letters written by different unions at different levels (German, EPO, European) as well as a group of examiners who want to remain anonymous in fear of retaliation from the EPO management, or other individuals, he would “undoubtedly” become aware of a general unease among staff (to express it in a most diplomatic manner). If Mr. Ernst would care to consider the figures of suicides among staff, he would “undoubtedly” appreciate that the applied personal policies during the tenure of Mr. Battistelli have led the most fragile staff to prefer the rest in peace than the continuous unrest at work.

“Positive” may be… but not for the staff of the EPO.

Therefore “cui bono”? Does Mr. Ernst “undoubtedly” agree with the institutionalised contempt for the rule of law, with the disregard of the EPC, with the bullying of the judges in the DG3, with the introduction of a Stasi-like investigative Unit, with the transformation of the EPO headquarters into a militarised fortress, with the illegal spying on staff and patent attorneys, with the blatant nepotism, with the witch-hunting of the Union, with the the millions spent to glorify his Majesty Battistelli in his French home town St Germain en Lay, and with the omnipresent corruption? Are these the views of a German civil servant in the ministry of Justice? Mr. Ernst is closing his eyes and acknowledging all the mischiefs perpetrated by Mr. Battistelli. On his behalf, Germany is accepting on his own soil what other countries would condemn on their own. Strangely enough history repeats itself in this country, everything is “legal”, everything is “fine”, close your eyes. “Undoubtedly” Mr. Ernst should ask his grandfather….

“Positive” may be… but not for the stakeholders around the EPO.

This kind of “positive” statement is just an insult to the 7000 EPO employees, to the million of Europeans and to the billions of human beings.

And the term “heavy-handed approach” is the cherry on the top of the cake. Should we understand that next measures will be rendered “undoubtedly” more acceptable with a boatload of Vaseline?

However, the very comprehensive approach of Mr. Ernst to Battistelli’s tenure may have to do with a a widely spread syndrome among EPO “managers”, the Reality Deficit/Denial Disorder(RDD) or with the generous free dental treatment offered by Mr. Battistelli to members of the AC, as dental treatment is very expensive in Germany, even for German civil servants…..

The question remains open” cui bono” Mr. Ernst?

Famed Journalist Dan Gillmor Calls IBM the Inventor of Patent Trolling

Posted in Free/Libre Software, IBM, Patents at 5:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Often attributed to Ray Niro though

Dan GillmorSummary: IBM’s growing focus on patent litigation — often with software patents — has not escaped the attention of people who are sympathetic towards Free/Libre Open Source software and IBM’s roots/inclinations when it comes to patent aggression (famously a subject of concern to Microsoft several decades ago) aren’t forgotten in light of recent activity, made visible owing to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) IPRs and few recent lawsuits

IBM has this highly bloated “Diversity & Inclusion” page to which it linked some days ago, stating: “Kimberly has filed 60 patents in the last four years. What’s her secret? Watch her story.”

That’s just a lot of patent propaganda. IBM likes to work behind closed doors in order to extract money out of companies (without it spilling over to courts, albeit PTAB often gets petitioned to invalidate IBM’s patents, whereupon these extortion/’patent assertion’ activities of IBM are made more visible).

“We hope that IBM is at least aware of its declining reputation among people who support Free software. They can see that IBM is a predator whose interests in several areas directly conflict with and harm Free software.”About a decade ago we were quite supportive of IBM, but nowadays the company attacks GNU/Linux-using firms and aggressively lobbies for software patents (we wrote about 20 articles about it). IBM is not what it used to be.

In response to the above, Dan Gillmor wrote: “She works for a company that basically invented patent trolling and employs platoons of patent lawyers?”

“IBM is the biggest patent troll,” the FFII’s Benjamin Henrion responded, “trying to rewrite the law in order to reinstall software patents in the US.”

We hope that IBM is at least aware of its declining reputation among people who support Free software. They can see that IBM is a predator whose interests in several areas directly conflict with and harm Free software.

Bristows Again Rebutted, Few Days After Telling Lies and Spreading Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

So much lying that one can already vomit

A vomiting man

Summary: People who have had enough with UPC jingoism and self-illusions/delusions (including distortions of actual statements if not fabrications) speak out and some actually manage to pass moderation (censorship at IP Kat)

THE Unified Patent Court (UPC) is based on a massive pile of lies. Among those lies, which we have been covering for many years, is will and desire from within the industry. Which industry? They would have us believe that UPC is preferred/desired by science and technology, but it’s only being pursued — ferociously in fact — by the litigation ‘industry’ (it’s not even an industry). It often hijacks the voice of actual industries. It relies on corruption and mischief, such as a 1:30AM vote by only 5% of politicians (similar to the trick pulled by the GOP-majority US Congress a couple of days ago).

There’s no question about it. The UPC is a bad thing. Unless or except to those who profit from litigation.

This latest comment (response to a post from Bristows) rebuts the lies and fake news from staff of Bristows (already rebutted in some previous comments). It’s being rebutted yet again, and that’s just in comments that managed to pass moderation (Bristows has been caught deleting comments that were ‘hostile’ towards the UPC in several different blogs — Kluwer Patent Blog and IP Kat if not more — composed by different Bristows staff). Here is the first comment that got through:

I’m astounded that people still believe that a member of the Government giving vague and non-committal answers to questions put to them indicates that the Government have some sort of plan as to the future of the relevant policy. Surely, this just indicates that the Government have no plans in relation to the relevant policy.

It has become abundantly clear over the last few weeks that the Government have little or no plan for any major policy area. See for example, the 58 reports on the economic impact of Brexit that don’t actually exist or the non-existent plans for the Irish border. With regards to the UPC, JJ is not committing to the UK participating in the UPC as the the Government simply do not know whether we are able to after Brexit or whether we will be allowed to. There simply isn’t a Government plan as to what will happen post-Brexit with the UPC. JJ’s answers aren’t a negotiating tactic as the Government doesn’t have any negotiating tactics, particularly in relation to something as of little relative importance as the UPC.

Whilst people reading this blog are heavily interested and invested in the UPC it is a mistake to think the Government are equally as interested. The UPC is barely a blip on the Government’s radar and almost certainly isn’t something that would be considered a bargaining chip. Non-committal answers simply show a lack of knowledge.

We wonder if less polite comments were ‘intercepted’ by the author (they warp perceptions by omission of particular views). Here is the next comment:

So the UK continues with the process towards ratification and is criticised here for playing politics with the EU, whereas Germany is rightfully waiting for the UK’s mess to be cleaned up. sad.

Fact is, continued participation does require renegotiation.
Fact is, the UPC is not a bargaining chip, because its value is insignificant.
Fact is, facts won’t stop anti-UK criticism from both within and without the UK at every turn.

Did any more comments get posted but did not appear (i.e. censored)? It happened before. If there’s further evidence of censorship, please get in touch with us. This sort of gaslighting or subversion of UPC debates is in its own right a serious threat to democracy in Europe.

Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos Playing Musical Chairs at CEIPI

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies tactlessly enough gloats about it

Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies

Summary: The Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI), based in the same city where Battistelli’s violations of human rights are to be looked at, is picking a known crook to be the chair

TUCKED into the EPO‘s Web site late on a Friday was what reads like a disclosure (warning: epo.org link) rather than news.

We remind readers that Belgian delegates are alleged to have struck a back room agreement with Battistelli in what seemed like a vote-buying exercise from the crooked Frenchman. António Campinos’ successor at EU-IPO might be a Belgian who used to work for the EPO.

So what did the EPO say so late on a Friday? “Mr Battistelli’s election was announced on 28 November 2017, and his mandate will be for a three-year term. He succeeds António Campinos, Executive Director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office, who has chaired the Council since 2013. Former holders of the position also include the EPO’s first president, Bob van Benthem, and also Ingo Kober, who was appointed to the position in 2007.”

So the CEIPI basically had Battistellli swapping seats with António Campinos, reminding us that EPO is rife with nepotism and will continue to be so. Did Campinos and Battistelli coordinate this in advance and if so, is this why Battistelli lobbies so hard for Campinos?

What’s even more troubling is, CEIPI put a thug and crook in a position of power, from which he can continue to harm European interests and destroy the reputation of yet more institutions.

Meanwhile, the patent quality at the EPO continues to sink and working conditions deteriorate (it worsens every month) as staff gets squeezes. The following comment was posted anonymously yesterday:

Things are getting really weird at the EPO lately. The production objectives for 2018 are up another +10% over 2017. To help the examiners achieve that target, 2 days public holidays are cut, classification investments and the training and travel budget for experienced examiners are down to zero and directors have been instructed to reject requests for parental leave. Note that the directors who objected last year are simply out of a job. Also: examiners will be moved from single rooms to double occupancy and the rest of the building shall be rented out. One can only wonder what is in for 2019.

If someone can pass us more information about it, we would greatly appreciate it.

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