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

12.05.17

The European Patent Office Enrages the Powerless to Empower the Super-Powerful (Outside Europe)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Farmers’ protest against EPO 8 years ago (with inflatable pigs)

EPO backlash

EPO backlash

EPO Cartoon by KrewinkelKrijst
Full size (larger)

Summary: The realisation that the European Patent Office (EPO) is a money-making operation rather than a functioning patent office results in public anger that’s targeted not at human rights abuses (which exist aplenty at the Office) but monopolistic aspects

TWO years ago we published leaked evidence that the EPO was discriminating against SMEs. Since then, in order to limit the damage to the EPO’s reputation, the EPO changed PACE somewhat (changing history as much as possible, only after it had been caught).

“The EPO is fast becoming a rubber-stamping operation which in no way offers value for money (to applicants).”This month and last month the EPO posted every single day (except during weekends) something with the hashtag #IPforSMEs. Here is today’s example, muttering something about “invention” and “business case” (marketing/management talk).

In reality, however, the EPO serves multinational corporations such as Monsanto/Bayer (US/Germany) and helps these corporations shield themselves from the masses, including SMEs. Moreover, the EPO is an enemy of farmers (i.e. food), which is why farmers often protest against the EPO (we covered some protests about a decade ago). Here is an article published by British media earlier today to warn about “patenting of plants”. Here are some excerpts:

Thor Kofoed, chairman of C and C’s Seed Working Party, stressed that th “Breeders in Europe currently make around 2000 varieties a year which shows how well the system works. Without this system, 90% of the varieties would disappear in the next 10 years to the economic benefit of a few multinationals. Farmers do not dare to take that chance and we can never accept a movement in that direction,” he concluded. e EPO was ignoring farmers who rely and use these products: “The new system favoured by EPO would be a disaster for farmers and small breeders. Small seed breeders would disappear which would cut the number of plant varieties on the market considerably. Only the big breeders – the multinationals – who can afford to make patent applications would survive.”

C and C accused the EPO of already authorizing patents on naturally occurring products like tomatoes and broccoli, and ignoring the latest Commission advice which recommends not using patents on plants whose DNA belongs to nature.

[...]

“Breeders in Europe currently make around 2000 varieties a year which shows how well the system works. Without this system, 90% of the varieties would disappear in the next 10 years to the economic benefit of a few multinationals. Farmers do not dare to take that chance and we can never accept a movement in that direction,” he concluded.

The EPO has not only enabled patents on life but also on software/algorithms, even in direct defiance of the rules. Earlier today a site of the patent microcosm published this piece titled “2017 European Patent Office Updates,” conveniently excluding any mention of EPO scandals and instead writing about computer programs:

Reflecting recent case law, the revision replaces and expands on its comments concerning user interfaces. The Guidelines now state that user interfaces comprise “features of presenting information and receiving input in response as part of human-computer interaction.” Features that define user input are more likely to have a technical character (and therefore be patentable subject matter) than those solely concerning data output and display, because input requires compatibility with the predetermined protocol of a machine, whereas output may be largely dictated by the subjective preferences of a user.

This change reflects recent case law about what can be considered patentable subject matter. When drafting claims involving a UI, we will be carefully considering input means and structures to help ensure allowance.

These are just software patents, like that infamous old European Patent on progress bars. When will people inside and outside the EPO recognise that patent scope at the EPO has blurred to the point of barely even existing? The EPO is fast becoming a rubber-stamping operation which in no way offers value for money (to applicants). EPO management does not want applicants to find this out (they lie, they attack judges, they punish staff members who speak about it), but applicants eventually find out anyway. And applications have, unsurprisingly, gone down in number (panic over this may result in further decline in fees).

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 17/11/2019: Slax Beta and Arch Conf 2019 Report





  2. Understanding Thierry Breton: The “Cost-Killer” Tries to Tame the National Debt

    The oligarchic policy of Thierry Breton at Bercy



  3. Reactions to Last Week's Thierry Breton Hearing

    Nobody is particularly impressed by Thierry Breton except those who know little about him (and he contributes to this lack of knowledge by obstructing, omitting, and misleading)



  4. The Open Invention Network Has Become a Guard Dog of (Some) Patent Trolls and It Misrepresents Us Under the Guise of 'Open Source'

    The Open Invention Network (OIN), in collaboration with Fraunhöfer, is promoting software patents and all sorts of other nonsense as part of ‘open’ standards in a new paper sponsored by the EU and edited by the former EPO Chief Economist Nikolaus Thumm (not Battistelli's choice); this is another reminder of the fact that OIN misrepresents Free/Open Source software (FOSS) developers and their interests



  5. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 16, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 16, 2019



  6. Unitary Patent is Dead Partly Because the EPO Demonstrated That EPC is Being Routinely Violated, Illegal Patents Granted

    Some elements of Team UPC have given up, whereas others try to push the lie that Unitary Patent/Unified Patent Court (UPC) is not an EU thing and that therefore everything is fine



  7. USPTO Rewards Microsoft for Corruption at ISO by Teaching People Proprietary OOXML and Promoting Its Use

    The world's most important patent office promotes Microsoft lock-in, revealing not only corporate bias but also highlighting ways in which Microsoft crimes continue to pay off



  8. No, Startpage is Not Dutch Anymore

    Startpage is still clinging onto perceptions rather than truths; it means that Startpage isn't just betraying privacy but it's also dishonest and untrustworthy



  9. Understanding Thierry Breton: Chirac's Entrepreneurial “Joker”

    Minister in charge of the public treasury was not a career politician but an “entrepreneur” with a proven track-record as a financial wizard and “cost-killer”



  10. Links 16/11/2019: New Debian Release, Wine staging 4.20

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 15, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, November 15, 2019



  12. Microsoft Doesn't Love Linux, It Just Buys Linux

    Microsoft's takeover or abduction of its opposition's voice isn't an act of love but an act of occupation, a hostile colonisation that enables digital pillage and plunder



  13. Koch's Reply to EPO Through ILO and Techrights' Interpretation of Koch v EPO Documents Help Show That ILO-AT is Played by EPO Management

    Sending cases back and forth, without the complainant being involved, means that justice is in eternal ‘limbo’ and thus the abusive management of the European Patent Office (EPO) — first Team Battistelli and now Team Campinos — can get away with anything the bullies do (no judgment of substance being delivered)



  14. EPO Running ILO's Tribunal (ILO-AT) 'in a Loop' to Perpetually Delay and Drain the EPO's Complainants (Aggrieved Staff) Out of Money

    ILO’s Administrative Tribunal — a court for aggrieved EPO staff and other international organisations’ staff (usually known as ILO-AT for short) — is a major farce; when “time is money” and lawyers charge as much as 400 euros an hour the EPO’s management can exploit/misuse its cash reserves to also game justice and buy legal outcomes



  15. ILO is Not Functioning and ILO-AT Helps the Abusive Management of the European Patent Office

    It is becoming increasingly clear, based for example on Koch v EPO, that ILO-AT is where a lot of money will be spent on lawyers and rarely will that result in real justice (but it certainly helps EPO management pretend that staff has safeguards)



  16. Links 16/11/2019: Wine 4.20, Picolibc 1.1

    Links for the day



  17. Understanding Thierry Breton: Moral Responsibility for “a Capitalism That Kills”?

    "...France Télécom which had previously been defined by an ethos of public service, by egalitarian working conditions and by a sense of universal mission, had now been transformed into a "cash machine” whose sole purpose was to generate shareholder value on international financial markets."



  18. FOSSPatents Conference is Against FOSS, Promoting the FOSS-Hostile Construct Known as RAND or FRAND

    Do not be misled by the term Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in the name FOSSPatents and whatever relates to it (e.g. FOSSPatents Conference); it's not about FOSS but against FOSS, or pro-FRAND



  19. Europe is Under Attack

    European politicians or political candidates pretend to be 'candid'; but they're agents of Power, or put another way, they're there to make the rich and powerful class even richer and more powerful by passing new, ruinous laws in the name of 'the people' or 'for SMEs'



  20. Links 15/11/2019: New Opera and Brave, GNU/Linux Flatpa(c)ked

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 14, 2019



  22. Understanding Thierry Breton: Toxic Management Goes on Trial in France

    "In each of these cases, the suicide served as a symbolic act of protest to denounce workplace conditions at France Télécom and attract public attention to its practices."



  23. Thierry Breton's Video/Live Grilling is Over, But the Grilling Continues Online

    Elite politicians aren't reluctant to give Thierry Breton the high seat (or throne); but everyone else realises that this resembles a corporate takeover more than anything



  24. The EPO's Low Patent Quality is Not Just Suicidal; It is Illegal

    With help from the besieged Boards of Appeal (BoAs), which complain that they can no longer judge cases (appeals/referrals) autonomously and independently, the Office in Munich continues to grossly violate the EPC and mimic China's ridiculously low patent bar, which even formally permits patents on algorithms



  25. Links 14/11/2019: Mesa 19.2.4 and GCC 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft is Not an Open Source Company But Microsoft Bribed and Took Over Many Open Source Authorities (Rivals' Voice Hijacked)

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and GNU/Linux are being taken over by Microsoft moles, bought by Microsoft Corporation, and the collective voice of the alternative to Microsoft and Windows is being muzzled (they tell us they "love" us while they're attacking us and sometimes suing us)



  27. Techrights' Interpretation of Koch v EPO: The EPO's Management Still Attacks Staff Representatives

    The EPO hopes to get its victims (of EPO abuse) to not only foot their own bills but also the EPO's



  28. Understanding Thierry Breton: “Mister Cash” Arrives at France Télécom

    The psychological harassment of the France Télécom workforce led the "suicide wave" after Breton had left France Télécom



  29. The Breton-Battistelli Relationship and Breton Hiding His Employment Record at Rothschild & Cie Banque

    EPO scoundrels such as Battistelli are closer to Breton than most people care to realise; Breton is hiding part of his career ahead of today's grilling



  30. A Lot of EPO Staff on Dutch Land Protested (Despite Abusive Threats From Management) and a Strike is Reportedly Next

    EPO management in Rijswijk tried hard to prevent workers from protesting on their free time (lunch break), reaffirming that same old belief that nothing is changing at the EPO and nothing will change without truly disruptive action


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

Recent Posts