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

01.09.18

For European Patents to Maintain Value the EPO Must Fix Patent Quality and Attract ‘Expensive’ (High-Calibre) Staff

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 1:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Quality of European Patents is Declining (and With it Patent Justice) While the World is Noticing

Quality Metrics
Reference: Quality Metrics

Summary: After the Battistelli-induced exodus of experienced examiners we continually observe concerns that patents granted by the EPO (EPs) have lost their value and the perception of patent justice is deeply damaged

AS a European and as a software professional, I profoundly worry about the fate of the EPO. We need a strong EPO and strong staff. We don’t need an ‘assembly line’ of patents. But the ‘cheapening’ of the EPO, leading to the exodus of highly-specialised professionals, poses a real threat. Recruitment standards have fallen and working conditions deteriorated beyond belief. The EPO rapidly becomes like a Chinese colony inside Bavaria.

“The Boards of Appeal have historically been responsible for upholding/preserving patent quality and assessing conformity with respect to the EPC.”At the moment, the EPO ought to hire for the Boards of Appeal (BoA), but in practice it is driving out existing staff and engaging in legal bullying, demotions, etc. It ought fix the lack of independence, but instead it does the opposite (for example by sending them all to ‘exile’ in Haar against their will). Adding interns can be a burden to these people, but this is exactly what the EPO bragged about yesterday when it wrote: “Tomorrow [that's today] is the last day you can apply for the Judicial internships at the Boards of Appeal…”

The Boards of Appeal have historically been responsible for upholding/preserving patent quality and assessing conformity with respect to the EPC. That cannot happen anymore. They openly complain about their lack of independence from the Office and the ‘king’ of the Office.

Yesterday this press release was issued to say:

This seminar addresses the parallel, but substantially different, rules for drafting and prosecuting patents required by the Examiners and Appeal Boards of the EPO and USPTO [PTAB].

PTAB is sort of the US equivalent of BoA; that too is under attack (by the patent ‘industry’) — a subject we shall revisit later today.

In the meantime, CIPO and EPO plan to speed up examination even further (what’s needed is accuracy, not speed/haste). Yesterday CIPO wrote about it in English and in French. To quote the English: “#Canada and @EPOorg #Patent Prosecution Highway extension effective January 6, 2018….

So in addition to Early Certainty, PACE and so on they now have a special intercontinental process to help legal aggressors (there’s also one for Australia and Asia). Even lower quality of patents (than before) is assured because burden of speed — not quality — is being put on examiners. If justice is being rushed, then perhaps justice itself isn’t really a priority.

“For the third consecutive time, and even more emphatically than in past years, blogposts about the EPO and its impassive president Benoit Battistelli, the ‘dictator’ or ‘Napoleon of the tenth floor’, as one of our commenters has often written, dominates the top ten of best read articles of the Kluwer Patent Blog.”
      –Kluwer Patent Blogger
What do stakeholders (so-called ‘users’, lawyers etc.) think about all this? Well, they too aren’t particularly happy. A pro-UPC blog, Kluwer Patent Blog, was having uptime issues yesterday (very long downtimes for the site lately). But when it became accessible again we saw this new post which alludes to Battistelli as “the ‘dictator’ or ‘Napoleon of the tenth floor’,” noting that there’s a lot of interest in EPO scandals and in the gradual collapse of the UPC (which won’t materialise as long as justice at the EPO is perceived to be deeply flawed.

Yesterday we also saw this promotion of Drafting a Common Specification for US and EPO Practice — an event in which Sullivan Fountain of Keltie LLP (UPC liars) “will discuss drafting a common specification for filing and prosecution in both the USPTO and the EPO.”

The very fact that the USPTO is treated or dealt with in tandem (to the EPO) is worrying; the USPTO has long been granting an extraordinary amount of low-quality patents. This matter has been all over the news lately and there is even a new paper about it.

In yesterday’s news we also saw this new assessment of new fees at the UK-IPO. For the EPO to be competitive on terms such as price it will need to ensure patent quality is very high, but it might be too late for that. To quote price comparisons:

Official fees for UK patent applications are expected to rise in 2018. Nevertheless, by international standards, the UK will remain inexpensive. For example, UK fees will remain lower than at the EPO, where a granted patent application enforceable in the UK is obtainable through the direct European (EP) or International (PCT(EP)) route.

As detailed below, the UKIPO plans to introduce new fees for excess claims and description pages, and to increase the existing application, search, examination and renewal fees. The changes are expected to take effect from April 6, 2018.

[...]

However, excess claims fees will be payable to the UKIPO only for claim 26 onwards. This is generous compared to the respective 15 and 20 ‘free’ claims currently allowed at the EPO and USPTO. Furthermore, the new UKIPO fee of £20 per claim will be significantly cheaper than the respective €235 per claim and $80 per claim currently charged at the EPO and USPTO.

[...]

The new UKIPO fee of £10 per page will be for description pages beyond 35, for example resulting in an excess fee of £650 for an application having 100 description pages. However, and in contrast to the EPO, we currently understand that the excess fees will not be levied on claims, abstract and drawings pages.

The number of applications for EPs has fallen; it fell very sharply in (or from) the US. After Battistelli implemented his so-called ‘reforms’ we are not sure that the EPO is even competitive.

Yesterday we saw Arecor bragging (in a press release) about a “Notice of Intention to Grant” at the EPO, but does Arecor even know that the Office suffers a patent quality crisis and many granted EPs would turn out to be invalid/null (if tested in court)? Arecor wrote this:

Arecor Ltd is pleased to announce the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued “Notice of Intention to Grant” for Arecor’s patent application protecting the Company’s proprietary technology used in the development of stable, low-viscosity formulations of highly concentrated protein therapeutics, including monoclonal antibodies such as trastuzumab or ustekinumab or fusion proteins such as abatacept.

The prestige associated with EPs is rapidly being lost; EPO insiders can feel it and legal professionals worry deeply about it. If ‘demand’ for EPs is falling, it’s going to hurt them personally. A patent office without proficient and effective quality control (Oppositions and BoA, which is grossly understaffed and overburdened right now) will devolve to become another SIPO, ushering in plenty of patent trolls (also like SIPO). We wrote about that yesterday.

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 16/1/2019: Deepin 15.9 Released and Mozilla Fenix

    Links for the day



  2. Brexit Has Failed, But So Has the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Even though all signs indicate that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will never become a reality spin is to be expected from Team UPC, still looking to profit from more litigation and expanded scope



  3. IBM, Which Will Soon be Buying Red Hat, is Promoting Software Patents in Europe

    Even days apart/within confirmation of IBM's takeover of Red Hat IBM makes it clear that it's very strongly in favour of software patents, not only in the US but also in Europe



  4. Team UPC on Dead UPC: Choosing Gowns for Corpses

    The campaign of lies, long waged by Team UPC in order to manipulate politicians and courts, hasn’t stopped even in 2019 (IAM threw in the towel, but some of Team UPC is still ‘embalming’ UPCA)



  5. Links 15/1/2019: MX Linux MX-18 Continuum Reviewed, Mageia 7 Artwork Voting

    Links for the day



  6. Council of Europe (CoE) Recognises There's No Justice at the EPO

    It’s now the Council of Europe‘s turn to speak out about the grave state of international organisations that exist in Europe but aren’t subjected to European law (which they routinely violate with impunity)



  7. Dominion Harbor -- Armed by Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll -- Goes After the World's Biggest Android OEMs, Huawei and Samsung

    Dominion Harbor, the patent troll that gets bucketloads of patents from Intellectual Ventures (a patent troll strongly connected to Microsoft and Bill Gates), is still suing using shell entities



  8. Links 14/1/2019: Linux 5.0 RC2 and DXVK 0.95 Released

    Links for the day



  9. Only the Higher Courts -- Not Trump's 'Poster Child' -- Can Bring Back Software Patents

    Software patents are not making a "comeback" as some like to claim; in fact, the latest court cases and notably their outcomes suggest that nothing has changed



  10. “Uniloc is a Lawsuit Factory”

    Apple is a very secretive company, so it is hard to know what goes on with the patent troll Uniloc



  11. European Patent Office a Textbook Example of Lawless, Rogue Institutions

    The tyrannical nature of the EPO is still being demonstrated by the sad fate of Patrick Corcoran; technical judges at the EPO are feeling intimidated by nontechnical politicians and bankers



  12. No, Software Patents Are Not Poised to Make a Comeback Under New US Patent Office Rules

    Poor understanding of the difference between patent courts and patent offices is to blame for widely-spread misinformation from Ars Technica (part of Condé Nast)



  13. IP Kat Has Turned From EPO Critic (to the Point of Being Blocked by the EPO) to EPO Whitewasher That Gags EPO Whistleblowers

    The EPO tried to forcibly gag (block) IP Kat like it blocks Techrights (since 2014); failing that, the EPO got the blog to just act as a whitewashing operation for Team Campinos (more or less the same as Team Battistelli)



  14. Linspire 'Reborn' is Still Working for Microsoft and Facilitating Surveillance on GNU/Linux Users

    GNU/Linux spyware scandals may be back (and it's not about Canonical and Amazon but Linspire and Microsoft); Microsoft is meanwhile exposing innocent kids to pedophiles and it refuses to explain or defend this



  15. Links 12/1/2019: Wine 4.0 RC6, X-Plane 11.30, SuperTuxKart 0.10 Beta, LibreOffice 6.2 RC2

    Links for the day



  16. The EPO's Low Patent Quality Can Kill the European Software Industry and Kill People Too

    The patents granted by the EPO are often invalid as per courts' decisions, which means that fake/illegitimate European Patents saturate the market and discourage development (e.g. of software and life-saving drugs)



  17. The Fiction That Spain (or Italy) Can Salvage the UPC

    The proponents/lobbyists of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), firms that make money from patent litigation (we collectively call these "Team UPC"), are nowadays backpedaling, having come to grips with the death of the UPC, realising it's time to save face by pretending everything they said in the past wasn't a lie



  18. Links 11/1/2019: IBM-Red Hat Obstacle Cleared, Toyota Chooses Linux

    Links for the day



  19. EPO President “Campinos is Wasting His Credibility With “Sweet” Communiqués Full of Hot Air and Storytelling”

    EPO insiders insist if not demand that all those responsible for the corruption and the abuses be removed; Campinos has done the opposite by promoting those who caused harm and turning his overseer into his subordinate



  20. The Emptiness of the Linux Foundation's Commitment to Linux and Its True Openness... to Corporate Cash (in Exchange for Influence)

    Like Pence and Moreno, who exchange a political refugee for loans, the Linux Foundation abandons its commitment to GNU/Linux in exchange for maximisation of financial contributions



  21. Links 10/1/2019: Linux 4.20.1, GNOME 3.31.4 Released

    Links for the day



  22. Links 9/1/2019: Qubes OS 4.0.1, Bash 5.0

    Links for the day



  23. European Patent Office Saga in 2019: “95% of the People Responsible for the Misery Are Still in Place and Have Not Even Been Rebuked”

    No signs of reformation at Europe's second-largest institution, which still suffers from justice deficit and blatant corruption



  24. Links 8/1/2019: Godot 3.1 Reaches Beta, Tidelift Gets Money

    Links for the day



  25. EPO Corruption is Helping Patent Maximalists in the United States

    The law firms that promote abstract patents in the United States (in the face of growing opposition from courts) adopt the EPO as a sort of 'poster child' because quality of European Patents keeps decreasing and lawlessness is increasing



  26. Links 7/1/2019: Linux 5.0 RC1

    Links for the day



  27. Words to Avoid: Cloud, Serverless, Microservices and More

    The marketing industry is hijacking press coverage and journalism has turned into a laughable mash-up of buzzwords; technical people ought to push back



  28. One Week After Site Migration

    January 1st marked an important milestone/accomplishment: managing to fully migrate Techrights to the new environment (datacentre) with zero downtime, just in time for the new year



  29. Links 6/1/2019: KBibTeX 0.8.2, Cloudera-Hortonworks Merger a Done Deal

    Links for the day



  30. EPO Leaks

    In 2014 we began receiving valuable information about the European Patent Office; to shake things up (betterment of patent quality and staff welfare) we'll need more information in 2019 and we provide secure channels for transmission


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