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

01.20.18

Patent Quality (Not Numbers) as an Asset: Oppositions, Appeals and Rejections at the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If patent information is the goal, then overload is a threat

Information overload
Reference: Information overload

Summary: Benoît Battistelli wants a rubber-stamping operation (like INPI) rather than a functional patent office, but oppositions at the Office prove to be fruitful and many erroneously-granted patents are — by extrapolation — already being revoked (affecting, in retrospect, Battistelli’s so-called ‘results’)

THIS WEEK has been historic at the EPO not because of scandals or conflicts but because of a decision we covered here several times*. It was a major blow to patent maximalists.

The patent microcosm never really cared about patent quality; the quality of patents has little to do with the business model. All they care about, based on this upcoming event (advertised yesterday), is how to double the number of patents by throwing the same texts at multiple piles of applications at multiple offices. “EPO and USPTO approaches to rejections” is one among the topics covered. As we pointed out here before, the USPTO barely tolerates patents on genetics. There are few ultra-wealthy companies aspiring to ‘own’ everything, including life itself (Monsanto/Bayer for example) and they crush ordinary people, such as farmers, in the process.

The EPO has lost touch; The discrimination against SMEs at the EPO is not accidental but a planned/intentional policy. According to this, the EPO keeps lying about — and supposedly ‘on behalf of’ — SMEs. Where does that end? Even EPO staff is being crushed nowadays. Nobody is being served but billionaires.

“Even EPO staff is being crushed nowadays. Nobody is being served but billionaires.”“Are you a #patent professional? Here’s an interesting opportunity,” the EPO wrote yesterday, linking to this promotion of internships (warning: epo.org link). The EPO “races to the bottom of salaries and assurance to staff,” I told them, “thus ensuring longterm brain drain. Interns are low-paid staff with no assurance of work. Is this the future of the EPO under Battistelli ‘reforms’? Remember that starting January 1st (2018) all EPO examiners lost their permanent contracts, reducing work security for docility. Terrible.”

The EPO’s official account “follows” me in Twitter. Sometimes I think some good people are behind it, but in order to pay the mortgage they need to obey the high-level management, knowing that they too can suffer (along with their families) if they don’t play along.

Watch what they posted yesterday: Distraction from real EPO news (about CRISPR). Instead they share Battistelli’s photo op in which there’s promotion of software patents in Europe. The EPO basically republished its ‘news’ about “computer implemented inventions”; pushing the unthinkable again? To quote the original (warning: epo.org link): “Other topics discussed during the meeting included procedural changes at the EPO and recent case law, standard essential patents, the EPO’s approach to computer implemented inventions, and IP activities in the Internet of Things era.”

The “CII” dodge aside (that’s what they call software patents in Europe), there’s also that buzzword, “Internet of Things”, once again; that too is a modern trick for sneaking software patents past examiners.

Battistelli’s EPO is stretching patent scope further and further, but the opposition to a CRISPR patent showed that some staff is managing to do the right thing and end this injustice. This is still circulating in technical media and European media. “The vast majority of the Broad Institute’s CRISPR patents in Europe are also affected by this same deficiency and we expect them to meet a similar fate,” ERS CEO Eric Rhodes said. It’s the likely end of CRISPR patents in Europe though the matter is likely to reach the Enlarged Board of Appeals. To quote:

CRISPR/Cas9 has been hailed as the ‘scientific discovery of the century’ due to its capacity to modify the genome for the treatment of genetic diseases. The Broad Institute, set up by MIT and Harvard in 2004 to use genomics to improve human health, successfully obtained a patent from the US Patent Office for its use in eukaryotes. However, the European Patent Office (EPO) has revoked the first of several patents obtained by the Broad Institute, citing a clear lack of novelty.

The editor of JUVE, linking to his article (in German), wrote: “The recent decision of @EPOorg could be a blueprint for the other 6 oppositions against Broad’s CRISPR patents. According to source the Marraffini problem is an issue in all 7 patents.”

Alexander Esslinger replied: “To my knowledge all these patents are based on the same PCT application and therefore share the priority problem [] Faint hope for Broad. In my view only a decision of the Enlarged BoA could help the patent proprieror” (the oppositions division did the right thing to deny patents on CRISPR).

The profound effect of this decision on those who attempt to monopolise life itself can be witnessed in this report from yesterday.

Battistelli has only 5 months left at the Office, so it’s likely that an appeal will occur/take place under the leadership of Campinos.

“Campinos, a Portuguese national, was elected in October as the new EPO president,” says this new article, but he is French actually (dual), just like Benoît Battistelli and Alain Pompidou (a reasonably OK EPO President, according to sources of ours).

Here is what IP Watch wrote yesterday:

Outgoing European Patent Office (EPO) President Benoît Battistelli was elected Chairman of the University of Strasbourg Center for International Intellectual Property Studies Administrative Board in November for a three-year term. He succeeds António Campinos, Executive Director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office.

Campinos, a Portuguese national, was elected in October as the new EPO president for a five-year term starting on 1 July 2018.

Things can only improve from there, or so hope EPO insiders. The goal of everyone — ours included — is to fix the EPO. Patent quality is a big part of that.
______
* In 4 prior articles (on Wednesday [1, 2], Thursday and Friday) we got one important detail wrong; what we got wrong is that not BoA but the Oppositions (i.e. the Office) made the decision. We apologise for this error. We often assume that very few blogs are covering EPO from a technology perspective (unlike legal ‘industry’ perspective) because the structure of the Organisation is confusing (some units are just numbers and that too changes over the years/decades).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

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. Exploring the Relationship Between Red Hat and Microsoft: They're Barely Even Rivals Anymore

    The ‘older Microsoft’ (serial monopolist IBM) bought Red Hat, but evidence shows that one would be wrong to assume Red Hat really competes against Microsoft (any more than Novell did; there’s a strong relationship)



  2. Microsoft Lost More Than 15 Million Web Domains in One Month!

    Microsoft's presence on the Web is being reduced to ridiculously low levels; sooner or later Microsoft will turn from 'king' of parked (unused) domains to master of nothing



  3. Links 23/9/2020: Lenovo's Deeper GNU/Linux Dive and Tor Browser 10/Tails 4.10

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, September 22, 2020



  5. The Latest Greenwashing Campaign by the EPO is Just 'Chinese Propaganda'

    When the EPO speaks of “innovation” and “clean energy transition” it means nothing but patents on batteries, in effect monopolies being granted in Europe (to a lot of Asian — not European — companies)



  6. Links 23/9/2020: Librem 14 Shipping in December, Linux Journal Returns, Istio 1.6.10 Released, Release Candidate 3 of LLVM 11.0

    Links for the day



  7. Welcome Back, Linux Journal!

    Linux Journal is coming back under the ownership/umbrella of Slashdot folks, who are sadly preoccupied and obsessed with Microsoft talking points and PR campaigns



  8. What the Efforts to Remove Dr. Stallman Reveal About the Agenda of Large Corporations (Looking to Absorb the Competition, Remove Freedom, Spread Proprietary Software in 'Open' Clothing)

    Richard Stallman's (RMS) positions and foresight are usually correct; at the moment we're losing access to key people whose leadership positions are essential for the independence of cornerstone projects



  9. Links 22/9/2020: Tails 4.11, Linux Lite 5.2 RC1

    Links for the day



  10. Minimalism for Maximisation of Productivity and Clutter Mitigation

    Unfortunately, GNU/Linux (especially the latter, Linux) embraces bloat and anti-features in pursuit of sales (appeasing large corporations, not users’ needs), reducing the modularity, reliability and productivity of computer systems in the name of helping “dumb” users (they keep telling us people are very dumb and those who disagree are “elitist” and “extremist” or even “neckbeards” — in effect insulting every person out there)



  11. IRC Proceedings: Monday, September 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, September 21, 2020



  12. Post-Coronavirus Linux.com Became Nothing But a SPAM Site

    As per the Linux Foundation‘s very own brochure, scripted and fake ‘interviews’ are to be produced and then edited/negotiated (before publication) with the sponsor… in Linux.com as the platform. This is corruption (or marketing, one might call them de facto ads presented as fake ‘articles’).



  13. Erosion of Free Speech and Tolerance of Opposing Viewpoints in Free Software Communities

    The concept of free speech is being reinvented by oversensitive people who nowadays expand the list of exclusions/exemptions (from scope of 'permissible' speech) to politics and criticism of large and highly abusive corporations



  14. Links 21/9/2020: PlasmaShell With Vulkan, Plasma Beta Review Day, OpenMediaVault 5.5.11

    Links for the day



  15. Guest Post: The Worrying State of Political Judgement in Free Software Communities

    A look at what Mozilla has become and what that teaches us about the Web and about software



  16. Links 21/9/2020: KTechLab 0.50.0, Linux 5.9 RC6

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, September 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, September 20, 2020



  18. Git is Free Software, GitHub is Proprietary Trap

    More and more people all around the world understand that putting their fruit of labour in Microsoft's proprietary (but 'free') prison is misguided; the only vault they have is for human beings, not code



  19. Daniel Pocock on Codes of Conduct and Their Potential Dangers in Practice

    In Debian we’ve already witnessed several examples where Codes of Conduct, if put in the wrong hands (in the Linux Foundation it’s corporate hands), can achieve the very opposite of their intended goal and its a true shame as well as a travesty for legitimate victims of real abuse



  20. Links 20/9/2020: Flameshot Screenshot Tool 0.8, Okular Improvements and More

    Links for the day



  21. Reminder: Vice Chair of the Linux Foundation's Board is an Oracle Executive Who Used to Work for Microsoft

    The Linux Foundation issued statements to the effect of opposing Donald Trump, but its current leadership (people from companies like Oracle, Microsoft and IBM) is a strong proponent of doing as much business as possible with Trump (even in violation of international law)



  22. [Meme] How to Hijack Linux and Free Software to Make Them Proprietary and Microsoft-Controlled

    Intel keeps outsourcing almost everything (that's not proprietary with back doors, e.g. ME) to Microsoft's proprietary software prison, known as GitHub; to make matters worse, Intel now uses the Microsoft-hosted Rust to develop in Microsoft servers, along with Microsoft, code that promotes Microsoft proprietary software (e.g. Hyper-V) and non-standard 'extensions'.



  23. DDOS Attacks Against Us Lately

    (Distributed) Denial-of-service attacks or DDOS attacks have slowed down the site, but we treat that as evidence of suppression and fear (of what's to come and what was recently published), or accuracy (in reporting) rather than inaccuracy



  24. [Meme] Windows as Dead Man Walking (Patches Accelerate the Death)

    Microsoft is squeezing whatever life is left in its “burning platform” (which is already exceeded in terms of market share by Android) that has a "burning" (bricked) WSL with barely any users and plenty of critical problems



  25. We Let Them Get Away With Murder, But They Make up for It by Banning Words

    The Microsoft propaganda machines (notably ZDNet this weekend) are busy portraying Microsoft as a “good company” for censoring words, never mind the actual, meaningful, substantial actions of Microsoft, which is boosting authoritarian people who imprison even babies (for the ‘crime’ of being on the ‘wrong’ side of the border)



  26. High-Profile and Invalid (Invalidated) European Patents Harm the Presumption of Validity of European Patents

    The EPO's 'printing machine' (over-producing patent monopolies) is harming the legal certainty associated with such patents, helping nobody but deep-pocketed monopolists and law firms



  27. Epitaph for (Death of) Patent-Centric Media: Litigation Giant Bird & Bird Nowadays Doing Ads as 'Podcasts' in Think Tank Site 'Managing IP'

    Publishers don't hesitate and openly revel in taking bribes as if it's a badge of honour or importance, allowing themselves to be profoundly corrupted in pursuit of quick cash; we discuss what's happening in sites that pretend to cover patent news (but actually drive agenda of litigation giants, to the detriment of actual innovators)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 19, 2020



  29. Links 20/9/2020: 4MLinux 34.0 Released, September Release and EndeavourOS for ARM

    Links for the day



  30. Video: Free Communication With Free Software - Daniel Pocock - FOSSASIA Summit 2016

    The 2016 FOSSASIA talk from Daniel Pocock (Debian) about Free software alternatives to Google, Microsoft Skype and so on (Microsoft started paying Debian in 2016)


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