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

01.23.18

Confidence in European Patents (EPs) is Eroding and Stakeholders Are Already Suffering

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The number of European Patents (EPs) opposed
Image credit: James Ward and Frances Wilding, Haseltine Lake LLP

Summary: The rush to grant lots and lots of patents at the EPO is already taking its toll; quality is declining, decisions to grant are being overturned, and the already-overburdened appeal boards are unable to catch up

THE OPPOSITIONS at the EPO are soaring. People (and firms) are evidently not happy with the patents being granted and oppositions are filed at a rate the EPO might not be able to suitably keep up with.

A week ago (6 days to be exact) an opposition to a CRISPR patent was successful. We wrote about that yesterday, on Saturday, Wednesday [1, 2], Thursday and Friday. IP Kat (Rose Hughes) finally wrote about it almost one week later. Cantargia AB’s press release, in our view, is still being spread amid panic over the CRISPR patent’s invalidation. This is from yesterday alone [1, 2]; what seems to be their staff was in touch with us and did not deny our suspicions. All these oppositions are becoming a great risk to some companies which invested a lot of money in questionable European Patents.

Yesterday/earlier this week, probably as one might expect, the Wall Street media wrote about this also [1, 2]. Bloomberg neglected to speak to any rights groups that oppose patents on life. Pure business spin is what these articles/blogs boil down to. The author relays the ‘damage control’. “Meanwhile,” he wrote, “it could take a while for the appeal to wend its way through the European system, Brent Babcock, an intellectual property lawyer with Knobbe Martens in Irvine, Calif., told me in a Jan. 19 telephone call.”

There’s a big backlog. In order to crush the patent applications backlog Battistelli has created a massive queue at the IAC, the ILO, BoA, and Oppositions. Well done, eh? By ramming down bad European Patents down the EPO’s mouth Battistelli has caused enormous and possibly irreversible damage. Had patent examination been done thoroughly and patiently, maybe Broad wouldn’t have been granted the CRISPR patent in the first place. Now see this comment (first one at IP Kat) from “The Convention watchdog”:

The reason for the “early” end of the oral proceedings was not that the priority question was not sufficiently discussed. On the contrary, the discussion covered all aspects brought forward by the parties and based on numerous legal expert opinions. Rather, a discussion on novelty and inventive step did not take place as expected, since the proprietor submitted new claim requests which the Opposition Division did not admit into the proceedings. As to the substance of the priority question, one may mention that the problem is not so much the general difference between US and EP law, but the difference between US law on internal priorities and the law of the Paris Convention on priorities.

Had more time been given for examiners, would such a disaster have been averted? Here is another comment:

The Broad Institute proclaims themselves confident that “the EPO will, on appeal, harmonize the EPO procedures to be consistent with international treaties and compatible with the fundamental principles of the Paris Convention”.

The EPO may follow the PCT rules and articles, but the PCT has so many “if national laws allow”, “if not contravening national law”, that it is obvious that the national law stands above the PCT.
And the EPO has not signed other international treaties, and will therefore not be bound by them, EVEN IF every single member state has signed and ratified that treaty.
As many articles about the EPO confirm, the EPOrg and the EPOff have little interest in international treaties, international standards, or complying with generally acknowledged principles of law, if there is no clear indication within the EPC to do so.

I see this statement and the filing of the appeal as a try to keep at least something of the cake, and a try to tell imvestors that not everything is lost, and that they please do not sell the shares yet.

Broad is now suffering because a patent that should not have been granted was in fact granted, giving investors false hopes and unrealistic expectations. Now there may be years of uncertainty.

What does all this make the EPO look like? What happens to the certainty associated with patents that EPO examiners used to grant (before the so-called ‘reforms’)?

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. ...So This GNU/Linux User Goes to a Pub With Swapnil and Jim

    It's hard to promote GNU/Linux when you don't even use it



  2. How to THRIVE, in Uncertain Times for Free Software

    "The guidelines are barely about conduct anyway, they are more about process guidelines for "what to do with your autonomy" in the context of a larger group where participation is completely voluntary and each individual consents to participate."



  3. When They Run Out of Things to Patent They'll Patent Nature Itself...

    The absolutely ridiculous patent bar (ridiculously low) at today’s EPO means that legal certainty associated with European Patents is at an all-time low; patents get granted for the sake of granting more patents each year



  4. EPO Boards of Appeal Need Courage and Structural Disruption to Halt Software Patents in Europe

    Forces or lobbyists for software patents try to come up with tricks and lies by which to cheat the EPC and enshrine illegal software patents; sadly, moreover, EPO judges lack the necessary independence by which to shape caselaw against such practices



  5. Professor Dr. Maximilian Haedicke on Lack of Separation of Powers at the EPO (Which Dooms UPC)

    Team UPC (“empire of lies”) is catching up with reality; no matter how hard media has attempted to not cover EPO scandals (after the EPO paid and threatened many publishers that tried), it remains very much apparent that EPOnia is like a theocracy that cannot be trusted with anything



  6. As Expected, the Bill Gates Propaganda Machine is Trying to Throw/Put Everyone off the Scent of Jeffery Epstein's 'Incestuous' Ties With Gates

    Media ownership up on display; it's amplifying false claims for a whole month, whereas truth/correct information gets buried before a weekend is over



  7. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, October 14, 2019



  8. [ES] El Kernel de Linux está introduciendo Open Source Privative Software

    Linux, el kernel, continúa su trayectoria o el camino hacia convertirse en software propietario de código abierto (OSPS).



  9. Linux Foundation Board Meeting

    More sponsored keynotes and tweets — like more sponsored articles (or “media partners”) — aren’t what the Linux Foundation really needs



  10. Links 14/10/2019: Linux 5.4 RC3, POCL 1.4, Python 3.8.0

    Links for the day



  11. This Week Techrights Crosses 26,000 Posts Milestone, 3 Weeks Before Turning 13 (2,000+ Posts/Year)

    A self-congratulatory post about another year that's passed (without breaks from publishing) and another milestone associated with posting volume



  12. No Calls to "Remove Gates" From the Board (Over a Real Scandal/Crime), Only to "Remove Stallman" (Over Phony Distraction From the Former)

    Jeffrey Epstein's connections to Bill Gates extend well beyond Gates himself; other people inside Microsoft are closely involved as well, so Microsoft might want to cut ties with its co-founder before it becomes a very major mess



  13. “The Stupidest [Patent/Tax] Policy Ever”

    It’s pretty clear that today’s European patent system has been tilted grossly in favour of super-rich monopolists and their facilitators (overzealous law firms and ‘creative’ accountants) as opposed to scientists



  14. Meme: Software Patents at the EPO

    The evolution of “technical effect” nonsense at the EPO



  15. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 13, 2019



  16. Firm of Microsoft's Former Litigation Chief Uses Microsoft-Connected Patent Lawsuit Against GNU/Linux (GNOME Foundation) for New Breed of FUD Campaigns

    The patent troll of Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold has fed a patent troll that's attacking GNU/Linux and a firm owned by Microsoft's former litigation chief says it proves "Open Source Software Remains a Target"



  17. "Widespread Adoption" (Did You Mean: Takeover by Monopolies?)

    "Quite a few of them are people that would rather replace David with Goliath, just because he's bigger. Quite a few are already taking money from Goliath."



  18. Links 13/10/2019: Red Hat CFO Fired and KDE Plasma 5.17 Preparations

    Links for the day



  19. Bill's Media Strategy Amid GatesGate

    There are many ways by which to game the media’s news cycle — an art mastered by the groper in chief



  20. Hard-Core Micro-Soft

    The word "core" is increasingly being (mis)used to portray user-hostile proprietary software as something more benign if not "open"



  21. Free Software Timeline and Federation: When Free Software Advocacy/Support is a Monopoly Expansion Becomes Necessary

    Support for Software Freedom — like support for Free software (think Red Hat/IBM and systemd) — should be decentralised and compartmentalised to make the movement stronger and adaptable



  22. Projection Tactics

    The corporate media hasn't been doing its job lately; it has systematically defamed the wrong people, perhaps in an effort to distract from 'big fish'



  23. Meme: Richard Stallman Irrelevant

    Saint IGNUcius — Richard Stallman — just isn’t the Saint Bill Gates is



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 12, 2019



  25. Links 13/10/2019: Mastodon 3.0, GNU Binutils 2.33.1, and the Road to KDE Frameworks 6

    Links for the day



  26. The New York Times About the Real Epstein-Software Scandal (Nothing to Do With Stallman)

    The media is belatedly catching up with and covering the real MIT scandal which extends far beyond MIT



  27. Openwashing Reports Are on Hold

    The need to stress Software Freedom and shun all that "open" nonsense has quickly become apparent; some of the people who oppose Stallman turn out to be "Open Source" proponents who don't even value freedom of expression (free speech)



  28. Support the GNU Project and Support Free Speech

    Techrights is loyal to Software Freedom and those eager to promote it; it cannot, however, support those who don’t support free speech



  29. Today's EPO is Working for Patent Trolls and the 'Aye Pee' (IP) 'Industry' Instead of Science

    The EPO is making allegiances and alliances with groups that represent neither science nor businesses but instead push for monopolies, litigation and extortion; lawlessness appears to have become the EPO's very objective instead of what it intends to tackle



  30. The Campinos Car Crash

    The EPO is crashing and we know who’s to blame other than Battistelli


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