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03.12.18

EPO Patent ‘Growth’ Not Achieved But Demanded/Mandated by Battistelli, by Lowering Quality of Patents/Services

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Is the ‘EPO factory’ still an office or a production line?

EPO factory
Picture modified; original by Greenpeace Switzerland/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

Summary: Targets at the EPO are not actually reached but are being imposed by overzealous management which dries up all the work in a hurry in order to make examiners redundant and many European Patents worthless

WHAT good is a patent granted in error? Ask the USPTO, whose patents are being dropped like flies by US courts these days. These patents are typically useful only as long as they don’t land in courts or on PTAB’s lap, e.g. by targeting small businesses that cannot afford IPRs or lawsuits (or can settle more cheaply than pursue a challenge). That’s just what patent trolls are exploiting.

“Battistelli does not want to talk about quality and he seems to be already coordinating ‘studies’ to lie about that too (we covered that before).”Last week we wrote about quality of patents being lowered and 'discounts' being used to encourage more applications, then fiddle with the media to spread spin. SUEPO’s position on this is rather revealing and it was only mentioned in this one article. Here’s the relevant part (emphasis added):

However, despite the EPO’s record number of patent grants, recent turmoil at the office has led to concerns about patent quality.

According to an internal memo from the Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO), at the end of 2017, official targets were altered from 400,000 ‘products’ to 415,000.

Products are granted only for a few actions that an examiner is expected to perform: a patent search, a patent grant, or a patent refusal. Examiners are awarded points, which determine whether employees have reached their individual and collective targets.

SUEPO said that lofty and ever-changing targets could lead to negative consequences for staff health and patent quality.

A source close to SUEPO said that the EPO point system is “perverted” as it “does not reward the issuing of a very solid patent after a thorough search, but, on the contrary in the current work climate where fear of reprisal plays a huge role, it has become an unhealthy incentive to support the mass-production of (low-quality) patents”.

The source said: “SUEPO has abundantly written on the question of quality: it considers that the very high production pressure put on the EPO staff for so many years (with ever increasing targets) is not only bad for the health of staff but cannot be neutral when it comes to the quality of the work done.”

“This report is not a truly independent audit since it is produced internally by EPO staff under the supervision of Battistelli.”

The source added: “On the question of quality which is a crucial subject for the future of the EPO, SUEPO would advise all interested IP stakeholders to read this recent article by Dr Thorsten Bausch.”

Battistelli does not want to talk about quality and he seems to be already coordinating ‘studies’ to lie about that too (we covered that before). Lies are up for sale, commissioned by the highest bidder. See this morning’s tweet. It’s not a competition (like the Olympics). There are no trophies. Sometimes less is better. But the EPO is in the business of patent maximalism right now (rather than quality of patents, which the EPO used to be renowned for).

“The EPO is so defunct; but at the same time it’s immoral enough to corrupt media and academia (at the expense of applicants), so people are rarely told about the terrible state of the EPO and the EPO’s immorality.”This morning the EPO also boosted IAM. Don’t they realise how bad it looks for both of them (EPO and IAM)? Battistelli is very much in an ‘incestuous’ relationship with this patent trolls’ lobby. They are preparing so-called ‘studies’ together and he will soon keynote an IAM event, in which IAM will help spread the lies about “quality”, engage in promotion of software patents and so on.

The EPO is so defunct; but at the same time it’s immoral enough to corrupt media and academia (at the expense of applicants), so people are rarely told about the terrible state of the EPO and the EPO’s immorality. Nobody holds the EPO accountable in the legal sense or even the public opinion sense. IP Kat stopped doing that after the EPO had blocked the site and perhaps invoked yet more sanctions. IP Kat wasn’t the exception, either. Battistelli turned the EPO into a bully organisation; bullying both inwards and outwards. Soon, as a result of that, Europe might be flooded with bullies better known as patent trolls.

When China embraced patent maximalism (over a million patents per year!) we saw no opposition to it because expressions like “I oppose” (or object/disagree) are increasingly being banned in China. As for the EPO, it too has just peaked in terms of censorship. Even staff representatives are being gagged, not just unions.

China now grapples with an epidemic of patent trolls; Europe also, but IAM helps the EPO deny that.

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