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03.22.18

Battistelli’s Ongoing Attacks on the Boards Are Helping Unitary Patent (UPC), Which in Turn Helps French Patent Trolls

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent trolls that are politically connected, too

French troll

Summary: Battistelli will likely be remembered not only as the man who attacked justice (and judges) but also rendered staff redundant, issued a lot of highly controversial patents, and by doing so helped the insurgence of patent trolls in Europe

THE European Patent Office’s (EPO) Boards of Appeal cannot do their job properly. Judges complained because their independence had been compromised. Moreover, reposted again yesterday was this self-promotional piece of Sanam Habib from Finnegan (Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP) on how the EPO makes appeals a lot more expensive whilst applications get cheaper. To quote the relevant part (about what happens in 10 days):

As of 1 April 2018, the EPO’s appeal fee will increase from €1,880 to €2,255 for larger companies. However, the current, lower fee amount will still apply if the appeal is filed by an individual, small or medium sized enterprise, university, public research organisation, or non-profit organisation.

This fee increase helps hide the decline in patent quality which examiners speak about. We mentioned this before.

“This fee increase helps hide the decline in patent quality which examiners speak about.”This is not the first such fee hike. It also happened a couple of years ago. Battistelli not only understaffed the Boards but also artificially demoted them and lowered ‘demand’ for their services.

Why does the media not cover this obvious assault on the Boards?

An IAM advert was posted yesterday for Carpmaels & Ransford LLP, discussing an old ruling of the Enlarged Board of Appeal. To quote:

In its recent G 1/16 decision, the European Patent Office (EPO) Enlarged Board of Appeal clarified how disclaimers should be examined. While undisclosed disclaimers must meet the four-step test set out in G 1/03, disclosed disclaimers must comply with the ‘gold standard’ of G 2/10. Despite this clarification, disclaimers still present significant risks in Europe and should be used cautiously.

How about an actual article about the assault on the Boards? No law firm wants to talk about it. IP Kat used to write a lot about this, but that controversy at the EPO doesn’t exist anymore; IP Kat just ignores it. There’s no controversy except when advertising EPO stuff, as it did yesterday (after steering of the blog had changed).

“Why does the media not cover this obvious assault on the Boards?”“Given the subject-matter and format of the exam,” it said, “it is perhaps not surprising that the pre-EQE has already been beset by controversy. In 2015, following successful appeal by a candidate to the disciplinary board of appeal (DBA), the EPO published an Addendum to the 2015 pre-EQE, in which it was decided to a award marks for either True or False for 2 statements in Question 15 and 17 respectively. After some initial uncertainty, the marks of candidates who did not file an appeal, but who would have passed in light of the changes, were upgraded (IPKat here and here).”

If this is what IP Kat deems to be most controversial right now, then IP Kat is no longer interested in the full picture. It was run jointly with CIPA until not so long ago (CIPA is close to Battistelli, whom it helps with UPC advocacy).

“How about an actual article about the assault on the Boards? No law firm wants to talk about it.”Speaking of the UPC, not so surprisingly we hardly hear about it anymore. The UPC may never be ready, not even after renames and other stuff (which can take many more years). People are resisting the UPC and Team UPC can’t hide the fact that it’s in shambles. Yesterday, for example, Benjamin Henrion said: “Whenever the Unitary [sic] Patent Court (UPC) will be ready, Europe will become a paradise for patent trolls and the likes of Nokia and Ericsson.”

Thankfully, the UPC won’t ever happen. It’s very unlikely. Henrion cited this new rant about the European Union’s strategy and added: “In my observation, the one-vote-per-member-state system is a typical characteristic of many corrupt organizations, including major international sports bodies or the European Patent Office…”

“Not too long ago InterDigital bought a lot of patents from Technicolor, which is French.”It’s like cross-national gerrymandering which helped Battistelli simply ‘buy’ votes from small countries (like bribes at the EPO’s own expense). And speaking of trolls, we previously showed that many patent trolls exist in France other than France Brevets, so there must be some motivation among Battistelli and his political party to push something like the UPC. No wonder France was so quick to ratify the UPCA. Look at who benefits in France [1, 2, 3].

In an IAM event, IAM has just quoted one of the patent trolls that Battistelli and the EPO (by extension) have been supporting. It said: “15 years ago licensors were very reluctant to sell, but today’s business environment makes purchasing a much more viable option: Malcolm T Meeks, patent director, France Brevets”

Not too long ago InterDigital bought a lot of patents from Technicolor, which is French.

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