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

04.14.18

Crisis of Quality at the EPO Extends to Staff (Notably Examiners) and Management as Institutional Integrity is Severely Compromised

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Erosion of patents/staff retention rates and corrupt management plague the patent office once known as the best in the world (now known as perhaps the most corrupt)

Summary: A rather pessimistic but likely realistic outlook for the European Patent Office (EPO), which seems unable to attract the sort of staff it attracted for a number of decades

THE quality (or skills/experience level) of EPO recruits has taken a massive dive. It’s a deterioration that EPO insiders keep complaining about. It’s not just a decline in patent quality but also the abilities of examiners. Many are leaving only to be replaced by far less experienced people. Just see what people who come for a job interview are saying. Some of them are rather shocked.

“Many are leaving only to be replaced by far less experienced people.”“Making the right decisions on patent grants requires a high level of expertise,” the EPO wrote a few days ago, “so the EPO provides a two-year training programme for newly recruited examiners.”

With layoffs in the making, one must wonder if there’s any future for them (or what kind of future). It’s worth noting that the management too is of bad quality; a lot of managers are simply friends and allies of Battistelli (some appear to have been hired owing to family connections). How about that Croatian bully who was hired by Battistelli and had his contract renewed at his proposal? The only thing EPO gets from Croatia seems very dodgy officials who censor the Croatian media. To put things in perspective, Croatian media wrote some days ago that Croatian patents are something like a thousandth of what Germany gets. To quote:

In 2017, Croatian researchers and innovators have registered just ten patents.

In five years, Croatian researchers and innovators have registered just 55 patents with the European Patent Office (EPO). Last year, they filed only ten patents, fewer than any other EU member state, reports Večernji List on April 12, 2018.

Yes, ten patents. And they have a Croatian man as a Vice-President whose only accomplishments appear to be cheating his way in and bullying staff.

“And they have a Croatian man as a Vice-President whose only accomplishments appear to be cheating his way in and bullying staff.”Also noteworthy is this new EPO tweet in which they said: “Successful companies use patent information for a variety of purposes, such as finding out about existing technologies.”

“By “finding out about existing technologies” they make themselves legally LIABLE for ENHANCED damages in patent trials against them,” I responded. “IOW, better to never read patents. Large companies say so. They refuse to even look.”

Unfortunately, the EPO in 2018 is out of touch. It has been lying every single day so far this month. It’s misleading about SMEs and about the Boards of Appeal. It barely even mentions the UPC anymore, but an account associated with that has just said: “Unitary Patent & Unified Patent Court 2018 Is everything ready for the launch of the #UPC in December 2018?”

“Unfortunately, the EPO in 2018 is out of touch.”Complete nonsense! Who even wrote such a lie? Just because they add a question mark at the end doesn’t make it OK. But this is about an EPO event, in which Team Battistelli will simply lie, as usual.

It’s worth mentioning that just before the weekend Edward J. Kelly and Regina Sam Penti (Ropes & Gray LLP) demonstrated poor grasp. They aren’t up to date or maybe they’re in denial about what’s happening; the EPO isn’t “stricter standard to which patent specifications are subject in Europe.” EPO patent quality became laughable under Battistelli. In some respects it’s even worse than that of the USPTO. We’ll write more about that in our next post. To quote Kelly and Penti:

On March 28, 2018, the U.K. Court of Appeal handed down its decision in Regeneron v Kymab & Novo Nordisk (found here), reversing a lower court decision that found two critical patents covering Regeneron’s transgenic mice technology invalid for lacking sufficiency of disclosure. The rationale and analysis underlying the decision are significant because they align the U.K.’s approach to the assessment of insufficiency with that of the European Patent Office, and highlight, for U.S. life sciences and technology companies, the stricter standard to which patent specifications are subject in Europe.

The patents, EP 1360287 and EP 2264163, both disclose methods of producing transgenic mice possessing human antibody genes. These mice, and the technology used to produce them, have been highly valuable to Regeneron. These patents protect fundamental inventions behind Regeneron’s VelocImmune humanized mice, which is considered one of the most valuable technologies in biotechnology history, helping to generate significant licensing revenues and blockbuster collaborations. The case was originally brought by Regeneron, which alleged infringement of the U.K. patents by Kymab and Novo Nordisk. The defendants counterclaimed that the patents were invalid for lack of sufficiency, novelty and inventive step. While the High Court rejected the lack of novelty and inventive step objections, it revoked the patents for lack of sufficient disclosure.

[...]

The Court of Appeal agreed. In doing so, it relied heavily on the sufficiency jurisprudence of the European Patent Office (EPO). In particular, it analyzed and endorsed six decisions from the EPO Boards of Appeal, which set out the Board’s view of the correct test for assessing the sufficiency of a patent disclosure in view of claim scope. In upholding the patents, the court emphasized that the assessment of insufficiency “must be sensitive” to the nature of the invention, adding that inventions directed to “general methodology” or “general application” can be claimed in general terms even if not all embodiments covered by the claims are enabled. This represents a departure from the view of the High Court that found it improper to have claims covering embodiments that could not be put into practice by the skilled person as of the priority date.

The EPO Boards of Appeal keep complaining that they aren’t feeling independent and impartial; they’re afraid of the patent maximalist in chief. It remains a very real problem and it probably cannot be resolved anymore; Battistelli’s successor is his own pick, the management is a bunch of Battistelli flunkies/loyalists, the new examiners lack the skills required for the high standards once enjoyed and envied, and examiners complain that they’re unable to properly assess applications due to top-down pressure.

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 19/1/2020: Wine 5.0 RC6, Alpine 3.11.3

    Links for the day



  2. Judges Reject EPO Patents on Life as Constitutional Complaints Against the EPO Pile Up in Germany

    EPO judges throw out patents on life (CRISPR at least); there's now growing hope that they'll have the courage to do the same to patents on software



  3. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 18, 2020



  4. StartPage (System1) Found New Spin Allies. Some Have Been Offered StartPage Jobs. Some Might Already be Working for StartPage in Secret.

    Pro-StartPage voices appear to be paid (or have been promised pay) by StartPage; the key strategy of StartPage seems to be, attack and betray people's privacy while paying people in particular positions to pretend otherwise



  5. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, January 17, 2020



  6. Links 18/1/2020: Mir 1.7 and GNU Guile 3.0.0

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 16, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 16, 2020



  8. Links 16/1/2020: Mozilla Layoffs, PinePhone Braveheart Shipping, KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS Reaches Beta

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft is a Market Leader in Lying and Corruption

    Microsoft is working hard to describe itself as the exact opposite of what it is and what it has been; ‘Internet rot’ helps a lot with this agenda, not to mention control of the media (the narrative)



  10. The European Patent Organisation Continues to 'Piss All Over' Separation of Powers

    The EPO continues to scatter invalid patents (IPs) that are European Patents (EPs) all over Europe and nobody can stop this, not even the judges of the EPO because they lack independence (by their very own admission)



  11. Zealots of Team UPC (Patent Litigation) Now Attacking the Courts and the Judges, Removing Their Mask on the Face of Things...

    The tactics of Team UPC aren't changing, only the shamelessness associated with these tactics is changing (because it looks like the end of days to them)



  12. Microsoft Now Uses or Leverages Software Freedom Against Free Software

    A reader's explanation of what Microsoft is trying to accomplish with its so-called 'embrace' and what steps will come next (how they manifest themselves)



  13. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 15, 2020



  14. Links 15/1/2020: CentOS Linux 8.1, Oracle VirtualBox 6.1.2 and GNU Sed 4.8

    Links for the day



  15. OSI Board at Microsoft: This is How Institutions Die or Completely Lose Their Purpose/Direction

    The photo (or meeting) may mark the turning point of the Openwashing as-a-Standard Initiative (OSI), which less than a year earlier took a bucket of money from Microsoft



  16. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 14, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 14, 2020



  17. When Microsoft's Actions Speak for Themselves (About Back Door Access)

    Unwittingly, people are being reminded of the 'special relationship' between Microsoft and the US Army (or government); The back doors or bug doors are still there, even 7 years after Edward Snowden's NSA leaks



  18. Why You -- Yes, You Too -- Should Consider Migrating to GNU/Linux

    The window is closing (and Windows/Vista 7 closing down); the chance to use machines that the users actually control is still there



  19. Can We Please Stop Lying for Microsoft in the Mainstream Media?

    Dishonesty for short-term financial gain (e.g. advertising money) will be a big loss in the long run. There’s a reason why so many news sites perish and Datamation (where I wrote more than a decade ago) now throws away remnants of reputation by spreading a big lie from Microsoft.



  20. It's Only Factual and Truthful to Point Out That About Half of the EPO's Management Committee Are From the President's Nation (and Many Are Underqualified Friends of His)

    The patent-granting extravaganza of what a reader and contributor of ours likes to call "Club Med" will result in great pain (not just for the Office but for Europe as a whole); pointing out who's to blame (the culprits) is an exercise in practicality



  21. Stranger Than Fiction: Team UPC's Mental Condition

    Team UPC's delusions continue to unmask UPC proponents (in 2020) as totally and entirely detached from reality



  22. Links 14/1/2020: IBM Joins LOT Network; X.Org Server 1.20.7, Tails 4.2.2 and Zanshin 0.5.71 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Vista 7 is Dead, Long Live GNU/Linux

    A reminder of Microsoft’s universal “PC tax” ambitions — evidence that the company was never interested in ‘playing nice’ with anybody



  24. Links 14/1/2020: Git v2.25.0 and End of Vista 7

    Links for the day



  25. Systematic Abandonment of the Independence of Judiciary at the EPO (or Collective Amnesia)

    The ‘constitution’ or the convention upon which the EPO is based (known as EPC) is routinely violated and nobody seems to care anymore; the EPO governs itself and conducts itself without as much as a fundamental legal text



  26. They Always Say They Love Linux (and 'the Children')

    Microsoft says it “loves Linux” and the Gates Foundation insists it “loves children” but the real underlying motivations have more to do with monopoly (Windows, Monsanto etc.) and nothing to do with “Linux” or “children” or whatever



  27. The Media's Obligation is Not to Repeat the Lies of EPO Management, But Money Changes Things

    The ridiculous lies about prospects of the Unified Patent Court are now spreading to EPO-friendly publishers — few powerful people to whom truth isn’t valued as much as the customers (their subscribers and sponsors are law firms)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 13, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, January 13, 2020



  29. The FSF and GNU Need a Better Savannah to Attract GitHub Refugees

    Thomas Grzybowski's explanation of why GitHub poses a risk to software freedom and what can be done about it



  30. Links 13/1/2020: Linux Lite 4.8, Linux 5.5 RC6, Corebird Continues as ‘Cawbird’

    Links for the day


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