06.30.18

Team UPC’s Radicals, Firms Like Bristows LLP, Have Decided That It’s Time to Change Constitutions to Accommodate Clearly Unconstitutional Unitary Patent (UPC)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“YOUR CONSTITUTION IS WRONG!!”

Alex Robinson
People who disagree with Team UPC are “idiots” and Constitutions which deny UPC need to be amended (“require a constitutional amendment,” according to Bristows LLP)

Summary: The Unified Patent Court (UPC) gets another new barrier in line; there are now approximately half a dozen very major obstacles, which almost guarantee that the UPC(A) will need to be scrapped and efforts restart from scratch (if at all)

THE staff of the EPO is partying this weekend. We probably won’t comment on the EPO until Monday, which is the first working day for António Campinos (presumably with a 5-year term/position and possible extensions to that).

“The UPC didn’t need any additional barriers in order for it to be dead in the water.”For a change, let’s talk about the Unified Patent Court (UPC). It is pretty much stuck and we often say it is dead, and not just because of Germany and EPO corruption but also Brexit and various other aspects, including Constitutional ones. There’s lots of legalese associated with it, but to put it in terms anyone can understand, imagine being sued by a patent troll from the United States in a court that does not speak your language. Would that be a fair trial? Would that be enforceable? It’s a rather alien notion of justice. But that’s UPC…

The UPC didn’t need any additional barriers in order for it to be dead in the water. But if there are any new ones, bring them on! So the “Hungarian Constutional Court rules that UPC Agreement cannot be ratified,” said this headline from patent maximalists yesterday. From the post (short and sweet, no obvious spin):

On 29th June, 2018 the decision of the Hungarian Constitutional Court was published on the Court’s website following the Hungarian Government’s motion for the interpretation of the Hungarian Constitution (Basic Act) in relation to the ratification of the UPC Agreement.

Today the Constitutional Court ruled that the UPC Agreement as an international agreement made in the framework of enhanced cooperation deprives the Hungarian courts from having competence for judicial review on a group of domestic legal disputes of individuals. As such right for judicial review is exclusively reserved for Hungarian courts under Article 24 (2) of the Basic Act, the UPC Agreement cannot be ratified based on the current wording of the constitution.

So there we go. Other sites brought up Bulgaria and Romania. But Hungary is a lot more critical, based on various criteria including the number of European Patents. As proper journalism is basically dead/dying (for various reasons), UPC news is not covered by the mainstream if at all, except by patent maximalists; most of the discussion about it is in social control media, with perhaps hundreds of bits of input. So we’ve seen lots of these and picked a subset of what’s relevant or what was seen by more people. Our intention is to show readers the crooked mindset of Team UPC and even some voices of reason within it (telling the more radical among them to quit spreading misinformation).

“Our intention is to show readers the crooked mindset of Team UPC and even some voices of reason within it (telling the more radical among them to quit spreading misinformation).”Let’s start by examining coverage from the Team UPC-dominated Kluwer Patent Blog. An anonymous member of the blog now covers — and of course spins — the latest major setback for the dying UPCA ratification effort. Remember that comments which dissent against UPC are blocked or suppressed; they implemented such a policy some months ago. Last we checked there were no comments on this blog post, so their narrative/framing cannot be challenged. How convenient.

Patrick Wingrove, who is based in London and writes for the UPC-boosting Managing IP (seems like some staff may have left or isn’t active there anymore), also wrote about it. Managing IP, in writing about UPC, no longer calls it “Progress Report” because there’s no progress. It’s a dead, lame duck. “Managing IP rounds up developments related to the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent in June,” the summary says. No developments to report really; we’ve been following that closely and the main ‘development’ was relay of two infamous lies. Wingrove sounds a bit like Bristows, starting with:

Romania and Bulgaria got closer to ratifying the UPC Agreement this month, but Hungary’s Constitutional Court ruled the UPC Agreement cannot be ratified.

Romania and Bulgaria aren’t relevant to any of it; only Bristows kept obsessing over it.

An idiotic Twitter account whose sole purpose (and name, “UPC BVerfG out yet?”) is designed to pressure for dismissal of the constitutional complaint in Germany said that “another EU MS constitutional court had something to say…”

“Romania and Bulgaria aren’t relevant to any of it; only Bristows kept obsessing over it.”Something to say? It did more than say something. But anyway, what can be expected from an account with such a name? Team UPC’s Thomas Adam (“UPCtracker”) wrote and quoted the patent maximalists, whereupon FFII’s Benjamin Henrion mentioned one of very many aspects that render UPC moot and illegal: “The court was also not asked about other aspects of the UPC, like automated translations.”

There are even worse things than these. The UPC is absolutely crazy! To think that it ever got close to fruition makes one wonder about Europe’s (mal)functioning democracy. UPC is just a wishlist of the litigation industry, patent trolls, and the most aggressive monopolists that aren’t even based in Europe!

Alex Robinson, who calls UPC opponents (like Henrion and us) "idiots" or "trolls", then reared his head to say: “This is very interesting ["interesting" as in "I am angry about it!"] – if I’ve understood that summary correctly, it’s difficult to see how *any* unified patent court system, in any form, could be compatible with the Hungarian Constitution. [] Does the pending Stjerna case in Germany contain similar arguments? Are there similar provisions in the German Basic Law? [] So if UPCA excluded national law as a source of law for UPC proceedings, this could be resolved? That would presumably create its own uncertainties though, eg in determining questions such as entitlement which are not explicitly dealt with by the EPC, by the UPCA or by EU law…”

“The UPC is absolutely crazy! To think that it ever got close to fruition makes one wonder about Europe’s (mal)functioning democracy.”The same sort of complaint/argument could probably be brought up (reused) by Henrion in Belgium and elsewhere. It’s just a matter of budget because costs are prohibitive and we lack financial incentive to take this to courts. Henrion joked: “Or rewrite the UPC to make integrate it with the CJEU. But I bet we will see patent maximalists calling for a change of the HU constitution.”

He was right. Henrion was absolutely right about that, as the patent maximalists (notably Bristows) did just that. Well, we should definitely use the term “patent maximalists” a lot more, maybe “patent extremists” too (albeit it’s less polite). Robinson finds both terms offensive; he said: “I love this bogus pejorative “patent maximalists” that gets thrown around by certain bloggers [alluding to us]. As far as I can work out, it means “anyone who doesn’t think all patents, on anything, anywhere in the world, are intrinsically a bad thing”.”

That’s not at all what we consider to be patent maximalists; Robinson got it all wrong. As for him, we regard him to be “Team UPC” — a whole ‘nother level of patent zealotry (almost on par with Bristows’). These are people who not only lie routinely but also advocate breaking nationals laws, violating constitutions etc.

“The same sort of complaint/argument could probably be brought up (reused) by Henrion in Belgium and elsewhere.”Robinson was then told by Henrion: “Let’s ask the Hungarian court about non legally binding automated translations. Plus all the other points raised by Stjerna. I don’t think the court has only looked at the points raised by the government.”

Henrion keeps talking back to them — something that I stopped bothering with last year (because it’s like talking to a wall; they’re not listening, they’re not accepting facts). Robinson said: “Let’s wait for a translation of the decision! It’s certainly going to be interesting to see if any of the points considered by the court under Hungarian law map onto the details of the Stjerna complaint under German law.”

As if merely having a translation of the decision will change the decision itself; they’re just looking for ways to nitpick, spin and take it out of context, that’s all…

Bristows, however, has already done just that, even before an English (or Spanish) translation became available. Bristows’ Manuel Rey-Alvite wrote: “Oddly, if I understood right (!), it would’ve been worse (thinking Brexit) if the Court had said that HU could ratify using their sovereignty transfer clause for EU treaties. That would have simplified HU ratification but muddied up the rest.”

What on Earth is he talking about???

“As if merely having a translation of the decision will change the decision itself; they’re just looking for ways to nitpick, spin and take it out of context, that’s all…”These people are nuts! Bristows is patently delusional!! Edward Nodder from Bristows now pretends that they can get around the courts; all they need to do — wink wink! — is rewrite the Constitution! Just for the UPC. Just wow!!!

Wow!

Not too surprisingly, even some people of Team UPC mock this post from Bristows. “A rather optimistic take on things,” Thomas Adam wrote. “They should be disbarred,” I remarked, having witnessed and documented their lies and fabrications over the past 3 years or so. People actually pay them for legal advice? Here’s another remark on this post from Bristows: “You say ‘Constitutional amendments are not as rare in Hungary’ and UPC was rejected coz of lack of ‘judicial review’. But is it ever possible to amend Constitution in order to remove judicial review, when JR is definitional of Constitution? Where I sd send u a Public Law textbook…” (prior to that this very same person said “Hungarian Constitutional Court rules that UPC Agreement cannot be ratified”)

“There is a similarity here between Team Battistelli and Team UPC, which seems to believe that it is above the law and whatever sick ends (litigation profits) always justify the means.”This defeats the very purpose of a Constitution. If one can just change it to adapt to anything that’s against it, then what it the essence or purpose of such a Constitution in the first place? There’s a lot of literature about this topic, even TV shows. Again… wow!

There is a similarity here between Team Battistelli and Team UPC, which seems to believe that it is above the law and whatever sick ends (litigation profits) always justify the means.

Most countries did not even check constitutionality, but there too the UPC is totally not Constitutional. In fact, we thought about filing a Constitutional complaint in the UK, but with Brexit it’s already dead here, so ratification was merely a “PR show” on “World IP Day”.

UPC Blog by Amar (Team UPC) said: “It does not seem that Hungary will be ratifying the Unified Patent Court Agreement anytime soon…”

There’s lots more on this, but people even inside Team UPC are depressed about it. Kingsley Egbuonu (also Team UPC) is in ‘damage control’ mode. To quote: “So it’s Hungary’s turn to throw a spanner in the UPC works! Would be interesting to read/understand the court’s reasoning. Yes, not good news (in terms of image/morale) but no panic because, obviously, the UPCA’s fate is in the hands of the German Constitutional Court.”

“Most countries did not even check constitutionality, but there too the UPC is totally not Constitutional.”“No panic,” he said, just like an Iraqi communications minister.

Recalling the key fact that the referendum in Ireland got called off, UPC observer (among other things) Dr. Luke McDonagh said: “That Ireland will have to pass a constitutional referendum/amendment to ratify the Unified Patent Court is another reminder of the influence of public law on private law”

“Ireland need not bother,” I told him, “because the UPCA (on UPC abomination — an open door to patent trolls in Europe) is already in its death throes.”

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