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07.30.18

What EPO Staff is ‘Hopeful’ After a Month of António Campinos Doing Absolutely Nothing to Reverse Battistelli’s Ruinous Policies?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not even obeying court orders

No comments for EPO

Summary: The “No comments” President (who gags his critics) has changed just about nothing at the EPO; so who is actually chanting along the lines of “Hope” and “Change”?

A FEW hours ago Dugie Standeford wrote (behind paywall unfortunately) that “New EPO Chief Outlines Priorities With Global Focus; Staff Wary But Hopeful” (almost contradictory).

What EPO staff is “hopeful”? I wish to know. I’ve personally heard of nobody who is hopeful. Nobody. Maybe some delegates at the Administrative Council are hopeful; maybe he too will give them a lump of money (the way Battistelli did). António Campinos is just cementing Battistelli policies and he has thus far given us no reason for hope. Outside the paywall Standeford wrote:

Antonio Campinos, whose term as president of the European Patent Office began on 1 July, has said he wants to focus on the effectiveness of the organisation, greater global cooperation and “staff engagement.”

The term “effectiveness” is similar to what Battistelli said and the “staff engagement” we’ve seen so far excluded the unions and people whose cases really matter.

In terms of practical changes, there have been none. Patents continue to be granted far too rapidly and quality does not seem to matter. Senior examiners are leaving. Some hours ago we saw more of that “everything is OK” type of spiel. Citing some numbers to which we wrote a rebuttal weeks ago, Joff Wild’s Battistelli-leaning propaganda outlet IAM has just published “Steep rise in the number of oppositions at the EPO matches a surge in grants,” citing “UK patent attorney firm Haseltine Lake,” which has been tracking these numbers for quite some time and graphing them, writing about them etc.

EPO stakeholders or European companies cannot catch up with the soaring number of patent grants, so they cannot quite file oppositions fast enough. That’s a simple explanation for these numbers, but IAM’s agenda is to insinuate high quality of examination (even if major law firms and patent examiners claim otherwise). Patent maximalism means granting bogus patents so fast — much like a DDoS attack — that nobody is able to assess and resist it. From IAM’s introductory paragraph:

The number of oppositions proceedings at the European Patent Office is on the rise – with numbers for 2017 exceeding anything that has previously been seen. But while some may point to this indicating a decline in the quality of grants at the office, the actual explanation looks to be a lot more prosaic: the EPO is granting more patents than ever before, and the number of oppositions is rising in line with this.

But that in its own right isn’t a yardstick of anything such as quality; in the case of the USPTO, for example, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is limited in its capacity and to measure something like patent quality in terms of the number of IPRs would be ludicrous.

Anyway, nothing has changed at the EPO. The President is just quieter.

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