09.04.18

The António Campinos-Led EPO is Over-Relying on Bogus and Abstract Software Patents to Fill the Gaps

Posted in America, Europe, Law, Patents at 10:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Creating more paths (mostly buzzwords) for dodging well-understood restrictions

Mind the gap

Summary: In an effort to bypass courts (while lobbying for dubious courts like the UPC) the EPO continues to issue a lot of software patents, typically calling these something like “artificial intelligence” (almost any algorithm can be called that with sufficient verbal creativity)

THE EPO‘s management certainly knows the restrictions on software patents in Europe, which is why this management keeps coming up with workarounds, notably lingual wizardry. We wrote a lot of articles about it (several dozens) when Battistelli was still in charge; prior to him, back in the Brimelow days, “as such” was the only notorious term being brought up. Sacrificing patent quality for the sake of something else is never ever a good idea. Ever! It’s a compromise on justice itself.

“The EPO relies on some truly esoteric patent applications; as usual, at least twice per day, they nowadays promote software patents.”
      –Anonymous
The brainwash machine of the EPO isn’t doing too well. IAM has in fact just ‘gone dark’ (no access to articles, RSS feeds deleted) and greenwashing by the EPO is far too shallow. Here’s an example from yesterday to which I responded with: “Granting a monopoly on a solution to climate issues isn’t helping. It’s arguably making things worse…”

The EPO relies on some truly esoteric patent applications; as usual, at least twice per day, they nowadays promote software patents. They have already done that twice by midday today. It has gotten a lot more frequent since António Campinos took over. It’s a sharp difference (we tracked these things closely under several years of Battistelli as well). They did that at least three times on Monday (yesterday), with examples including this tweet: “Takeaways from the EPO’s event on patenting #ArtificialIntelligence provided by Grant Philpott, Chief Operating Office ICT at the European Patent Office…”

Grant Philpott is pushing/promoting software patents again; they’re linking to an old YouTube video with barely any views after 3 weeks online (about 5 views per day after the video was promoted, totaling 90 views when we last checked). Then there’s this tweet: “Patenting #artificialintelligence: how do EPO and industry experts view this fast-growing phenomenon? Find out here: http://bit.ly/AIpatents”

Those are just software patents. The EPO’s official account and Web site are pushing/boosting such patents yet again and people see past the stupid buzzwords. Here’s one response to it: “TL;DR : 🤑🤑🤑🤑. ( I didn’t actually read it but it’s an easy guess :) ) How should normal people view « Patenting #artificialintelligence » ? : 😱😱🤬😱😱”

Watch what the EPO retweeted only a few hours ago (in French).

Then (also yesterday) the EPO together with patent zealots from the US (Intellectual Property Owners Association) carried on pushing “CII and AI” (acronyms that mean computer-implemented inventions, a.k.a. software patents, and artificial intelligence).

“If you work in patents and have stakeholders who do business in Europe, then this event is for you,” they said. The EPO promoted this again a few hours ago. They help American companies pursue software patents in Europe (to then potentially sue software companies in Europe). The Intellectual Property Owners Association was mentioned by Patent Docs yesterday in relation to this upcoming webinar on dodging quality control at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), where inter partes reviews (IPRs) often intercept software patents. “The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO),” it said, “will offer a one-hour webinar entitled “From BRI to Phillips at the PTAB: Consequences for Practice” on September 6, 2018 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm (ET). Eric Cohen of Brinks Gilson & Lione, Kevin Greenleaf of Dentons US LLP, and Shaun Zang of Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP examined dozens of litigations in recent years where both district courts and the PTAB construed the same patents, and will provide useful insights as the PTAB is expected to switch from BRI to Phillips in post-grant proceedings this fall.”

They will be looking for new ways to work around PTAB, that’s for sure.

Another patent maximalists’ site, Managing Intellectual Property, has meanwhile published: “Dmitry Andreev discusses issues in patenting blockchain-related technologies, and explains how to avoid the most common grounds of rejection” (this too is behind paywall, albeit nowhere as a extreme a paywall as IAM’s new one).

This patent maximalists’ site is pushing software patents again, but it suggests disguising these using buzz like "blockchain" and "AI" (same thing EPO exploits to rebrand algorithms these days). Then came another article, this one a puff piece of Patrick Wingrove in the form of an interview.

“AI plays a bigger role in making them,” this patent maximalists’ site says, using the buzzword “AI” to promote patents on medicine that’s not necessarily even novel. This is so typical yet still nauseating.

If that’s not bad enough, watch what Managing Intellectual Property has just published regarding Alice: “Section 101’s power wanes after Berkheimer” (we’ve already published several rebuttals to it based on numbers from the patent microcosm itself [1, 2, 3]).

Ellie Mertens and Michael Loney from the patent maximalists’ site have just pushed semi-truth or a lie about Berkheimer. If often seems like not only patent lawyers are liars but also people who write about patent lawyers and “engage” with them. Perhaps lying is an art form and this is what people pay $200/hour for. Hire a liar. From their summary (outside the paywall):

New data reveals that findings of invalidity have dropped since Berkheimer, the most important US subject matter eligibility case of 2018. Ellie Mertens and Michael Loney investigate

The negligible decline they cite has nothing to do with this case (Berkheimer), but “alternative facts” seem popular among patent law firms with an agenda. Or propaganda sites like IAM, which unfortunately went completely dark and are thus impossible to track and correct (face-check) anymore. They just want to write exclusively to those who pay them to write a bunch of nonsense; they cannot afford outside scrutiny. Maybe Managing Intellectual Property is the next site to go completely dark (they added the partial paywall about a year ago, but we still get the gist of their slant).

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This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2018/09/04/algorithms-as-ai-at-epo/

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