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

09.22.18

EPO is Like a Patent Litigation (Without Actual Trial) Office, Not a Patent Examination Office

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s already acting like the UPC (with judges controlled by the office), giving way/rise to litigation or shakedown irrespective of the merit of underlying patents

Examination and litigation
Examination fast-tracked for litigation if not blackmail purposes (putting the burden of proof on the accused). See “Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office”.

Summary: Examination of patent applications isn’t taken seriously by an office whose entire existence was supposed to be about examination; bureaucracy at the top of this office has apparently decided that the sole goal is to create more demand (i.e. lawsuits) for the litigation 'industry'

THE EPO is weaponising its monopoly powers and arming patent aggressors; it gives “weapons” to firms that leverage totally bogus patents against rivals (we’ll use Qualcomm as a new example in our next post).

The EPO no longer cares about quality of patents; the only “quality” it seems to understand is speed of granting. It’s a rubber-stamping operation, which the EPO increasingly puts in the hands of proprietary machines rather than humans (examiners). It’s like another INPI. Yesterday the EPO persisted with the usual number of tweets in favour of software patents (same old ‘script’); it has gotten so bad that we see no point even pointing this out anymore; it would be almost spurious because it has become so banal and repetitive. The EPO has no remorse about blatantly and openly pushing software patents in Europe. Any patent will do; just apply. Apply today! Apply now!

“The EPO no longer cares about quality of patents; the only “quality” it seems to understand is speed of granting.”Some firms are looking to exploit these declining standards with self-promotional announcements, seminars, events, brochures and so on. Just before the weekend we saw some in Business Wire (press release) at least a couple of times, the Associated Press wire several times and PR Newswire (press release). They just try to shove lots of patents into the EPO, knowing perhaps that it has gotten a lot easier to have them accepted (even if courts later invalidate these).

What has the EPO become? Who will benefit from this?

We have meanwhile noticed that Liz Cohen from Bristows LLP is writing from the distant past again (27 September 2016). Their CMS is eternally broken and they don’t even know how to use it. So many errors. Maybe she just updated a post of hers from 2 years ago after she had published this little piece and promoted it from an account that they’ve described as “Keeping you up to date with the latest Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent news and developments” (it’s actually a stream of jingoism and lies, sometimes fabrications).

“Wrongly-granted patents need not even go to/on trial; threat of litigation — or blackmail — is often enough.”Cohen desperately uses as evidence of UPC “confidence” (don’t laugh) a litigation ‘industry’ lobby doing a PR charade. This is laughable beyond belief, but this is the sort of propaganda we’ve become accustomed to seeing at Bristows LLP. The EPLIT (European Patent Litigators Association) is cited as “proof” of UPC “confidence” and Cohen says “content of these three courses corresponds to the curriculum for the European Patent Litigation Certificate (EPLC), set out in Rule 3 of the draft EPLC Rules.”

But there’s no UPC; they are promoting a lie. Remember that CIPA lied along with Battistelli about UPC in the UK; that was before the Max Planck Institute issued an almost 200-page-long paper disputing it (recall Bristows' appalling response to it several days ago). Thankfully, if not very much belatedly, English-speaking sites talk about it. IPPro Patents wrote the following yesterday:

The continued participation of the UK in the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and unitary patent will “not be possible” post-Brexit, according to Matthias Lamping and Hanns Ullrich of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition.
Lamping and Planck made the comments in a paper covering “the impact of Brexit on unitary patent protection and its court”.

In the paper, Lamping and Planck argued that the unitary patent system rests on two legally different but interconnected pillars.

These are EU Reg 1257/2012, on the implementation of enhanced cooperation by the creation of unitary patent protection, and the Agreement between the Member States of the EU on the establishment of the UPC.

The UPC will have exclusive jurisdiction over invalidation and infringement actions concerning the European patent with unitary effect and/or the classic European (bundle) patent.

However, as Lamping and Planck commented, the link between unitary protection of European patents and the UPC Agreement is not only one of jurisdiction, but also one of “substantive law”.

According to World Intellectual Property Review, which wrote about it yesterday:

Two researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition have argued that the UK will not be able to remain in the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement after leaving the EU.

Matthias Lamping and Hanns Ullrich jointly published two studies in a paper called “The Impact of Brexit on Unitary Patent Protection and its Court”, where they argued that the inclusion of a post-Brexit UK in the Agreement will run contrary to the EU’s core values.

They said unitary patent protection cannot be dissociated from the “general legal order of the EU’s internal market” and be extended to the UK once it has left the EU.

The UPC will likely never happen, but the EPO’s abusive behaviour already facilitates the arrival of many patent trolls — a fact that Bristows staff try to deny in vain. Facts do not seem to exist (or are dismissed as invalid) when Team UPC does not like these facts.

BoingBoing has meanwhile caught up with an old paper which is summarised in yesterday’s headline, “Research shows that patent examiners are more likely to grant patents to companies they later work for” — a subject we wrote about back in May. In BoingBoing‘s words:

In their National Bureau of Economic Research working paper From Revolving Doors to Regulatory Capture? Evidence from Patent Examiners (Sci-Hub Mirror), Business School profs Haris Tabakovic (Harvard) and Thomas Wollmann (Chicago) show that patent examiners are more likely to grant patents for companies that they subequently go to work for; they also go easier on patents applied for by companies associated with their alma maters (where they have more connections and will find it easier to get a job after their turn in government service).

Appointments in this fashion aren’t limited to the USPTO; as we showed in our previous post, there are similar and rather profound issues at the management level of the EPO. There’s also the rumour that Battistelli is still trying to head the UPC (if such a thing ever exists), having laid the ground for poor patent quality and thus a lot of frivolous lawsuits.

Does the EPO work for UPC? Is the EPO itself becoming de facto UPC? Wrongly-granted patents need not even go to/on trial; threat of litigation — or blackmail — is often enough.

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. Chairman of the Board of Red Hat Explains He Was Introduced to GNU/Linux When It Helped His Regime Change in Haiti

    General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Board of Red Hat, explains (keynote in 2011 Red Hat Summit/JBoss World) that he was introduced to the system as part of a military campaign; it basically helped war, not antiwar



  2. The Faces of 'The Cloud' (Surveillance in Clown Computing/Clothing)

    Consolidation of the world's computers/servers and the stories told by photo ops; we're particularly interested in IBM's relationship with Condé Nast, which owns The New Yorker and Wired



  3. Microsoft is Now in the Technical Advisory Board of the Linux Foundation

    Techrights politely takes note of the growing role (or roles) of Microsoft employees inside the Linux Foundation; there are now at least half a dozen people



  4. Two Things IBM and Microsoft Have in Common: Layoffs and Fake Hype Like 'Clown Computing' and 'Hey Hi' (AI) as Perceived 'Opportunity' for 'Growth'

    The infamous pair of monopolists, Microsoft and IBM, are both suffering during the COVID-19 lock-downs (no matter how hard they try to spin it and/or distract from it)



  5. IBM (Red Hat) Lectured FSF That It Needed More Diversity, But Was It Looking at the Mirror? IBM and Red Hat Are Even Less Diverse.

    Techrights examines Red Hat’s (IBM’s) hypocritical claims about the Free Software Foundation, founded by Richard Stallman back when IBM was the “big scary monopolist”; IBM employees were prominent among those pushing to oust Stallman from the GNU Project, which he founded, as well



  6. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, June 05, 2020



  7. Guix Petition Demographic Data, by Figosdev

    That old anti-RMS letter, which called for his removal (or resignation) from GNU (RMS is the founder of the GNU Project), as characterised by metadata of signatories



  8. When You Realise People Who Don't Support RMS Do Not Really Support GNU, Either

    The (in)famous letter against Richard Stallman (RMS), which was signed by many Red Hat employees with Microsoft (GitHub) accounts, doesn’t look particularly good in light of recent revelations/findings; it increasingly looks like IBM simply wants Microsoft-hosted and “permissively” licensed stuff, just like another project it announced yesterday and another that it promoted yesterday



  9. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part III: What Happens When You Tell the Truth About Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation

    One might not expect this from a so-called 'charity'; the Gates Foundation's critics are often met with unprecedented aggression, threats and retribution, which make one wonder if it's really a charity or a greedy cult of personalities (Bill and Melinda)



  10. Links 6/6/2020: Bifrost Meets GNOME, Wine 5.10 is Out

    Links for the day



  11. Links 5/6/2020: LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.3, Rust 1.44.0, and Hamburg's Pivot to Free/Libre Software

    Links for the day



  12. This Article About GitHub Takeover Never Appeared (Likely Spiked by Microsoft and Its Friends Inside the Media)

    And later they wonder why people distrust so much of the media (where paying advertisers set the agenda/tone)



  13. Raw: How Microsoft and/or the EPO Killed an Important EPO Story About Their SLAPP Against Techrights and Others

    Spiking a story about spiked stories about corruption



  14. The Linux Foundation 'Bootcamp' -- Badly Timed and Badly Named in June 2020 -- Only Uses Linus Torvalds Like a 'Prop' (for Legitimacy) While Promoting Militarised Monopolies

    Sometimes a picture says a lot more than words, especially in light of political events in the US and a certain Chinese anniversary we cannot name (Microsoft censors mentions of it)



  15. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 04, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 04, 2020



  16. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part II: When Media That You Bribe Calls All Your Critics 'Conspiracy Theorists' (to Keep Them Silenced, Marginalised)

    The assault on the media by Bill Gates is a subject not often explored by the media (maybe because a lot of it is already bribed by him); but we're beginning to gather new and important evidence that explains how critics are muzzled (even fired) and critical pieces spiked, never to see the light of day anywhere



  17. GitHub is Not Sharing But 'Theft' by Microsoft

    Microsoft buying GitHub does not demonstrate that Microsoft loves Open Source (GitHub is not Open Source and may never be) but that it loves monopoly and coercion (what GitHub is all about and why it must be rejected)



  18. The Huge Damage (Except for Patent Lawyers' Bottom Line) Caused by Fake European Patents

    The European Patent Office (EPO) keeps granting fake patents that cause a lot of real harm (examiners are pressured to play along and participate in this unlawful agenda); nobody is happy except those who profit from needless, frivolous lawsuits



  19. Red Hat/IBM Got 'Tired' of RMS. Is It Getting 'Tired' of GPL/Copyleft Too?

    After contributing to the cancellation of Richard Stallman (RMS) based on some falsehoods perpetuated in the media we're seeing the sort of thing one might expect from IBM (more so now that it totally controls Fedora and RHEL)



  20. Links 4/6/2020: Proton 5.0-8 Release Candidate, GNU Linux-libre 5.7

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 03, 2020



  22. Social Engineering of Free Software, Based on Corporate Criteria

    What "professional" nowadays means in the context of coding and honest assessment of technical work



  23. Weakening GNU/Linux by Disempowering Its Leaders and Founders, Replacing Them With Microsoft Employees and GNU/Linux-Hostile Moles

    The coup to remove (or remove power from) Stallman and Torvalds, the GNU and Linux founders respectively, is followed by outsourcing of their work to Microsoft’s newly-acquired monopoly (GitHub) and appointment of Microsoft workers or Microsoft-friendly people, shoehorning them into top roles under the disingenuous guise of "professionalism"



  24. Sword Group Violates Its Own Commitment by Working for the EPO

    The European Patent Office (EPO) keeps outsourcing its work to outside contractors (for-profit private entities) to the tune of hundreds of millions if not billions — all this without any oversight



  25. In 2020 Canonical No Longer Fights for Freedom

    Freedom requires a GNU/Linux distro other than Ubuntu, which seems unwilling or unable/incapable of speaking about and promoting the ideals of GNU/Linux



  26. We Need to Use the F Word (Freedom) to Promote Adoption of GNU/Linux

    "People get the government their behavior deserves. People deserve better than that." -Richard Stallman



  27. People Who Want to Explore GNU/Linux With Ubuntu See This Today

    "Wait, am I in a GNU/Linux blog or another Windows blog," a visitor might think... or, is Microsoft 'taking over' messaging at Canonical? (Same with code)



  28. Links 4/6/2020: Septor 2020.3, Nextcloud and Blender 2.83

    Links for the day



  29. Hey, Where's Red Hat (IBM)?

    Red Hat is conspicuously silent at these critical times (in its home country); Must be too busy hailing and cashing in on Trump's military (state) while dishing out shallow and self-contradictory diversity PR/fluff…



  30. Microsoft's Latest Vapourware About Supercomputers

    Microsoft has spent almost two decades dropping supercomputers vapourware on the media, but those misinformation dumps always turn out to be 100% hot air, no substance


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