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11.01.18

António Campinos Continues to Conflate Speed With Quality

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As if he’s in a race against the clock

No comments for EPO

Summary: The EPO is just rushing patent examiners, urging for decisions to be reached in great haste rather than properly, based on available facts, evidence, prior art

THE observation that pendency was intentionally mistaken for quality goes a long way back. Staff representatives took note of it. Nothing has actually changed since Battistelli left, neither in terms of working atmosphere nor purely technical terms.

The EPO continues to grant a lot of patents; sure, it also rejects many applications. But that says nothing about quality. What really determines quality level is the number of false-positives etc. One can wrongly reject a decent patent application and also approve a ridiculous one. If there’s not enough time and no sufficient workforce (sufficiently experienced), things will go wrong.

A few days ago we stumbled upon Korea Biomedical Review’s “exclusive” coverage about rejection of a patent by the EPO. “EPO refused to approve the other two patents,” it said, “apparently due to unmet conditions under the European patent law, officials said.” Here’s more:

The three patents of Invossa that the company sought were “gene therapy using transforming growth factor (TGF)-β,” “mixed-cell gene therapy,” and “cartilage regeneration using chondrocyte and TGF-β.”

The EuropThe three patents of Invossa that the company sought were “gene therapy using transforming growth factor (TGF)-β,” “mixed-cell gene therapy,” and “cartilage regeneration using chondrocyte and TGF-β.”

The European Patent Office (EPO) gave the nod for the patent on “mixed-cell gene therapy” last year in Europe except for six countries, 14 years after the company applied for the patent registration on March 28, 2003. However, the EPO refused to approve the other two patents, apparently due to unmet conditions under the European patent law, officials said.ean Patent Office (EPO) gave the nod for the patent on “mixed-cell gene therapy” last year in Europe except for six countries, 14 years after the company applied for the patent registration on March 28, 2003. However, the EPO refused to approve the other two patents, apparently due to unmet conditions under the European patent law, officials said.

Was the decision correct? It’s hard to tell unless one researches the case for a very long time.

A new article by Martin Chatel (Dennemeyer Group) quotes António Campinos, who just keeps misusing the word “quality” while he actively crushes patent quality at the EPO (he has opened another gate for software patents in Europe, as noted in the previous post). To quote Chatel:

“We cannot (…) live in isolation, but instead form part of a rich IP ecosystem, with many different actors…”. Back in July this year, the President of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos, stressed the importance of intensifying co-operation between patent offices. The overall aim is to increase the efficiency of the filing and examination process for patents worldwide, and better meet user expectations in terms of quality,

When he says “efficiency” (above) he speaks of his measure of quality. It’s not actually quality but arguably the exact opposite of that. The term "efficiency" can be interpreted as financial efficiency when it comes to Campinos.

An article by Chatel’s colleague, Anthony Carlick (Dennemeyer Group), speaks of lowing patent quality by means of so-called ‘efficiency’. “EPO oppositions tend to be costly and time consuming,” it says. “Currently, the EPO is aiming to reduce the average processing time of standard oppositions from two years…”

Why? What’s the rush? Is it more important to grant than to get things right (correct decisions)?

About 4% of European patents are opposed and, although the percentage has been declining, the annual number of oppositions filed at the European Patent Office (EPO) seems relatively consistent at around 3,000 to 4,000, since total granted patents are rising. In 2017, 3.7% of granted European patents were opposed, and the EPO issued 4,070 opposition decisions, of which 73% were upheld in amended form or as granted. However, EPO oppositions tend to be costly and time consuming. Currently, the EPO is aiming to reduce the average processing time of standard oppositions from two years, in 2016, to 15 months by 2020, but the timescales, uncertainty and cost may be a deterrent to filing an opposition at the EPO, especially for smaller or medium sized entities.

Exactly. We wrote about this many times before. Additionally, Battistelli has already fired warning shots at those handling appeals and oppositions, never mind fee hikes, time limitations and so on. The EPO used to take pride in high standards of examination; we don’t fault examiners for the change as it’s the management that wilfully put an end to patent quality. The motivations seem unclear unless the hidden agenda was to spur a lot more litigation — even abundantly absurd cases/allegations — to fatten the pockets of litigation firms.

Today the EPO Has Officially Lowered Patent Quality by Allowing Software Patents by Means of Dog Whistles

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 1:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reference: Dog-whistle politics

Summary: The introduction of software patents by means of buzzwords and hype officially starts today; the patent microcosm is pleased and is eager to use that to market its services to hopefuls and opportunists across the world (even patent trolls)

THINGS are looking rather promising for proponents of software patents in Europe, such as António Campinos and the man who gave him the job, corrupt Battistelli.

“What on Earth does today’s EPO aspire to become? What does it model itself after?”The EPO boasts — yet again — that it works or caters for Texas (event not far from the Eastern District, which uses USPTO-granted abstract patents to attract patent trolls). What on Earth does today’s EPO aspire to become? What does it model itself after?

We kindly ask EPO insiders to debate these issues and air concerns because if Europe starts to resemble Texas (or the 'new Texas'), then we’re all in trouble, including EPO examiners. The EPO isn’t a “candy store” for patents; it wasn’t supposed to be anyway. Patents should be a special case, reserved to particular domains and dispensed conservatively, not as a matter of abundance.

Having watched with concern the past 2 days’ news, we’ve come across Potter Clarkson LLP’s Saiful Khan (litigation ‘industry’) welcoming the EPO’s decision to violate the EPC and European directives against software patents. It’s mostly behind paywall and under the headline “AI gets welcome EPO guidelines debut” (AI being a dog whistle for software patents).

The latest version of the European Patent Office’s Guidelines for Examination, valid from 1 November 2018, contains, for the first time, direct…

Jennifer Maisel and Eric Blatt also wrote about the EPO’s decision to violate the EPC (software patents are not considered acceptable — not really — and being ‘inclusive’ towards these means abandoning patent quality). To quote their article:

Innovators in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies should take note of the European Patent Office’s recently published guidelines for artificial intelligence and machine learning, effective Nov. 1, 2018

That’s today.

Copyright law is enough for software developers; software patents are an abomination and those who promote them actively attack the trade of programming and by extension science/technology. Here’s what IAM, the patent trolls’ lobby, wrote about software patents under the guise of “AI”: “Last panel of the day – @Google’s Aaron Abood, @Arm’s Robert Calico, @intel’s Helen Li and Kenneth Lustig from @realwearinc discuss the IP challenges when protecting AI…”

By “protecting AI” they mean patenting software; it’s pretty obvious given the context, on which we’ll expand this coming weekend. Cooley LLP too seems happy that the EPO under corrupt management openly welcomes software patents; applicants have long relied on buzzwords (words/terms like “ICT”, “technical effect”, “4IR, “IoT” “AI” and so on) to do it. Now there are new rules:

For the first time, the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued guidance on the patentability of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. The guidance will become valid on 1 November 2018.

In order to receive a European patent for an invention, the invention needs to be novel, inventive and susceptible of industrial application. As part of meeting these requirements, the claimed subject-matter needs to have a technical character as a whole. The new guidance helps to assess whether inventions relating to artificial intelligence have the necessary technical character.

[...]

The EPO’s new guidance makes it clear that the use of artificial intelligence and/or machine learning technologies themselves is not enough to provide the technical character that the EPO looks for in order to grant a patent. However, a technical application of artificial intelligence and/or machine learning is likely to be considered to have a technical character if the application results in a solution to a technical problem. As is usual with European patent practice, it is necessary to include in the claims the technical features that solve the technical problem.

So welcome to the new guidance or guidelines, whose net effect is lower patent quality. Perhaps Battistelli will open champagne for that; just perhaps.

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