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11.06.18

The European Patent Office Lost Its Way, Found Buzzwords Instead

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Atlantic ocean

Summary: Patent leadership has been lost because quality has been abandoned; the only thing that Europe can nowadays take pride in is leadership in buzzwords like “4IR” and “AI”

THE European Patent Office (EPO) under António Campinos is a propaganda machine for software patents in Europe. Not a day goes by without the EPO promoting/advocating software patents ever so shamelessly.

Example from yesterday? Here’s one: “If you didn’t get the chance to attend the EPO’s conference on #patenting #artificialintelligence, you can read the highlights here: http://bit.ly/AIpatents”

“They never get tired of those stupid buzzwords, such as “AI”.”“AIpatents” is just a new (or newspeak) term for software patents.

IP Kat is now promoting (with “discounts” even) a lobbying event of large corporations looking to impose software patents on Free software and standards (those are not compatible). It’s happening next month (“held in London on 5 and 6 December 2018.”) and look who leads with obligatory buzzwords like “AI”:

The agenda tackles topics such as AI, Open Source, and the future of patents. Speakers include leading in-house authorities (eg, Nokia, Ericsson, and Cisco) external counsel, IP management experts, and members of the judiciary.

They never get tired of those stupid buzzwords, such as “AI”.

Yesterday we saw Watermark Intellectual Property’s Christian Schieber relying on paid placements of self-promotional puff pieces that piggyback news to attract clients (this one was titled “Patenting of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the European Patent Office”). We had seen a couple/several dozens like these earlier this autumn. They’re just googlebombing “EPO” and “AI”.

J A Kemp, which promotes patents on life (we mentioned this before), has just published this piece about WIPO (“EPO Joins WIPO”). The EPO and WIPO already have much in common when it becomes to lies, corruption and human rights abuses, so this collaboration is as natural as can be. So natural one might even get a patent on it (nature is patent-eligible now, right?). To quote: “With regard to this latter benefit, it is worth noting that the EPO has existing arrangements in place for exchange of priority applications with the US, Chinese, Japanese and Korean patent offices and those arrangements will remain in place notwithstanding the EPO joining DAS. Consequently, the EPO will continue to obtain automatically copies of US, Chinese, Japanese and Korean priority applications via its existing arrangements, even without a DAS access code being supplied. Likewise, if the priority application is a European patent application or PCT application filed at the EPO as receiving office, the EPO will automatically add a copy of that priority application to the file. Accordingly, it will be necessary to make use of the new DAS mechanism only if the “office of first filing” is not the European, US, Chinese, Japanese or Korean patent office. The new DAS mechanism is therefore likely to be most commonly used by European applicants who first-file at a participating European national office (e.g. the UK Intellectual Property Office), but will also be useful for some other applicants, such as Indian applicants who first-file at the Indian patent office.”

“They try hard to hide the sharp decline in patent quality.”Priority documents like these might only prove to be a burden/nuisance to already-overworked and hughly overburdened examiners; they lack time to properly assess applications and this is why many patents (like algorithms disguised as “AI”) get granted. It is really bad.

How about this press release from yesterday, alluding to the EPO Technical Board of Appeal (besieged by Office management), EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal, and EPO Opposition Division (under extremely heavy load, albeit predating Battistelli in this case)?

Litens Automotive Group is the proprietor of patented Smartsprocket® automotive timing drive components and systems. The Smartsprocket® technology enhances timing drive systems by counteracting camshaft torque pulses, resulting in reduced torsional vibration, reduced camshaft timing error and improved belt life. The technology has been utilized in dozens of engine platforms around the world.

[...]

Many attempts have been made by Gates and others to invalidate Smartsprocket® patents before European, German and Chinese authorities. Litens has successfully defended the Smartsprocket® patents in all instances, resulting in no changes to the originally granted claims. The validity decisions are listed below:

2018 May 29 – German Federal Supreme Court – case no. X ZR 51/16
2016 Feb 02 – German Federal Patent Court – case no. 4 Ni 29/14 (EP)
2013 May 29 – China Patent Reexamination Board – case no. 20785
2012 Oct 02 – EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal – case no. R 19/11
2011 Dec 18 – Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court – case no. (2011-1801)
2011 July 07 – EPO Technical Board of Appeal – case no. T 0248/10-3208
2011 Jan 20 – China Patent Reexamination Board – case no. 15956
2009 Nov 25 – EPO Opposition Division – European patent no. 1448916

Nowadays it’s a lot harder to reach the challenges (as above) because EPO management made it easier to dismiss, a lot more expensive, less independent and so on. They try hard to hide the sharp decline in patent quality.

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