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

11.21.18

To Mask the Decline in Patent Quality, e.g. Granting of Software Patents a.k.a. Computer-Implemented Inventions (CII), EPO Makes Oppositions Harder

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Georg Weber
Photo source

Summary: Using a bunch of two-, three- and sometimes four-letter acronyms/buzzwords the EPO tries to rationalise the granting of patents on algorithms, dubbing these “emerging technologies”

FOR over a decade we have been protesting software patents in Europe, seeing how a directive against them was being worked around (“as such”) by Brimelow, then Battistelli and now more than ever by António Campinos, whom we mentioned this morning because of his blog advocating software patents.

“The above conference is yet more of the same advocacy of software patents under the guise of “emerging technologies” (marketing and buzzword).”Today’s EPO does not value quality, only money. The management of the EPO still believes it is a corporation that sells “products” to then send millions of euros into the bank accounts of its corrupt officials (or colleagues/other employers of theirs). As the EPO put it a few hours ago: “We aim at providing you with the best products for your patent information needs.”

“Products”?

Sadly, with the staff representatives gagged like never before and the media barely covering EPO affairs (see EPO PR from IP Kat, where earlier today Rose Hughes had nothing do say about EPO scandals, only press releases from the management of the European Patent Office), we often feel rather lonely in criticising serious abuses. Staff of the EPO essentially lost its voice. Instead of actual examiners expressing their views all we see out there is management spreading lies and engaging in mischievous behaviour. Hours ago the EPO wrote: “Georg Weber, operational director at the EPO, and Yann Ménière, EPO Chief Economist, will discuss how the EPO is rising to the challenge of searching #blockchain & its current patent landscape at our upcoming conference.”

“Management at the EPO suggests calling algorithms “AI” to get software patents in defiance of the EPC and the courts.”Georg Weber [1, 2] and Yann Ménière have long promoted software patents under the leadership of corrupt Battistelli. The above conference is yet more of the same advocacy of software patents under the guise of “emerging technologies” (marketing and buzzword). The EPO wrote earlier today: “Don’t delay – registration for our “Global patenting and emerging technologies” conference co-hosted with @GoI_MeitY on 29 Nov closes soon. See you in Munich!”

Then came the typical “AIpatents” nonsense: “If you are looking for insights from experts on patenting #AI, this summary of the EPO’s recent conference on the topic might be of interest to you: http://bit.ly/AIpatents”

Management at the EPO suggests calling algorithms “AI” to get software patents in defiance of the EPC and the courts. They pretend it’s a new, emergent and separable discipline, but it clearly is not. José Santacroce (Moeller IP Advisors) wrote about it earlier today under the title “The European Patent Office (EPO) Publishes New Guidelines On Computer-Implemented Inventions (CII)” and to quote some bits:

The section on mathematical methods has been completely revised, adding a distinction between contribution in producing a technical effect that serves a technical purpose, by its application to a field of technology and/or by being adapted to a specific technical implementation.

[...]

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (G-II 3.3.1)

The new CII Guidelines for the first time provide a section relating to AI and ML, which are first defined as computational models and algorithms for classification, clustering, regression and dimensionality reduction. They are considered per se to be of an abstract mathematical nature, irrespective of whether they can be “trained” based on (real) training data.

In order to overcome the first hurdle, a causal link to the technical purpose should be established, e.g. use of mathematical method in a heart monitoring apparatus for the purpose of identifying irregular heartbeats, classification of digital images, videos, audio or speech signals based on edges or pixel attributes, and avoid using expressions that may encompass cognitive aspects of data (e.g. textual content of a document).

Furthermore, the new EPO CII Guidelines now specify that steps of generating the training set and training the AI models also may contribute to the technical character of the invention if they support achieving a technical purpose.

[...]

Inventions realized in a distributed computing environment (F-IV 3.9.3)

This new section relates to CII realized in a distributed computing environment, in order to give guidance on unity requirements.

The new EPO CII Guidelines specify that it may be necessary to refer to the specific features of the different entities in the environment and to define how they interact to ensure the presence of all essential features, unless this is not essential to performing the invention. The different entities participating in the distributed system can be claimed without incurring a non-unity objection, however it may happen that not all claimed entities are new and inventive. This is the case when for example an entity encodes information in a more efficient way, but an information-receiving entity decodes such encoded information in a conventional way: the information-receiving entity is normally neither new nor inventive.

Like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the EPO is trying to come up with new tricks to allow patents that should really be rejected outright. Can this be corrected? Well, it has just gotten a lot harder. As FRKelly’s David Brophy put it earlier today, the “EPO tightens up on inventive step attacks in opposition” (calling legitimate objections “attacks” is a gross inversion of narratives, presuming monopolies are benign).

So the management basically heralded changes that lower patent quality and make it harder to squash fake European Patents. To quote Brophy:

A recent change in the EPO Guidelines suggests that opponents will be constrained in the number of attacks which they can mount using different starting documents.

Opposition divisions have traditionally been reluctant to decide in advance which document is the closest prior art, and even less inclined to force an opponent to stick to that starting point. The opposition division will usually prefer to consider all attacks put forward (within reason) on the basis that the public interest requires them to be satisfied that the claims are non-obvious in the face of any plausible attack.

To be fair to the opposition divisions, the EPO Guidelines have traditionally supported this approach. Until a recent (November 1, 2018) revision, the instruction in the Guidelines stated:

In some cases there are several equally valid starting points for the assessment of inventive step… If a patent is to be granted, it may be necessary to apply the problem-and-solution approach to each of these starting points in turn… In such a situation, there is no need to discuss which document is “closest” to the invention; the only relevant question is whether the document used is a feasible starting point for assessing inventive step…”.

This passage gave opponents considerable latitude to present a multiplicity of attacks from different starting documents.

Some time soon the liars from the management of the EPO might claim a reduction in opposition, ‘proving’ that patent quality has improved rather than the decline obscured. The USPTO is trying to do the same thing by limiting access to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), particularly when it comes to inter partes reviews (IPRs). Appeals too have become a lot harder since Battistelli understaffed and attacked the independence of appeal boards’ judges.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

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. Freedom is Personal

    "Before I say anything else, note that there are literally hundreds of GNU/Linux distros, and I put in a lot of work to rate which were the least encumbered by corporate politics — directly or indirectly."



  2. Links 7/8/2020: Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS and GNU C Library 2.32 Released

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, August 06, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, August 06, 2020



  4. Our Collective Privacy is Under Unprecedented Attacks and Privacy is Now Conflated With Bad Hygiene, Not Just Criminality

    At warp speed the "War on cash" or "War on anonymous transactions" is moving ahead; now that COVID-19 infects a lot of people we're led to assume that mass surveillance saves lives not because of counter-terrorism but because of contact-tracing or whatever (in practice it's hardly effective, but it's conditioning people to give up any remnants of their privacy)



  5. The Psychology of Developers

    "It turns out, there are ways around a free license -- you can make software "less free" or more imposing, without changing the license at all."



  6. Social Justice is Fine... When It is Not Just a Shallow Marketing Ploy

    Don't let well-meaning concepts such as "Social Justice" become mere buzzwords or tools of corporate propaganda (greedy people's objectives disguised as populism)



  7. Site Upgrades Likely Coming Soon

    After more than 28,000 posts are published it might be time to move from the WordPress x.9.x LTS to something newer (5.5 is about to be released); we explain why it’s not as simple as it might first seem



  8. Focus on the Big Issues, Not the Words

    The pattern that is emerging in recent months if not years is that words hurt and therefore contributors to code must shut up about injustices, including corporate misbehaviour



  9. Computing vs. Marketing

    “The important lesson here is that Windows is NOT a computer — it is actually a horrible thing that people DO to a computer, and to themselves.”



  10. Release: Several Police Reports About Searching the Home of Bill Gates' Engineer (Stockpiles of Child Pornography Found Along With Illegal Firearm)

    The final part of the first installment from Seattle PD, this one focusing on people who searched the home to find a lot of underage pornographic material being amassed



  11. Video: Microsoft-Sponsored 'Copyleft' Conf (Keynote Sold to Microsoft, a Serial GPL Violator and Primary FUD Source) Features Previous FSF (Co)President and RMS Ouster

    There's now a video online of the debates in CopyleftConf 2020



  12. Miseducation

    "...the real crime (OLPC founder Nicholas Negropontes word for it) is that schools aren't teaching computers at all -- they're doing application training."



  13. [Meme] RMS Succeeded by a Microsoft Sponsor

    Congratulations to the FSF, which elected a president almost a year after pushing RMS (its founder) out; but questions need to be answered by the new president, who apparently sees nothing wrong reinforcing the Microsoft monopoly, participating in a PR ploy designed to distract from the notorious ICE contract, and even paying Microsoft (as if it deserves the money)



  14. Controlling Your Computing

    "We at least want our software to be free, and for a while, that was possible. We want software to be free again, so let's talk about what made it free, what made it less free, and what could hopefully improve in the future."



  15. User Libre: Free Computing For Everyone, Start With Perfection

    "As the threats to user freedom evolve, so too must the response to those threats. So long as freedom remains the first priority, worthwhile responses will give more power to every user, and keep limits on how much control can be imposed by developers."



  16. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, August 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, August 05, 2020



  17. Release: Search Warrant and Reports on Findings When Bill Gates' Engineer Arrested for Pedophilia

    Readers can finally see all the details about what was taken (portable drives, laptop, desktop etc.) and what was found when a search was executed at the home of Bill Gates' engineer while he was at Bill's house (where he worked regularly); as far as we are aware, the police never searched Bill's house and computers



  18. Links 6/8/2020: FSF Has New Chief, LibreOffice 7.0, Linux App Summit Goes Online

    Links for the day



  19. Links 5/8/2020: Wayfire 0.5 and Plasma Browser Integration

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, August 04, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, August 04, 2020



  21. SUSE is Still Pushing Microsoft Proprietary Software and Bragging About the Novell Patent Collusion With Microsoft

    SUSE seems to have learned no lessons after the aftermath of its (or Novell’s) Microsoft patent scam, which had been negotiated partly by Miguel de Icaza (now working directly for Microsoft) before causing Novell to collapse and offload its patents to Microsoft (‘TikTok operandi’ or asset stripping); the past cannot be left behind if SUSE — like Novell — celebrates and perpetuates that past



  22. Release: 29 Pages of Internet Access Report About Pedophile Working for Bill Gates at His Home

    As we’ve found nothing too sensitive in the document, today we’re finally disclosing and publishing the second release (first one published yesterday); this includes network addresses used on the devices of the engineer of Bill Gates, who had a laptop and external hard drives (portable) with plenty of child pornography (imagery and videos)



  23. Links 4/8/2020: Kodachi 7.2, Collabora Office 6.4

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] Nadella is Doing With Donald Trump What Ballmer Did With Elop and Icahn to Steal Other Companies (Nokia and Yahoo, Respectively)

    The illegal (attempted) confiscation of a Chinese company to distract from or compensate for Microsoft's collapse reminds us that Microsoft is only getting worse and more malicious under Nadella, who is happy to liaise with a hugely corrupt and racist regime



  25. We Don't Really Know How Many People Died With (or From) COVID-19 and How Many Will Die After Home Recovery or Release From Hospital

    The coronavirus pandemic that began last year as an epidemic (COVID-19) is still a very serious problem, even half a year after its widespread arrival in Europe; it's important to emphasise the importance of not down-playing this problem (which is far from solved) because social control media is full of junk



  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, August 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, August 03, 2020



  27. Release: Police Report About Arrest of Bill Gates Engineer for Pedophilia (Detained at Residence of Bill Gates)

    Today we release 15 pages (amongst almost 3,000 pages we have) about the Jones arrest; this includes details about what happened when the detectives came to the home of Bill Gates



  28. Bill Gates' Personal Engineer Rick Jones is Connected to Other Child Pornographers. One Key Contact Works (or Worked) Indirectly for Microsoft.

    MagicHour listed Microsoft among their clients, as we noted before, and the full (redacted for child porn reasons) name is Brett Paine. We had reached out to the employer (several of us, separately), but we never received any reply.



  29. Links 3/8/2020: Linux 5.8, GNU Linux-libre 5.8, Libinput 1.16, Rust 1.45.2, Julia 1.5

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, August 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, August 02, 2020


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