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 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. Links 12/12/2018: Mesa 18.3.1 Released, CNCF Takes Control of etcd

    Links for the day



  2. EPO Trust, Leadership and Commitment

    "Trust, leadership and commitment" is the latest publication from EPO insiders, who in the absence of free speech and freedom of association for the union/representation are an essential spotlight on EPO abuses



  3. Links 11/12/2018: Tails 3.11, New Firefox, FreeBSD 12.0

    Links for the day



  4. Number of Filings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Highest in Almost Two Years

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs), which [cref 113718 typically invalidate software patents by citing 35 U.S.C. § 101], are withstanding negative rhetoric and hostility from Iancu



  5. With 'Brexit' in a Lot of Headlines Team UPC Takes the Unitary Patent Lies up a Notch

    Misinformation continues to run like water; people are expected to believe that the UPC, an inherently EU-centric construct, can magically come to fruition in the UK (or in Europe as a whole)



  6. The EPO Not Only Abandoned the EPC But Also the Biotech Directive

    Last week's decision (T1063/18, EPO Technical Board of Appeal 3.3.04) shows that there's still a long way to go before the Office and the Organisation as a whole fulfil their obligation to those who birthed the Organisation in the first placeLast week's decision (T1063/18, EPO Technical Board of Appeal 3.3.04) shows that there's still a long way to go before the Office and the Organisation as a whole fulfil their obligation to those who birthed the Organisation in the first place



  7. Patents on Abstract Things and on Life (or Patents Which Threaten Lives) Merely Threaten the Very Legitimacy of Patent Offices, Including EPO

    Patent Hubris and maximalism pose a threat or a major risk to the very system that they claim to be championing; by reducing the barrier to entry (i.e. introducing low-quality or socially detrimental patents) they merely embolden ardent critics who demand patent systems as a whole be abolished; the EPO is nowadays a leading example of it



  8. Links 10/12/2018: Linux 4.20 RC6 and Git 2.20

    Links for the day



  9. US Courts Make the United States' Patent System Sane Again

    35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and other factors are making the patent system in the US a lot more sane



  10. Today's USPTO Grants a Lot of Fake Patents, Software Patents That Courts Would Invalidate

    The 35 U.S.C. § 101 effect is very much real; patents on abstract/nonphysical ideas get invalidated en masse (in courts/PTAB) and Director Andrei Iancu refuses to pay attention as if he's above the law and court rulings don't apply to him



  11. A Month After Microsoft Claimed Patent 'Truce' Its Patent Trolls Keep Attacking Microsoft's Rivals

    Microsoft's legal department relies on its vultures (to whom it passes money and patents) to sue its rivals; but other than that, Microsoft is a wonderful company!



  12. Good News: US Supreme Court Rejects Efforts to Revisit Alice, Most Software Patents to Remain Worthless

    35 U.S.C. § 101 will likely remain in tact for a long time to come; courts have come to grips with the status quo, as even the Federal Circuit approves the large majority of invalidations by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) panels, initiated by inter partes reviews (IPRs)



  13. Florian Müller's Article About SEPs and the EPO

    Report from the court in Munich, where the EPO is based



  14. EPO Vice-President Željko Topić in New Article About Corruption in Croatia

    The Croatian newspaper 7Dnevno has an outline of what Željko Topić has done in Croatia and in the EPO in Munich; it argues that this seriously erodes Croatia's national brand/identity



  15. The Quality of European Patents Continues to Deteriorate Under António Campinos and Software Patents Are Advocated Every Day

    The EPC in the European Patent Office and 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the USPTO annul most if not all software patents; under António Campinos, however, software patents are being granted in Europe and the USPTO exploits similar tricks



  16. Team UPC is Still Spreading False Rumours in an Effort to Trick Politicians and Pressure Judges

    Abuses at the European Patent Office, political turmoil and an obvious legislative coup by a self-serving occupation that produces nothing have already doomed the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC); so now we deal with complete fabrications from Team UPC as they're struggling to make something out of nothing, anonymously smearing opposition to the UPC and anonymously making stuff up



  17. Patents on Life and Patents That Kill the Poor Would Only Delegitimise the European Patent Office

    After Mayo, Myriad and other SCOTUS cases (the basis of 35 U.S.C. § 101) the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is reluctant to grant patents on life; the European Patent Office (EPO), however, goes in the opposite direction, even in defiance of the European Patent Convention



  18. EPO 'Untapped Potential'

    "Campinos is diligently looking for ways to further increase the Office’s output without increasing the number of examiners," says the EPO-FLIER team



  19. Links 9/12/2018: New Linux Stable Releases (Notably Linux 4.19.8), RC Coming, and Unifont 11.0.03

    Links for the day



  20. Links 8/12/2018: Mesa 18.3.0, Mageia 7 Beta, WordPress 5.0

    Links for the day



  21. The European Patent Organisation is Like a Private Club and Roland Grossenbacher is Back in It

    In the absence of Benoît Battistelli quality control at the EPO is still not effective; patents are being granted like the sole goal is to increase so-called 'production' (or profit), appeals are being subjected to threats from Office management, and external courts (courts that assess patents outside the jurisdiction of the Office/Organisation) are being targeted with a long-sought replacement like the Unified Patent Court, or UPC (Unitary Patent)



  22. Links 7/12/2018: GNU Guix, GuixSD 0.16.0, GCC 7.4, PHP 7.3.0 Released

    Links for the day



  23. The Federal Circuit's Decision on Ancora Technologies v HTC America is the Rare Exception, Not the Norm

    Even though the PTAB does not automatically reject every patent when 35 U.S.C. § 101 gets invoked we're supposed to think that somehow things are changing in favour of patent maximalists; but all they do is obsess over something old (as old as a month ago) and hardly controversial



  24. The European Patent Office Remains a Lawless Place Where Judges Are Afraid of the Banker in Chief

    With the former banker Campinos replacing the politician Battistelli and seeking to have far more powers it would be insane for the German Constitutional Court to ever allow anything remotely like the UPC; sites that are sponsored by Team UPC, however, try to influence outcomes, pushing patent maximalism and diminishing the role of patent judges



  25. Many of the Same People Are Still in Charge of the European Patent Office Even Though They Broke the Law

    "EPO’s art collection honoured with award," the EPO writes, choosing to distract from what actually goes on at the Office and has never been properly dealt with



  26. Links 6/12/2018: FreeNAS 11.2, Mesa 18.3 Later Today, Fedora Elections

    Links for the day



  27. EPO, in Its Patent Trolls-Infested Forum, Admits It is Granting Bogus Software Patents Under the Guise of 'Blockchain'

    Yesterday's embarrassing event of the EPO was a festival of the litigation giants and trolls, who shrewdly disguise patents on algorithms using all sorts of fashionable words that often don't mean anything (or deviate greatly from their original meanings)



  28. The Patent Litigation Bubble is Imploding in the US While the UPC Dies in Europe

    The meta-industry which profits from feuds, disputes, threats and blackmail isn't doing too well; even in Europe, where it worked hard for a number of years to institute a horrible litigation system which favours global plaintiffs (patent trolls, opportunists and monopolists), these things are going up in flames



  29. Links 5/12/2018: Epic Games Store, CrossOver 18.1.0, Important Kubernetes Patch

    Links for the day



  30. Links 4/12/2018: LibrePCB 0.1.0, SQLite 3.26.0, PhysX Code

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts