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

12.21.18

Today’s EPO Envisions a Europe of Patent Trolls, Not of Science and Technology

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Litigation rather than innovation (good for lawyers)

Marks & Clerk

Summary: The rapidly-declining quality of European Patents (EPs) would necessarily flood the market with patents that are good for nothing but extortion (as actual lawsuits would have these patents voided by judges); this means that non-producing actors are set to benefit the most, whereas small companies should prepare for a lot of harm (legal costs)

THE quality of European Patents (EPs) worried us for quite some time, predating António Campinos and even Battistelli, in particular because of software patents. Things have gotten worse over time. Today’s European Patent Office (EPO) very openly and shamelessly promotes software patents in Europe, calling them “AI” or “CII” or “ICT” or “IoT” or “4IR” or whatever (there are over a dozen buzzwords like these, usually cryptic acronyms).

We aren’t against patents, not as a whole and not per se, either. We’re pro-patent quality, that’s all. No need to settle or go to court over patents that judges would not annul, as per the law. Examiners feel the same way, judging by the petition many of them signed last year. Earlier this week we saw this press release:

… notified by the European Patent Office (EPO) of its intent to grant the Company a new patent (EP3325623) covering the combination of AsiDNA™, Onxeo’s first-in-class agonist of the DNA Damage Response (DDR) , with any PARP inhibitor (PARPi), in all countries of the European Union (EU).

DNA?

Remember when the EPO granted patents on physical things? Actual inventions, not just lives (nature) and code (mathematics)? Back when the EPO actually cared about patent quality, seeing it as a top priority? Now it’s just a trolls' granting (for litigation pipeline) machine. Earlier this week the EPO took note of the first EP ever granted (warning: epo.org link): “EP 0 000 001 was only one in a batch of 112 applications published on that day. Others included a “Combination lock” (EP 0 000 003), a “Lifting device” (EP 0 000 008), and a “Method for the manufacture of amino-formaldehyde resins” (EP 0 000 096). They came from applicants based in Luxembourg, Sweden, the UK, the US, Japan and other countries.”

Notice how those are physical, concrete inventions. And these went to actual inventors.

Earlier this week the patent trolls’ lobby mentioned how Nokia‘s patents had ended in the hands of patent trolls. “It was owned by Nokia,” IAM wrote. “They transferred it to an NPE in 2017. Now it’s being sold. There are 3,500 families, so a lot of patents.”

The subject was brought up here. “Prior to this headline,” Florian Müller, “I wasn’t aware of Nokia planning to divest a huge patent portfolio. Could be an interesting deal.”

The said article dubbed it “news of a huge Nokia patent disposal.”

“New Nokia portfolio for sale is the largest open market patent deal in telecoms since Nortel and could provide a guide to how attractive the IP sector is to private equity funds and other investors,” it says further down.

As a reminder to our readers, Microsoft had instructed Nokia to pass patents to patent trolls (e.g. MOSAID/Conversant) which then attacked Linux, i.e. Microsoft’s competition.

Is this actually beneficial to Europe? Or to innovation?

Now, going back to the EPO, here is what it wrote earlier this week: “The main challenge for patent offices from AI will be its rapid growth across a range of technical fields. More on how the EPO is well prepared to face this challenge here: http://bit.ly/AIpatents”

“AIpatents” are just software patents. Applicants just start calling lots of algorithms “AI” (which in itself is algorithms anyway) and the EPO then grants fake software patents. At around the same time the EPO wrote:

Few inventions in the 21st century stand to have as great an impact as self-driving vehicles. This study provides a comprehensive picture of current trends & emerging leaders in self-driving vehicle technologies. http://bit.ly/SDVstudy #FutureOfCars #SelfDriving pic.twitter.com/AJC6zuRNNF

The EPO is mostly advertising patents on computer vision here, i.e. algorithms or software patents. It added: “Drawing on the most recent data from the EPO & incorporating advanced technology expertise, this study is a unique source of intelligence for policymakers and industry leaders looking to understand changes in the #selfdrivingvehicles sector…”

“SDV” is just their latest buzzword (among many). How about “Blockchain”? The EPO invited very notorious patent trolls (still active, based on IAM) to its panel on the topic. There are two aspects to that; one is management of patent data and the other is patenting of blockchains (techniques pertaining to these). Regarding the former, IP Kat‘s Tian Lu has just published this article about (mis)use of “Blockchain” by the litigation ‘industry’ (not examination even):

Blockchain technology, for all its merits, is not (that) new. This Kat believes that even before all the above-mentioned Courts’ nice initiatives, parties could submit any forms of evidence they preferred, which of course could include the blockchain-related evidence. In other words, China does not suddenly give the green light towards blockchain authenticated evidence nor does it give a total and unconditional acceptance. The blockchain evidence, as a type of electronic data, must fulfill the legal admissibility requirements on evidence in general, with no exception — the Chinese courts retain an open and neutral stance in this sense.

It’s all about lawsuits, as usual. The EPO became all about lawsuits and it’s imitating China when it comes to patent quality. This is a dangerous recipe. Do we want a Europe full of Nokias or full of patent trolls like the ones it’s nowadays arming? Ericsson does the same.

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 26/3/2019: Python 3.7.3, New Copyright Nightmares

    Links for the day



  2. The Linux Foundation is Not About Linux

    Linux Foundation (LF) objectives/missions do not resemble what the Open Source Development Labs, Inc. (OSDL) was founded to accomplish; this puts at grave threat the very raison d'être of both GNU and Linux



  3. Guest Post: The Linux Foundation Needs to Define “Support”

    Part of an ongoing series of articles we do about the Linux Foundation



  4. Dimitris Xenos on Unconstitutional Supranational Arrangements for Patent Law: Leaving Out the Elected Legislators and the People’s Participatory Rights

    A new paper from a British scholar proves to be timely because of the EPO's violations of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and failed push to force-feed Europe with the unconstitutional Unified Patent Court (UPC)



  5. The Campinos-Battistelli Strategy is Working: Patent Trolls Are Coming to Europe!

    It cannot be any less obvious that today's European Patent Organisation (and Office) works for patent offices and for those who pay these patent offices (law firms) rather than for science, technology and the public (including the European public)



  6. Links 25/3/2019: Linux 5.1 RC2, Nano 4.0, PyPy 7.1

    Links for the day



  7. Links 24/3/2019: Microsoft Does Not Change; Lots of FOSS Leftovers

    Links for the day



  8. Just Published: Irrational Ignorance at the Patent Office

    Iancu and his fellow Trump-appointed "swamp" at the USPTO are urged to consult academics rather than law firms in order to improve patent quality in the United States



  9. Microsoft Paid the Open Source Initiative. Now (a Year Later) Microsoft is in the Board of the Open Source Initiative.

    The progression of Microsoft entryism in FOSS-centric institutions (while buying key "assets" such as GitHub) isn't indicative of FOSS "winning" but of FOSS being infiltrated (to be undermined)



  10. Jim Zemlin's Linux Foundation Still Does Not Care About Linux Desktops

    We are saddened to see that the largest body associated with Linux (the kernel and more) is not really eager to see GNU/Linux success; it's mostly concerned about its bottom line (about $100,000,000 per annum)



  11. Links 23/3/2019: Falkon 3.1.0 and Tails 3.13.1

    Links for the day



  12. The Unified Patent Court is Dead, But Doubts Remain Over the EPO's Appeal Boards' Ability to Rule Independently Against Patents on Nature and Code

    Patents used to cover physical inventions (such as engines); nowadays this just isn't the case anymore and judges who can clarify these questions lack the freedom to think outside the box (and disobey patent maximalists' dogma)



  13. Patent Law Firms Still Desperate to Find New Ways to Resurrect Dead Software Patents in the United States

    There's no rebound and no profound changes that favour software patents; in fact, judging by caselaw, there's nothing even remotely like that



  14. Links 22/3/2019: Libinput 1.13 RC2 and Facebook's Latest Security Scandal

    Links for the day



  15. Why the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) Cannot Ignore Judges, Whereas the EPO Can (and Does)

    The European Patent Convention (EPC) ceased to matter, judges' interpretation of it no longer matters either; the EPO exploits this to grant hundreds of thousands of dodgy software patents, then trumpet "growth"



  16. The European Patent Office Needs to Put Lives Before Profits

    Patents that pertain to health have always posed an ethical dilemma; the EPO apparently tackled this dilemma by altogether ignoring the rights and needs of patients (in favour of large corporations that benefit financially from poor people's mortality)



  17. “Criminal Organisation”

    Brazil's ex-President, Temer, is arrested (like other former presidents of Brazil); will the EPO's ex-President Battistelli ever be arrested (now that he lacks diplomatic immunity and hides at CEIPI)?



  18. Links 21/3/2019: Wayland 1.17.0, Samba 4.10.0, OpenShot 2.4.4 and Zorin Beta

    Links for the day



  19. Team UPC (Unitary Patent) is a Headless Chicken

    Team UPC's propaganda about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has become so ridiculous that the pertinent firms do not wish to be identified



  20. António Campinos Makes Up Claims About Patent Quality, Only to be Rebutted by Examiners, Union (Anyone But the 'Puff Pieces' Industry)

    Battistelli's propagandistic style and self-serving 'studies' carry on; the notion of patent quality has been totally discarded and is nowadays lied about as facts get 'manufactured', then disseminated internally and externally



  21. Links 20/3/2019: Google Announces ‘Stadia’, Tails 3.13

    Links for the day



  22. CEN and CENELEC Agreement With the EPO Shows That It's Definitely the European Commission's 'Department'

    With headlines such as “EPO to collaborate on raising SEP awareness” it is clear to see that the Office lacks impartiality and the European Commission cannot pretend that the EPO is “dafür bin ich nicht zuständig” or “da kenne ich mich nicht aus”



  23. Decisions Made Inside the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Lack Credibility Because Examiners and Judges Lack Independence

    The lawless, merciless, Mafia-like culture left by Battistelli continues to haunt judges and examiners; how can one ever trust the Office (or the Organisation at large) to deliver true justice in adherence or compliance with the EPC?



  24. Team UPC Buries Its Credibility Deeper in the Grave

    The three Frenchmen at the top do not mention the UPC anymore; but those who promote it for a living (because they gambled on leveraging it for litigation galore) aren't giving up and in the process they perpetuate falsehoods



  25. The EPO Has Sadly Taken a Side and It's the Patent Trolls' Side

    Abandoning the whole rationale behind patents, the Office now led for almost a year by António Campinos prioritises neither science nor technology; it's all about granting as many patents (European monopolies) as possible for legal activity (applications, litigation and so on)



  26. Where the USPTO Stands on the Subject of Abstract Software Patents

    Not much is changing as we approach Easter and software patents are still fool's gold in the United States, no matter if they get granted or not



  27. Links 19/3/2019: Jetson/JetBot, Linux 5.0.3, Kodi Foundation Joins The Linux Foundation, and Firefox 66

    Links for the day



  28. Links 18/3/2019: Solus 4, Linux 5.1 RC1, Mesa 18.3.5, OSI Individual Member Election Won by Microsoft

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

    Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network



  30. Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

    As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)


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