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. Red Hat's Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical's Ubuntu Just an 'App' for Windows?

    Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an 'add-on' for their proprietary offerings



  2. Linux Foundation Apparently Celebrates Sysadmin Day With a Microsoft Windows Site!

    The Linux Foundation shows ‘love’ to actual GNU/Linux (the real thing) by apparently rejecting it and badmouthing it



  3. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 3: The Legal Line-up for G 2/19

    The deck appears to have already been stacked for G 2/19, a decision on EPO judges' exile to Haar (veiled disciplinary action/collective punishment by those whom the judges are supposed to 'oversee')



  4. Links 17/7/2019: VirtualBox 6.0.10 and Mageia 7.1 Releases, Mint Betas

    Links for the day



  5. Links 16/7/2019: Btrfs Gets 'Cleaned Up', Clonezilla Live 2.6.2-15

    Links for the day



  6. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 2: The “Difficult Legacy” and Its Dark Historical Shadow

    Assuming that he was informed, then it seems fair to say that Battistell’s little “joke” at the expense of the Boards was in very bad taste



  7. EPO Noise Machine Turned On as Haar Hearing Kicks Off, Patrick Corcoran Defamed Again

    The EPO does not want people to hear about Haar; it just wants people to hear about how wonderful the EPO is and there are some who have just decided to slander Patrick Corcoran again



  8. Microsoft is 'Doing Kamikaze' (神風) on Linux

    An analogy for what the Linux (only in name!) Foundation and Microsoft mean to Linux — or by extension to GNU/Linux and Free software whose largest repository Microsoft took control of



  9. The 'New' Linux.com Sometimes Feels Like a Microsoft Promotion Site

    Anything that the ‘Linux’ Foundation touches seems to turn into its proprietors’ agenda; one of those proprietors is Microsoft, which has a "Jihad" against Linux



  10. IBM is a Threat to the Internet, Not Just to Software Development (Due to Software Patents Aggression)

    IBM continues its aggression against technology — a fact that’s even more distressing now that IBM calls the shots at Red Hat



  11. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 1: Is D-Day Approaching for Battistelli’s “Difficult Legacy”?

    European patent justice isn’t working within the premises of EPOnia; a bunch of ‘show trials’ may in fact turn out to be just that — a show



  12. Links 16/7/2019: LXD 3.15, Q4OS 3.8 and D9VK 0.13f

    Links for the day



  13. Links 15/7/2019: Vulkan 1.1.115 and Facebook Openwashing

    Links for the day



  14. Microsoft Office 360 Banned

    OpenDocument Format (ODF, a real standard everyone can implement) and Free/libre software should be taught in schools; it's not supposed to be just a matter of privacy



  15. Microsoft, in Its Own Words...

    Sociopathy, incompetence and intolerance of the rule of law, as demonstrated by Microsoft's top managers



  16. Microsoft's WSL is Designed to Weaken GNU/Linux (on the Desktop/Laptop) and Strengthen Vista 10

    What Microsoft does to GNU/Linux on the desktop (and/or laptop) bears much resemblance to what Microsoft did to Java a couple of decades ago



  17. Links 14/7/2019: Linux 5.2.1, Unreal Engine 4.23 Preview, Linux Mint 19.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  18. 25,500 Blog Posts and Pages

    With our thirteenth anniversary just a few months away we're at a pace of about 2,000 posts per year



  19. With WSL Microsoft is Doing to GNU/Linux What It Did to Netscape

    Embrace, extend, extinguish. Some things never really change even if they become an old and repetitive accusation.



  20. Allowing Bad Guests to Become the Hosts

    Why the so-called 'Linux Foundation', a nonprofit that acts more like a PAC controlled by proprietary software companies and people who don't even use Linux, is increasingly becoming a Linux-hostile front group



  21. Honesty and Collaboration Make Free Software Stronger, Microsoft is Inherently a Misfit

    In spite of all the lies Microsoft and its Web sites spew out on a daily basis, nothing has really changed and Microsoft is still attacking Software Freedom (mostly from the inside nowadays, helped by FUD proxies such as WhiteSource and Snyk)



  22. Patent Certainty Waning, But That's Still OK for Patent Trolls

    Patent maximalism remains a threat to everyone but patent lawyers (and patent office chiefs who measure their own performance only by the number of patents granted); best served are the patent trolls who extrajudicially attack already-impoverished parties behind closed doors



  23. GitHub is Microsoft's Proprietary Software and Centralised (Monopoly) Platform, But When Canonical's Account There Gets Compromised Suddenly It's Ubuntu's Fault?

    Typical media distortions and signs that Microsoft already uses GitHub for censorship of Free/Open Source software that does not fit Microsoft's interests



  24. Canonical is Turning Ubuntu Into a More Proprietary Deviant of GNU/Linux

    Ubuntu is becoming more 'Ubinary'; binaries without their source code available are packed up and cooked up for (or baked into) the ISO; this may be good for widespread adoption, but it's not an advancement of freedom, a capitulation rather



  25. Links 13/7/2019: Librem 5 July Update, Project Trident 19.07, KDE Frameworks 5.60.0

    Links for the day



  26. The Problem Isn't Women or Minorities in Free Software But Particular Corporations That Exploit or Steer or Hijack Their Agenda

    If technical issues are being disguised using colours and genders (among other things), then it's important to highlight who's behind it (what company/ies) rather than fling back insults at people because it makes things worse



  27. There's No Such Thing as Cloud Computing, Serverless and All That Other Nonsense

    Buzzwords. Confronted.



  28. Linux is Doing 'Well' Only for Those Who Dislike Software Freedom and Love Control Over Users

    Linux, the kernel, has become a corporate playground or a sandbox that's used to upsell proprietary software, including surveillance; freedom in Linux is gradually being diminished if not completely obliterated and it does not worry the foundations entrusted to guard against it



  29. Consultation About Direction and Future Focus for Techrights

    We invite ideas and recommendations for the future of the site, notably which topics and aspects are worth covering as a matter of higher priority



  30. European Media Continues to Ignore the EPO Crisis While Law Firms and EPO Management Cover Things Up

    The EPO crisis silently deepens because serious problems are lied about, not acknowledged, and the legitimacy of European Patents is greatly diminished, not to mention the EPO's ability to attract talent


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