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01.12.19

IP Kat Has Turned From EPO Critic (to the Point of Being Blocked by the EPO) to EPO Whitewasher That Gags EPO Whistleblowers

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It had gotten so bad and so blatant that IP Kat even zapped an entire thread (about 40 comments) sceptical of António Campinos because it disliked the views, not the tone (nothing rude about it)

CIPA meeting with Stephen Jones
Stephen Jones (just after he had left IP Kat) stood next to Battistelli to promote the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

Summary: The EPO tried to forcibly gag (block) IP Kat like it blocks Techrights (since 2014); failing that, the EPO got the blog to just act as a whitewashing operation for Team Campinos (more or less the same as Team Battistelli)

THE MEDIA is totally, utterly, completely failing Europe. And meanwhile the European Patent Office’s (EPO) corruption is spreading, reaching well outside Europe. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) increasingly adopts similar tricks. As Benjamin Henrion put it some hours ago: “Software Patents are back with new USPTO guidelines, using the insane EPO technical effect blackhole…”

He was focusing on software patents in Europe, but there are so many other aspects to it. The above statement isn’t entirely accurate and we’ll respond to this in our next article (focused on the US).

Weickmann & Weickmann’s Jörg Prechtel has just boasted that “Possible Coverage of European patents is still expanding” (that’s his promotional headline) and it’s a recipe for disaster not just in the EU or Europe at large; the EPO is an international organisation which increasingly services countries outside the EU, not to mention patent trolls from countries like the US. We wrote about it before. These people even lead EPO events; patent trolls are now admired by the EPO.

It worried us when 2-3 years ago management of IP Kat changed; some people whose business includes serving patent trolls took key positions in the blog and not too long afterwards there was never-ending UPC propaganda, “Merpel” ran away with ‘her’ tail between ‘her’ legs and later on people’s comments that dared bring up EPO scandals simply didn’t get through moderation; then we saw some of them deleted individually (after they had been approved). It culminated in mass deletion of an entire thread (about 40 comments) about Campinos. The ‘new’ IP Kat showed its true spots (or colours). Nothing has changed since.

This is what the authors of IP Kat wrote yesterday: “It is yet to be seen whether the EPO’s new president, Antonio Campinos, will be effective at healing the rifts created by Battistelli.”

It has been 6 months. He fixed nothing. How much longer should one wait? Notice the fluffy paragraphs in question and the adorable photo of Campinos (which they added next to these):

Will the EBA be convinced by these arguments? It does seem that it is high time for this issue to be laid to rest. However, the EBA is not obliged to accept the referral from the President as admissible as we saw in G 1/14. Furthermore, an opinion by the EBA following a referral by the President will have no bearing on the TBA decision giving rise to the referral, given that the appeal proceedings have already concluded.

The President’s referral to the EBA took place under the fraught political backdrop of Battistelli’s controversial presidency, in which the independence of the EBA and BA was arguably brought into question. Did the EBA really have the freedom to objectively form an opinion on questions referred by the President? It is yet to be seen whether the EPO’s new president, Antonio Campinos, will be effective at healing the rifts created by Battistelli.

An opinion by the EBA in G 1/18 may be issued in the coming year…

These people lack independence from Campinos; we wrote about it many times. Campinos did absolutely nothing to assure them of independence; to make matters worse, he left Judge Corcoran to rot, some suspect on the verge of suicide (those are speculations). DG3 is still controlled directly and indirectly by Campinos, a patent maximalist with a short fuse and reportedly the same temper problems as the fellow Frenchman who gave him this job.

Read this early comment on the puff piece with a smiling Campinos: “Just wondering how much time and money this will cost to decide, as far as I understand it, only the question of whether DG3 should keep the appeal fee or not when an entity messes up their appeal filing?”

And a later comment said:

There is another hurdle the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) has to take before it can deal with the referred question.

Art. 112(1)(b) EPC stipulates: ”the President of the European Patent Office may refer a point of law to the Enlarged Board of Appeal where two Boards of Appeal have given different decisions on that question.”

The EBoA always first had to investigate the condition of “different decisions” (French: “décisions divergentes”; German: “voneinander abweichende Entscheidungen”). In the case at hand, it would not be too difficult to decide that there are no “different decisions”. In that case, the EBoA may choose not answer the referred question. In G 3/08 (Patentability of programs for computers) the EBoA came to the conclusion that the referral by the President was not based on “different decisions” but nevertheless answered the referred question. However, there is no obligation to do so. In G 3/08, the EBoA came to the conclusion (based on Art. 31 Vienna Concention) that the notion “different decisions” has to be understood restrictively in the sense of “conflicting decisions”.

The EBoA in view of the beloved person filing the referral at the end of his reign, may find arguments not to answer the question.

As we said at the turn of the new year, in 2019 we intentionally reduce focus on legalese and particular legal cases (grasping them is very time-consuming and potentially boring to readers), but the one thing we’ll say is that IP Kat only ever covers EPO in a positive context/connotation (several more decent contributors were said to have left the blog at the turn of the new year). It moreover gives the false impression that things have improved just because it’s quiet (gagging of staff representatives). In that regard it’s almost complicit. IP Kat is now part of the problem.

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