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

01.26.19

European Patent Quality as Awful Under António Campinos as (If Not Worse Than) Benoît Battistelli and Battistelli Makes a Public Comeback

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even after his financial crimes and other serious abuses Battistelli hopes to become ‘king’ of courts (UPC)

CIPA meeting with Stephen Jones

Summary: The man who destroyed the EPO, Benoît Battistelli, is brought back by the International Trademark Association and Mr. Trademarks António Campinos (former banker), who swapped a seat with him at CEIPI, has done absolutely nothing to repair the damage caused by Battistelli (he just lives on ‘borrowed time’ or ‘grace period’, to borrow the financial term)

THE European Patent Office (EPO) has been covered here for a dozen years (since 2007). But it was only in recent years, more so since 2014, that it really caught our attention. We used to believe that the EPO was only misguided when it came to patents on life (pigs, plants etc.) and algorithms, but then we saw a lot of corruption inside the institution. These two issues are closely connected, albeit separable.

“Over the past couple of days we saw several press releases and articles in which the expected (since December) protests became public.”IP Kat‘s Rose Hughes has just published this article about drawing requirements in patents; she conveniently ignores all the major EPO scandals (as usual) and finds some minor detail. Paul Kemp’s response to this requirement (hiring artists to apply for patent monopolies) was more noteworthy than the article. There’s a whole ‘industry’ surrounding spurious patents and in some cases it’s spurious itself (the drawing). “YES,” he said, “apart from the weighty points raised above in relation mainly to non-mechanical inventions, many if not most mechanical “drawings” are now produced at first instance as 3D models. These commonly represent much greater detail than can be presented as 2D views, and in many cases are capable of animation. 3D PDF formats enable such views to be presented without specialist software (CAD). In preparing specifications I am commonly presented with the 3D model and have to select 2D views which illustrate what I am trying to communicate. Nearly all mechanical inventions move, often in complex ways. This either requires a lot of description, which is not easy to understand (and I have seen more than a few descriptions which are simply wrong) or multiple cartoon animation views.

“Even 2D PDF views accepted by the current filing software are of limited resolution, which removes a lot of detail from large scale drawings. Not a few of my engineering clients regard this as quaint at best (the at worst comments are not reproducible). This goes nowhere to enhance the credibility of the patent system generally.”

This is why, as even some EPO insiders suggest, patents are better off in the form of a wiki page with attached videos (animations) — something that traditional patents cannot capture. Moreover, that would tackle the editing, correction, and evolution of physical inventions. What sort of novelty does the EPO have to offer?

Well, in the EPO’s own words, it’s about buzzwords now, not substance. “Searching for artificial intelligence and machine learning applications is challenging. We’ll be presenting some strategies here,” the EPO wrote in Twitter just before the weekend. They’re mixing two things and in both cases they allude to mathematics, which is obviously not patentable.

A couple of days ago Ibinex News helped the EPO promote some more software patents. After the EPO had written about blockchains (“Watch this video to learn how the EPO deals with #blockchain patents”) Kathleen Rhea, who is “a news writer based on New York [...] passionate about the world of cryptocurrencies, technology and public use cases of the blockchain,” wrote this article that would be more suitably titled “European Patent Office Persuades Organizations to File Patents for Software While Just Calling These Blockchain to Bypass the Ban” (her title is close to that). Those are illegal (to grant) software patents, but the EPO under the leadership of António Campinos is widely known to be operating outside the rule of law. Even EPO insiders overwhelmingly agree on this. It’s just another Battistelli sans the PR gaffes. To quote Rhea:

As the new facets of the blockchain technology unfold, many of the professionals working in the field of intellectual property (IP) are encouraging the innovators/organizations to patent their innovations to further stimulate the development of blockchain technology process. As it is clear from statistics, the number of applications filed for patenting blockchain during 2013⎯17 was 2900. Out of these 2900 applications, 55.4% belonged to China with the US coming a close second in the list. The industry has witnessed an astronomical 280% increase in the blockchain investment during 2017⎯18 and accordingly, the filing of a number of patents is expected to rise further. From the patents already filed, it is clear that obtaining the core technology patent in the field of blockchain is quite a difficult task because of the high level of competition. However, we have witnessed more and more companies applying for patents in the diverse fields of blockchain applications pertaining to the sectors like food tracking, medical records, and drug tagging. In the coming years too, these sectors are expected to witness more growth in the patent filing number.

A lot of things with databases and linked lists in them are being rebranded “blockchain” and in the same vein a lot of algorithms (with “if” and “else” conditional statements) can be spun as “AI”. The net effect is, today’s EPO is still granting abstract patents and it is also granting bogus patents on life and nature (not inventions).

Over the past couple of days we saw several press releases and articles in which the expected (since December) protests became public. “The member organisations of NO PATENTS ON SEEDS! are concerned about the increasing number of patents on plants, seeds and farm animals and their impact on farmers, breeders, innovation and biodiversity,” said one such coalition, having just published this statement in EUbusiness. Campinos himself is also under fire for granting patents on life and nature — a practice he never publicly commented on (he turned a blind eye to that). To quote:

The president, who is Portuguese, is being asked to halt all pending patent applications on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding. These patents cover vegetables, including broccoli and tomatoes. Companies such as Bayer and Syngenta want to monopolise the breeding of the plants and food derived thereof through the misuse of patents. In December 2018 the EPO declared that these patents could be allowed, contrary to a decision made in 2017 by the governments of its 38 contracting states saying that they were prohibited.

Within the last few years, the EPO has granted around 200 patents on food plants such as tomatoes, broccoli, peppers and lettuce derived from conventional breeding and not genetically engineered. After public protests such patents were prohibited in a decision made by the 38 contracting states of the EPO; this decision was also supported by EU Commission and EU Parliament. Now, this decision has been called into question after Syngenta – surprisingly – was successful in a hearing on a patent covering pepper plants in December 2018.

It didn’t take long for IPPro Magazine to publish “Industry groups call on Campinos to stop patents on plants and animals”:

More than 40 organisations have appealed to European Patent Office (EPO) president António Campinos calling for an end to all patents on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding.

The organisations, mostly based around plants and seeds, wrote to EPO president António Campinos calling for all pending patent applications on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding to not be granted.

The patents concerning the group include broccoli, tomatoes, and various other vegetables. The patents belong to companies like Bayer and Syngenta. Patents that cover the process of conventional breeding, as well as on plants an animals derived are prohibited by rule 28(2) for the interpretation of the European Patent Convention (EPC).

In early December, the Board of Appeal for the EPO ruled that a Syngenta pepper plant patent was patentable, causing outrage, with the No Patents on Seeds pressure group accusing the ruling of putting the office into conflict with its 38 member states”.

IPPro Magazine has also just noted that INTA invited corrupt Battistelli to speak at its event. Now that he no longer enjoys diplomatic immunity will he risk arrest? Highly doubtful because he is well connected. As the article put it:

Several key intellectual property leaders including Kate O’Rourke and Benoît Battistelli will be speaking at the International Trademark Association (INTA)’s Europe Conference.

Former Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys president O’Rourke, and former European Patent Office president Battistelli will speak at the conference, which takes place on the 18 to 19 February in Paris.

O’Rourke will be giving a speech on Brexit, while Battistelli, who is currently President of Conseil d’administration du Centre d’études internationales de la propriété intellectuelle (CEIPI), will be interviewed by INTA’s new president David Lossignol on the future of IP.

Sources of ours have long believed that Battistelli just ‘parked’ himself at CEIPI in anticipation of the UPC — a system in which he hopes to participate in if not lead. Just before the weekend we saw this article from Tai W Nahm (Miller Thomson LLP) and another from Graham Burnett-Hall (Marks & Clerk). It contains the typical UPC propaganda, perpetuating the idea that UPCA still stands a chance. Stephen Blake (also from Marks & Clerk) then promoted software patents like computer vision patents by using the buzzwords created and promoted by the EPO:

With investment announcements coming thick and fast, and testing taking place on ever more roads, might 2019 be the year of the self-driving vehicle (SDV)?

A recent statistical release from the European Patent Office (EPO) might suggest so, or at the very least suggest that momentum is building in this important sector. In 2017, the last year in which figures are available, the EPO saw nearly 4000 patent applications related to self-driving vehicles – up from 922 applications in 2011.

This is a staggering 330% increase in just 6 years! To put it into context, filing in this area has grown more than 20 times as fast as patent applications generally at the EPO.

They’re just reclassifying old stuff and courts would very likely reject these patents, citing national laws and the EPC.

It’s worrying to see that the EPO is just granting loads of low-quality European Patents, hoping that by means of some miracle or magic it can bypass justice (the courts) with a crooked UPC, possibly led by corrupt Battistelli. Yesterday we gave an example of several European Patents being thrown out, including one that was assessed by the highest court in the UK.

UIMP event 2014

Yesterday, judging by new evidence, Florian Müller wrote about a couple more invalidated European Patents; the EPO basically admitted it had granted fake patents to a patent bully with billions of dollars on the line. To quote:

Preliminary opinion of European Patent Office sides with Apple and Intel: two Qualcomm patents invalid

[...]

While the Ninth Circuit’s decision to let Qualcomm appeal the certification of a 250-million consumer class and Judge Koh’s related announcement to stay the $5 billion class action (which builds upon the FTC case, but not the other way round) pending the appeal is good news for Qualcomm, Kerrisdale Capital’s opinion that Qualcomm’s stock may lose half its value and a whopping number of 21 (twenty-one!) inter partes reviews (post-grant proceedings that may result in the invalidation of patents) instituted over the last eight days by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) against Qualcomm are significant setbacks.

Now there’s bad news from Munich, the very city in which a regional court (comparable to a U.S. district court, though only the nation’s top courts are federal courts) recently granted Qualcomm a pair of injunctions over a chip patent against Apple that Qualcomm is enforcing despite an ongoing appeal after posting bonds over more than $1.5 billion–but without getting any serious leverage over Apple as the enjoined products (iPhone 7 and 8) remain widely available through carriers and retailers. Qualcomm has obtained a preliminary injunction barring Apple from telling it like it is, so Apple must not issue press releases or give answers to journalists according to which those devices are available at more than 4,000 points-of-sale. But that preliminary injunction, which according to media reports is based on misleading promotional statements, just puts the next symbolical victory on top of another without representing actual leverage.

I asked the Munich I Regional Court, but the court declined to comment. I also asked the Munich Higher Regional Court about the status of Apple’s appeal of the injunctions, but received no new information. The last thing I heard was that Qualcomm still had time to respond to Apple’s motion to stay the enforcement of those injunctions.

In this particular case, the ramification of hasty or sloppy examination is easy to see; entire product lines are being removed from the market and what if this is done based on a false patent grant? What if this impacted companies a lot smaller than the above? They would suffer the most, at times risking bankruptcy/collapse.

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. Microsoft's Abduction of the Voice of Its Opposition Highlights the Urgency of the Movement/Campaign to Delete GitHub

    Microsoft understands that by entrapping FOSS and GNU/Linux inside proprietary software platforms like GitHub and Azure it can utilise the false perception that it somehow speaks on behalf of both (whilst attacking both)



  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 10, 2019



  3. SUEPO Protests Against Management of the European Patent Office Brought Back Discussions About Corruption

    The atmosphere at the second-largest institution in Europe has long been toxic; now it is becoming a lot more visible again and comments highlight the reasons for the cover-up (gross misuse of billions of euros)



  4. Links 11/11/2019: Linux 5.4 RC7, HandBrake 1.3.0 and Analysis of XFCE

    Links for the day



  5. Links 10/11/2019: digiKam 6.4.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Alpha and OpenZFS Plans

    Links for the day



  6. Video: Dutch Media on EPO Protest

    The new video added by SUEPO on Saturday in order to show Dutch media coverage of last week's protest in The Hague



  7. Politics in the Workplace Are Not Paradoxical and Outside the Workplace They Are Free Speech

    The safest space is one in which no other human (or creature) exists, but in reality we must make compromises and accept that not everyone will agree with us 100% of the time (so we must learn to live with that)



  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 09, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 09, 2019



  9. Thick Skin Makes Strong Communities

    Learning to coexist with people who don't agree on everything is a strength and successful societies encourage that (the alternative is blind conformity on all matters)



  10. Training (Proprietary Software) Versus Teaching (Free Software)

    Education necessitates software freedom — a fact that companies like Adobe, Apple and Microsoft try hard to distract from



  11. The Linux Foundation Brought as Keynote Speakers People Vastly Worse Than Those Whom It Now 'Cancels' for Purely Political Reasons

    A lot of people are very upset about the Linux Foundation's alleged 'witch-hunt' and even press coverage has caught up with the outrage; but our position is that it distracts from vastly bigger Linux Foundation scandals



  12. An Open Letter to Richard Stallman

    "It's past the time for the official cornerstones of the Free software movement to return to their full operational capacity, and to take the gear out of neutral."



  13. Links 9/11/2019: Linux Journal Goes Dark (Offline), KStars 3.3.7, OpenSUSE Name Change Aborted

    Links for the day



  14. Think Tanks, Bristows, 'Simmons' and 'Birds' Can Only Ever Lie to Us About the Dead Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The UPC is a dead bird, but lobbyists of the litigation giants would have us believe otherwise, in “In-depth Analysis” which is anything but (it's just propaganda with the veneer of officialism)



  15. The EPO's Management is Trying Really Hard to Distract the Media From EPO Unrest (and It Has Been Partly Successful)

    We take a look at the profoundly bad situation at the EPO (examiners unable to do their job properly because of rogue leadership); we also reexamine how media covered — or rather refused to cover — this urgent issue



  16. Microsoft's 'Safe Spaces'

    The 'new' and 'ethical' Microsoft that offers us all a 'safe space'



  17. 'Artificial Intelligence' (AI) Will Only Doom Patent Offices If It's Used to Stamp Millions of Invalid Patents (IPs)

    The Artificial Intelligence (AI) craze is being used as an excuse or as a pretext for granting loads of patents on mathematics and statistics (maths and stats aren't permissible or eligible for patent coverage); by calling just about everything "Artificial Intelligence" (or AI, or "hey hi!") they hope to mislead examiners, who are also being presented with new guidelines full of these buzzwords



  18. Need More Questions

    Pedophilia-centric scandals associated with Bill Gates or people working for Bill Gates don't interest the media anymore; people shy away from the possibility of 'embarrassing' the so-called 'philanthropist', celebrated by the media he is sponsoring



  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 07, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 07, 2019



  20. Helps to Have Connections and Operate at a Loss Just to Drive the Competition Out of the Market

    Microsoft still uses the same anticompetitive tactics and outright illegal tactics such as bribery, but we're supposed to think Microsoft is run like a charity



  21. Startpage Shows Sheer Hypocrisy After Selling Out and Betraying Privacy (Corrected)

    After more than half a decade of using and advocating Startpage I've come to realise it's a spying operation and Startpage hopes nobody will notice



  22. Former Mayor of Munich Explains How Microsoft Hates Linux

    Christian Ude speaks in a new interview about what Microsoft did in Munich and elsewhere in Europe in order to undermine GNU/Linux and impose Microsoft Windows on everybody, together with all the spyware Microsoft provides for it (likely violation of privacy laws)



  23. Linux Journal is Offline, But the Articles Will Come Back

    Linux Journal may be offline (since just before the weekend), but the articles will come back one way or another



  24. Links 8/11/2019: Ubuntu MATE 19.10 Reviewed, FreeBSD Migrating to OpenZFS

    Links for the day



  25. Nobody Should Believe Bill Gates and the Media He 'Sponsors' (Bribes) Anymore

    No matter how hard Bill Gates and his legion of lawyers/PR people try to divert the media's attention away from his Epstein scandal, it keeps coming back



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 07, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 07, 2019



  27. System1 (Company Behind Startpage, Dogpile, WebCrawler, MetaCrawler and More) Calls Surveillance “Privacy”

    Surveillance seems to have become so fashionable that its purveyors and intermediaries (sending one's data to Microsoft, Google and so on) have a sense of humour strong enough or sufficient to call that "privacy"



  28. Links 8/11/2019: Rust 1.39.0 and KDE Applications 19.08.3

    Links for the day



  29. MIT Suggestions

    Sometimes things are too ugly to talk oneself out of; so a distraction is urgently needed



  30. Quick Mention: Some Dutch Media Covers Dutch EPO Protest

    Signs that the EPO's attempts to distract the media (or from the media) aren't 100% effective; workers get their voice heard by some Dutch people


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