01.27.19

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British Courts Once Again Reject Bogus European Patents Granted on Software

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Patents at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trivial patents, too

Sony Communications International AB v SSH Communications Security Corporation

Background to case (Source): Sony Communications International AB v SSH Communications Security Corporation

Summary: The liability caused by erroneous patent grants, requiring years in courts (motions and appeals) just to undo and revoke; it’s a warning sign to all those who ignore the nonchalance of António Campinos and his new deputy (denying the decline in patent quality like oil companies deny climate science)

POSTED some hours ago in Kluwer Patent Blog (almost no articles there lately; just a catalogue of cases with self-promotional links, Sara Moran helping Kluwer make ‘sales’ in this case) was this recent case/outcome. It’s related to what we wrote yesterday about declining quality of patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) and what we wrote the day before yesterday about the UK High Court rejecting European Patent No. 2073862. Here’s the summary of what happened:

The Court of Appeal upheld the first instance decision that the patent in suit lacked novelty and inventive step over the prior art. The Court confirmed, following Halliburton v Smith, that despite the fact the parties had reached a confidential settlement and Sony was not involved in the appeal, it was necessary to hear the appeal on its merits as it would not be right to restore a patent which had been held invalid by the court below unless that decision had been shown to be wrong.

“We are saddened to see that António Campinos is — much as we’ve expected all along — another Battistelli, only with reduced insider backlash because staff representatives have been gagged (not just SUEPO but also the CSC).”We’ve seen situations like these before in the United States. The Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants dubious patents which are used for extortion without trial and later on, some time down the line (usually years), the extortionist turns out to have used a bogus patent (or patents) to accumulate great wealth (sometimes as much as hundreds of millions of dollars); the money never get refunded to the extorted parties (sometimes as many as thousands of them). One such example is the patent troll Erich Spangenberg, whom EPO management invited to speak at its event that promotes software patents in Europe. We are saddened to see that António Campinos is — much as we’ve expected all along — another Battistelli, only with reduced insider backlash because staff representatives have been gagged (not just SUEPO but also the CSC). With decreased work security it seems like nobody has the courage to step up and protest anymore.

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