01.29.19

Gemini version available ♊︎

The EPO Continues to Grant Software Patents Even Though Many European Patents Are Being Invalidated Already

Posted in Europe, IBM, Patents, Red Hat at 9:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The legal certainty associated with European Patents is rapidly ending

USS EPO

Summary: “Strong patents aligned with a company’s products help secure exclusivity in core markets,” the EPO wrote yesterday. The EPO, however, is no longer a place for strong patents (certainly not anymore) because its patents are of low value, low legal certainty, and work is poorly researched (examiners not given sufficient time to do the work properly); the EPO just lowers the bar and violates the EPC in the process, hoping to replace the courts so as to mask this gross violation

LAST WEEK we gave almost a handful of new examples wherein European Patents, granted by the European Patent Office (EPO), were thrown out by courts, including the highest British court. The new President doesn’t seem to care. To the credit of the EPO’s examiners, some of them also threw out patents after oppositions; but they, like the appeals’ processors (not the same thing), do not enjoy independence from this President and they’re grossly understaffed for these respective tasks because the number of oppositions has soared and the number of appeals reportedly reached about 10,000 (the backlog for a few dozen people to handle while the pile grows quickly).

GenomeWeb has another new reminder that patent quality suffers. Even the EPO itself can admit this:

The European Patent Office has revoked a patent held by Pacific Biosciences, the company’s rival Oxford Nanopore Technologies said today.

Oxford Nanopore had challenged the validity of the patent, EP3045542, titled “Methods for nucleic acid sequencing,” which was granted in 2016.

2016 means under Battistelli at the height of all the scandals.

“To the credit of the EPO’s examiners, some of them also threw out patents after oppositions; but they, like the appeals’ processors (not the same thing), do not enjoy independence from this President and they’re grossly understaffed for these respective tasks because the number of oppositions has soared and the number of appeals reportedly reached about 10,000 (the backlog for a few dozen people to handle while the pile grows quickly).”At the turn of the new year I was personally alarmed to learn just how bad things had become at the EPO. And almost nobody talks about, certainly not the corporate media. I decided to throw aside coverage of American affairs in favour of EPO stories (this is the fourth one so far today). The newly-confirmed buyer of Red Hat, IBM, is pushing for "AI" patents in Europe — the very opposite of what Red Hat did around 2005 when the relevant directive was debated in Parliament. Less than a day ago Patent Docs advertised for the patent extremists at the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), notably backed by IBM (with a dedicated “task force” for software patents), who prop up the Berkheimer lie. Among the bulletpoints there: “Finjan, Inc. v. Juniper Network, Inc. (N.D. Cal.), where the court ordered the section 101 invalidity defense be decided at trial, but the ultimate jury instructions and verdict form did not address Section 101″ (this horrendous patent troll has USPTO-granted patents passed to it by IBM).

“The newly-confirmed buyer of Red Hat, IBM, is pushing for “AI” patents in Europe — the very opposite of what Red Hat did around 2005 when the relevant directive was debated in Parliament.”Also less than a day ago Watchtroll published an interview with “Mark Ringes, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for IBM, and Manny Schecter, Chief Patent Counsel for IBM” — an interview in which they’re denying that patent trolls are a problem (“just noise” is what they say) because IBM itself acts like a patent troll. They now bring that very same agenda to Europe. The same patent maximalists’ site that recently revealed IBM proudly promotes this “AI” agenda in Europe (algorithms as “AI”) has caught the eye of FFII. “It is a computer program,” FFII’s Benjamin Henrion wrote yesterday, alluding to this text: “Which is a problem for AI patentability because the technology is seen by some as pure mathematical methods and nothing else.”

Henrion had also taken note of some new event [1, 2, 3] about “AI” patents. “Here’s what you need to deliver as inputs for your patent attorney to protect an AI-related invention,” one tweet said, along with Bastian Best “discussing levels of abstraction for patenting AI-related inventions #AMLD2019. He even prepared a 20-page document describing how to write the perfect invention disclosure report.”

“So highly successful European/French software projects — this one with over 3 billion downloads — are at risk due to software patents.”Best is still promoting software patents (in Europe) as he has done for like a decade (even picking a Twitter username to that effect, “swpat”). Another person was “discussing EPO practice wrt AI-related inventions…”

These are all just patents on algorithms — clearly in defiance of the EPC. Courts would not accept these.

“VLC is constantly receiving patent threat letters,” Henrion wrote, “ignoring them for now, and the UPC will change the whole EU situation, French courts won’t have to power to reject EPO software patents anymore…”

So highly successful European/French software projects — this one with over 3 billion downloads — are at risk due to software patents. They’re being threatened in Europe and patent attorneys (like the ones above, boosters of “AI” patents) typically also lobby for the UPC, in an effort to bypass national courts.

As of yesterday, the EPO carries on with the usual, promoting illegal software patents using hype waves like "blockchain" (just software basically). It wrote this: “What does the future of #blockchain and its impact look like?”

“The more software patents the EPO grants, the worse its reputation will get.”Crowell & Moring LLP’s Kristof Roox, Geert Bogaert, Steven Verbeke and Linh Truong have just written about another (albeit similar) trick for legitimising software on computer vision (software and mathematics, geometry), citing the “European Patent Office’s Study on Patent Applications for Self-Driving Vehicles Technologies in Europe”. They all push for patents on algorithms by calling these something else, typically ‘hot’ and ‘trendy’ acronyms that circulate in the media (perpetuating the concept of them being ‘innovative’).

Yet another conference pushing software patents in Europe was advertised at the start of this week, with the press release saying “Patent Protection for Software-Related Inventions in Europe and the USA”, then elaborating with “Examples and approaches for protecting software and computer-related innovations, taking into account the unique requirements in the US and Europe…”

Then came another with the same title. The more software patents the EPO grants, the worse its reputation will get.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Sirius Finished

    Yesterday I was sent a letter approving my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’, two months after I had already announced that I was resigning with immediate effect; they sent an identical letter to my wife (this time, unlike before, they remembered to also change the names!!)



  2. The Collapse of Sirius in a Nutshell: How to Identify the Symptoms and Decide When to Leave

    Sirius is finished, but it's important to share the lessons learned with other people; there might be other "pretenders" out there and they need to be abandoned



  3. Links 03/02/2023: WINE 8.1 and RapidDisk 9.0.0

    Links for the day



  4. Links 02/02/2023: KDE Gear 22.12.2 and LibreOffice 7.5

    Links for the day



  5. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

    Ads everywhere: Phoronix puts them at the top, bottom, navigation bar, left, and right just to read some Microsoft junk (puff pieces about something that nobody other than Microsoft even uses); in addition there are pop-ups asking for consent to send visitors’ data to hundreds of data brokers



  6. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

    This year we have several 15-year anniversaries; one of them is Daily Links (it turned 15 earlier this week) and we've been working to improve these batches of links, making them a lot more extensive and somewhat better structured/clustered



  7. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)



  8. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)



  9. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 01, 2023



  11. Links 01/02/2023: Security Problems, Unrest, and More

    Links for the day



  12. Links 01/02/2023: Stables Kernels and Upcoming COSMIC From System76

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023



  14. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day



  15. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

    Links for the day



  16. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

    Nitrux is being criticised for being “very unappealing”; but a look behind the scenes reveals an angry reviewer (habitual mouthpiece of the Linux Foundation and Linux foes) trying to intimidate Nitrux developers, who are unpaid volunteers rather than “corporate” developers



  17. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day



  18. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’



  19. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active



  20. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”



  21. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 30, 2023



  22. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort



  23. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that



  24. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day



  25. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”



  26. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023



  28. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"



  29. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.



  30. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software


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