02.16.19

Gemini version available ♊︎

EPO Grants Fake European Patents — Including Software Patents — and European Courts Keep Rejecting These

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Everything under the sun becomes a European Patent

Snow under the sun

Summary: The demise of the legitimacy or perceived validity of European Patents is measurable and the system isn’t the same anymore; the EPO makes no effort to change this for the better, either

THE New® and Improved™ President of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos, has done absolutely nothing to curtail patent trolls and improve patent quality. Nothing whatsoever. He arguably made things even worse, exacerbating quality as brain drain persisted and quotas were raised.

“…the EPO is disguising software patents as “medical”, knowing these are not patent-eligible but looking for excuses to grant such fake patents (as if they’re “life-saving”).”Another day passes and we have yet another example of EPO management promoting software patents in defiance of its governing principles/document. As we noted last week (and yes, it’s happening again), the EPO is disguising software patents as “medical”, knowing these are not patent-eligible but looking for excuses to grant such fake patents (as if they’re “life-saving”).

The latest tweet about it isn’t as vague as the previous one because they’ve just added “CII” when they wrote: “We will be looking at computer-implemented inventions in #MedTech and discussing the value of patents for SMEs at this event in Sweden…”

They still use “SMEs” to pretend it’s all about the “small guy”, not just “health”.

“We have discussed the challenges of drafting and prosecuting patent applications for AI inventions,” the EPO then wrote, in effect propping up software patents in Europe (see our older writings about this ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI) hype).

This is the typical 2-3 EPO tweets per day that directly or indirectly promote software patents. It’s even worse now than it was under Battistelli.

“This is the typical 2-3 EPO tweets per day that directly or indirectly promote software patents. It’s even worse now than it was under Battistelli.”D Young & Co LLP’s Anton Baker now celebrates the granting of bogus European software patents under the guise of “AI”; this deviation from the law is rebranded “certainty” (“Patenting AI: certainty at last from the EPO?”); that’s is quite a joke! There’s no certainty in actual courts; rather the opposite. Lexology’s paywall obscures most of this nonsense, but it starts as follows: “In recent years the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has grown relentlessly as its application has spread…”

No, a lot of things that used these techniques for a number of decades just rebranded accordingly, mostly for marketing gain and patenting loopholes. This article is from a firm which describes itself as “European intellectual property firm, dedicated to protecting and enforcing our clients’ IP rights.” That’s just Team UPC’s mentality. It’s that familiar mindset of patent maximalism with increasing litigation in mind.

“A lot of these patents would be rendered invalid by courts (if challenged there).”We said we would no longer cover US affairs unless software patents make a comeback. Thankfully, that’s not happening. Bogus software patents continue to perish in the US and Charles Bieneman has several new examples of US courts rejecting software patents [1, 2]. We’ve come across several more.

A lot of these patents would be rendered invalid by courts (if challenged there). Joost Duijm has in fact just written this article about a European Patent that’s on shaky ground in the domain of medicine; A German court rejected this European Patent, whereas a Dutch court reaches another decision. Only lawyers benefit from this questionable presumption of validity and return to court. To quote:

On 16 January 2019, the District Court of The Hague ruled that the Dutch part of Eli Lilly and Company’s patent EP 1 313 508 is valid. The judgment was handed down in an invalidation action brought by Sandoz International GmbH.

[...]

At the end of the decision, the Dutch Court explicitly refers to the German decision by the Bundespatentgericht (BPG). The Dutch Court says that it is aware of the fact that it comes to a different outcome than the BPG. The Dutch Court suggests that this might be because the Bundespatentgericht based its decision on (partly) different (combined) prior art than the art in the Dutch proceedings, and because the debate at the BPG also seems to have been different on other points.

What will happen to all those software patents if or when they land in court? Florian Müller recently wrote about Blackberry‘s exploitation of highly dubious European Patents on software. Yesterday he carried on by writing: “Today the Seventh Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Dr. Matthias Zigann) held a first hearing in a BlackBerry v. WhatsApp & Facebook case that is part of a set of eight Munich patent infringement actions–over five different patents–against Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram subsidaries. The patent-in-suit discussed today: EP1746790 on a “method of sharing an Instant Messaging history.” It’s undoubtedly a pure software patent, and Judge Dr. Zigann noted, diplomatically, that such patents are “at the margins of the scope of patent-eligible subject matter.” However, the focus of first hearings in Munich is on claim construction and infringement analysis (so the parties can prepare accordingly for the second hearing, which is normally a decisive trial), not on validity.”

“So the EPO has an extensive art collection, yet it can’t be bothered with prior art or with the EPC before granting outrageous patents that cause a lot of damage.”BlackBerry, probably inspired by the likes of Qualcomm, wants a German injunction; so software parent grants are now causing ridiculous embargoes (or attempts at embargoes) over rather basic implementations that are neither novel nor original. Blackberry lacks a real business strategy; as Benjamin Henrion has just put it: “Blackberry vs NTP was the lawsuit that created the “patent troll” term back in 2006, now failed Blackberry is turning into a troll, what a surprise.”

He then mentions Nokia, which Microsoft turned into a troll.

Müller has complained to me that corporate media isn’t covering the case. The EPO certainly wouldn’t want this noticed; watch what it published late on Friday as its weekly “highlight”: it’s this ridiculous fluff: (warning: epo.org link)

The EPO’s art collection comprises some 800 works. Founded in 1980 and dedicated to emerging art, the collection aims to provide a link to society and, at the same time, to enhance the workplace for EPO staff and reflect its multicultural nature.

So the EPO has an extensive art collection, yet it can’t be bothered with prior art or with the EPC before granting outrageous patents that cause a lot of damage.

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. Peak Code — Part I: Before the Wars

    Article/series by Dr. Andy Farnell: "in the period between 1960 and 2060 people had mistaken what they called "The Internet" for a communications system, when it had in fact been an Ideal and a Battleground all along - the site of the 100 years info-war."



  2. Links 21/1/2022: RISC-V Development Board and Rust 1.58.1

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 20, 2022



  4. Gemini Lets You Control the Presentation Layer to Suit Your Own Needs

    In Gemini (or the Web as seen through Gemini clients such as Kristall) the user comes first; it's not sites/capsules that tell the user how pages are presented/rendered, as they decide only on structural/semantic aspects



  5. The Future of Techrights

    Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices



  6. [Meme] UPC for CJEU

    When you do illegal things and knowingly break the law to get started with a “legal” system you know it’ll end up in tears… or the CJEU



  7. Links 20/1/2022: 'Pluton' Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

    Links for the day



  8. The Web is a Corporate Misinformation/Disinformation Platform, Biased Against Communities, Facts, and Science

    Misinformation/disinformation in so-called 'news' sites is a pandemic which spreads; in the process, the founder of GNU/Linux gets defamed and GNU/Linux itself is described as the problem, not the solution to the actual problems



  9. Links 20/1/2022: McKinsey Openwashing and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



  11. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    Links for the day



  13. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  14. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication



  15. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



  16. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

    Links for the day



  17. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    It seems very much possible that IBM (or someone close to IBM) is trying to purge me from Twitter, so let’s examine what they may be trying to distract from. As we put it 2 years ago, "Watson" is a lot more offensive than those supposedly offensive words IBM is working to purge; think about those hundreds of Red Hat workers who are black and were never told about ethnic purges of blacks facilitated by IBM (their new boss).



  18. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...



  19. Good News, Bad News (and Back to Normal)

    When many services are reliant on the integrity of a single, very tiny MicroSD card you're only moments away from 2 days of intensive labour (recovery, investigation, migration, and further coding); we've learned our lessons and took advantage of this incident to upgrade the operating system, double the storage space, even improve the code slightly (for compatibility with newer systems)



  20. Someone Is Very Desperate to Knock My Account Off Twitter

    Many reports against me — some successful — are putting my free speech (and factual statements) at risk



  21. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022



  24. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  25. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



  26. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  28. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  30. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos


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