03.05.19

Truly and Completely Out of Control, the Unhinged European Patent Office Calls Applicants “Customers” While Offering Patents on Nature, Life, Maths

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

2015: Battistelli’s EPO Loses ‘Customers’ Because It Plays ‘Favourites’ With Large Corporations

Everything must go
Everything Must Go (film)

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) lost sight of what patent offices exist for; it’s now doing totally insane things while treating the law like a nuisance rather than something to be served

WHAT do patent offices exist for?

It’s a fair question, right? Not rhetorical.

They tell us it’s about innovation. Sometimes words like “protection” get used (but not “protectionism”). Or do patent offices now exist to maximise their own bottom line? Are they a public service? What are they? The EPO has taken these questions to new extremes, stretching the rule of law to levels that discredit the very system it derives its powers from (how can an institution claim to uphold and enforce law when it breaks its own laws?). Earlier today we wrote about the real costs associated with the EPO and it’s not a pretty picture. The extrernalities show that the EPO has become a net loss to the European economy.

“The extrernalities show that the EPO has become a net loss to the European economy.”Earlier today we also published two articles about software patents in Europe. Nothing has yet changed for the better and in fact just hours later the EPO resumed promoting software patents that are not allowed. Well, the EPO does not allow obeying the law, either. “Four days to go until we close the registration for this event where we will discuss computer-implemented inventions,” it wrote, adding the usual “SME” and “medical” buzz (to make it seem like it’s helping the small people and saves lives). Hours earlier the EPO published this “[r]eport on the results of the user consultation on increased flexibility in the timing of examination process” (warning: epo.org link) and notice that it has nothing to do with patent quality, only speed. They measure performance in terms of speed and almost nothing else. As it turns out, based on another new tweet, words like “customers” and “IP” are still being misused in conjunction with “SMEs” (that the EPO systematically discriminates against).

Then there’s the question of patents on life. When did nature become “IP portfolio” and life “innovation”? It’s saddening if not maddening to see Intellectual Property ‘Watch’ still carrying this propaganda for crazy people who lie in order to rob us. Here is what it published this afternoon: “Chris Holly is a practicing intellectual property lawyer with extensive experience helping clients leverage IP portfolios in the agriculture, food, microbiology and biotechnology industries. Intellectual Property Watch’s David Branigan interviewed Holly to gain his perspective on the technological, regulatory and intellectual property considerations of next generation plant breeding techniques, in particular those that involve gene editing using CRISPR technology.”

“Innovation” as in the headline just means “patenting”; these lawyers want patents on life and nature, so they just call it all “invention” etc. Remember 'Teffgate'?

Peri Hankey remarked on this ‘ownership’ by telling me: “This kind of property is theft of our natural commons, enclosure of life. The underlying theory is that what is not yet anyone’s property must be taken before it it taken by others. It’s the socio-political creed of scavenging brigands. It’s the theory that drives us — to ruin.”

Information Age meanwhile promotes ‘owning’ mathematics and mere ideas (processes of the mind). Earlier today it wrote that the “European Patent Office (EPO) recently issued fresh guidelines last year examining the patentability of AI and machine learning based on the principle that all patentable innovations must not be obvious.”

Here’s corporate media once again spreading the lie and the nonsense which is “AI” (nowadays it is typically just a meaningless synonym for “computer” or “computer program”). Do we want more surveillance startups? Or is that just software patents promotion?

Notice how many times they misuse the term “AI” in these three passages alone:

“The European Patent Office (EPO) recently issued fresh guidelines last year examining the patentability of AI and machine learning based on the principle that all patentable innovations must not be obvious.

“By default, the application of AI in almost every function and across every sector it touches – from AI-powered toothbrushes to AI weather forecasting tools, from medtech to fintech to e-commerce – renders such inventions obvious, unpatentable and, ultimately, far from innovative in and of themselves. What’s more, the vast majority of AI algorithms are open source, making the implementation of the technology even less innovative or intrinsically valuable. Even the EPO are looking into implementing AI in order to streamline processes. Yet this clearly does not make them an AI or a tech organisation.

“AI is simply a tool and should be viewed as such by the wider market. The AI conversation should be focussed more on how businesses use this tool to create truly groundbreaking and critical inventions that are of real, tangible benefit to the wider innovation market.”

In all the above, “AI” just means algorithms, nothing else. Courts would reject patents on those.

“Even the EPO now understands that UPC has died, based on this tweet from a few hours ago (about the third of this kind in the past fortnight).”In an effort to override national courts and somehow allow such ridiculous patents to endure, Team UPC worked hard for years, pushing for a hideous replacement (under the guise of “community”, “harmony” and “unity”), thankfully in vain. UKIPO “commissioned Powell Gilbert to collect data on patent and non-patent cases,” it said yesterday. “This has allowed us to evaluate the performance of the UPC once it is in operation. This data is published as part of the reports.”

“Counting patent and non-patent cases at the High Court 2015/2016″ is the title. Remember that this court rarely tolerates some of the more controversial European Patents. “The IPO requires detailed information on UK patent and non-patent cases. This will fulfill the UK’s obligations under the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA),” it said. But there’s no UPC. It’s dead. Nevertheless, Bristows is already leaping at it and this new post from Alan Johnson said (hours ago):

The UK IPO published yesterday (here) information on the number of IP cases commenced in the High Court in 2015 and 2016.

If one considers pertinent cases and their outcomes, it then becomes clear that British patent law isn’t quite compatible with what the EPO has been doing in recent years. The above is merely a formality that accompanies what Gyimah had done before he resigned. Even the EPO now understands that UPC has died, based on this tweet from a few hours ago (about the third of this kind in the past fortnight). The EPO’s worst enemy is itself or its own misbehaviour.

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