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03.19.19

The EPO Has Sadly Taken a Side and It’s the Patent Trolls’ Side

Posted in Europe, Patents, RAND at 1:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The European Patent Office is all about money, not science, and it undermines the basis of its very existence

António Campinos patents cash

Summary: Abandoning the whole rationale behind patents, the Office now led for almost a year by António Campinos prioritises neither science nor technology; it’s all about granting as many patents (European monopolies) as possible for legal activity (applications, litigation and so on)

THE António Campinos-led European Patent Office (EPO) is promoting software patents in Europe (it just tells applicants to call these “AI” and other nonsensical, grossly-overused terms). It amasses such applications and then grants bogus patents that courts will almost certainly reject (or would; if the defendant could afford a day in court). Quality of patents isn’t at all mentioned in those ‘results’ that we rebutted or put in context last week. The media, including some of the Battistelli-paid media, keeps relaying that PR. We decided not to link to it this year (like we did in prior years) because it’s a familiar script or spiel. Facts don’t matter; writing these puff pieces is a simple “copypasta” from the EPO.

We have meanwhile noticed that the EPO is again promoting FRAND/SEP agenda. Truly nasty agenda, no doubt, but not surprising as they support patent trolls rather than scientists/scientific progress. It is very much consistent with what Battistelli did and judging by who Campinos chooses to meet (lawyers’ societies, not scientists) we know nothing will change. The EPO said (warning: epo.org link, via) it is looking to “enhance the support they provide to industry and stakeholders in Europe and beyond in the field of standard-essential patents.”

“It is worrying but not surprising that the EPO continues to do this; does anyone still believe that Campinos intends to turn anything around?”EPO ends with the ICT nonsense (ICT means “algorithms” a lot of the time, at least at the EPO): “In view of the growing use of ICT-related technologies in the more traditional technical fields, the ICT standards – as well as the patents considered essential for their implementation – are becoming increasingly important in this context.”

FRAND for code/interoperability shims means software patents. FRAND is a misnomer (each word in the acronym is a lie) and we’ve been writing about it for over a decade, even back when it was called “RAND” (one euphemism/lie fewer). There’s a new press release about it below (just sent to us by a reader):

The question if Open Source Software can be combined with a FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) regime is often at the centre of the debate. Possibly, this question though is not the deciding one, as such a legal compatibility would require that Open Source developers would collaborate under such a regime.

OpenForum Europe is very excited to publish the Opinion Paper by OFA Fellow and President of the Open Source Initiative, Simon Phipps. In this paper Simon posits that the core issue of Open Source Software and FRAND is not a legal one, but that Open Source developers will not collaborate under a FRAND regime.

So yes, it’s about software. It’s about something that can be infinitely replicated free of charge.

“EPO publishes blockchain conference report,” the EPO wrote yesterday, linking to that “blockchain” nonsense which we mentioned some days ago. “This study provides a comprehensive picture of current trends and emerging leaders in self-driving vehicle technologies,” the EPO wrote separately (also yesterday); it’s another newer buzz-phrase/acronym (buzzwords), "SDV" (often means algorithms for vehicle navigation). They like using the physicality of a car to give the impression that the invention is concrete. Similarly, as per Monday’s press release from Israel, here is the EPO granting a patent on “robotics” when in reality this likely deals with computer programs responsible for handling the robot (in addition to imaging modalities whose physical properties have little to nothing pertaining to navigation). From the press release:

XACT Robotics Ltd. today announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) will grant a patent expanding the Company’s patent portfolio to include the use of its robotic system in ultrasound-guided interventional procedures.

That’s basically patenting a computer program. But “with unparalleled accuracy and consistency…”

Whatever. Marketing buzzwords. Or promotional language…

It is worrying but not surprising that the EPO continues to do this; does anyone still believe that Campinos intends to turn anything around?

Yesterday the EPO wrote another bit of nonsense. They call it “EPO Academy” (a big word), but scholars don’t want to work there anymore and academia is ignored in favour of law firms. All that seems to matter to the EPO is money; not scientists’ financial welfare but rather the Office’s and law firms’. What would the public have to say about such an institution? Does it serve Europe?

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