04.04.19

Gemini version available ♊︎

The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) Warns About the Granting of Tens of Thousands of Invalid European Patents Every Year

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even the examiners admit this

EPO delivery
Campinos Presidency, 9 months and no delivery. Published Tuesday by SUEPO, the staff union of the European Patent Office (EPO).

Summary: Patent maximalists who measure “success” in terms of the number of granted patents while diminishing patent scope/restrictions have turned what once was a source of pride for examiners into a rubber-stamping operation

WE HAVE SEEN the effect of it at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); decades of bad patent grants (e.g. software patents that had been granted) were dropping like flies at the Federal Circuit and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) (through inter partes reviews (IPRs), i.e. without even a lawsuit necessarily being filed). It’s not just 35 U.S.C. § 101 but also § 102 and § 103 that came into play (we have seen some new examples this morning, but we don’t wish to delve into finer details this year).

“We wish to gently remind all kind examiners around the world that buzzwords do not magically render algorithms patent-eligible.”The same thing is nowadays happening at the EPO, as António Campinos keeps promoting software patents in Europe (under the guise of “AI” and similar buzzwords). What gives? Where does it end?

Having posted it in Watchtroll first (we mentioned it in passing earlier this week), this law firm from the US is now promoting software patents disguised as “AI”, alluding to “EPO And USPTO Guidance” (loopholes):

“The extra attention that the EPO and USPTO are paying toward AI and ML will likely help swing the pendulum of patentable subject matter toward a place that is in harmony with the current state of technology.”

It is safe to say that Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are hot topics and, as with any rapidly growing technological area on the industry side, there is also a rapidly growing number of patent applications being filed.

In view of this, the European Patent Office (EPO) issued new guidance for examination for AI and ML patent applications in November 2018. Meanwhile, in January 2019, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) also issued revised guidance directed to what constitutes patent eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. §101. Although the USPTO’s revised guidance is more generally directed to software applications, at least one of the accompanying hypothetical examples (Example 39) is directed to the AI and ML space.

Those are, admittedly (even the patent maximalists admit this), software patents. It’s all about algorithms. Those are the patents which trolls love the most, for various tactical reasons. Most lawsuits in the US still come from patent trolls that develop nothing at all and never did anything at all (maybe bought a bunch of patents in an auction). Some days 90% and above (or 100%) of US patent lawsuits come from these trolls and earlier this week it was ‘merely’ a majority.

We wish to gently remind all kind examiners around the world that buzzwords do not magically render algorithms patent-eligible. Nowadays everything is “AI”, “cloud”, and “smart” if there’s some code, a server, and an Internet connection (respectively). Recently, WIPO has been repeatedly misusing the “AI” hype to promote illegal software patents. It even issued a report to that effect. Another thing that the EPO and WIPO have in common is this bunch of self-serving ‘studies’ (WIPO does a lot of what the EPO does to staff). This morning we saw WIPO misusing the “AI” buzzword (or phrase or acronym) to describe algorithms for imprints or signatures of images (these would not work for large, vast datasets, but it’s buzzwords that count). A new article by J A Kemp also speaks of new collaboration between the EPO and WIPO. Both are promoting the lie that success can be measured by the overall number of patents (an infamous fallacy) and to quote:

As reported previously here, the EPO has been participating in WIPO’s Digital Access Service (DAS) for the exchange of certified copies of priority documents since 1 November 2018. DAS allows for certified copies of priority documents to be exchanged electronically between the various participating patent offices, a complete list of which can be found here.

The EPO’s initial implementation of DAS did not extend to international (PCT) applications filed at the EPO as receiving office. However, the EPO recently announced here that from 1 April 2019 it would be extending its participation in DAS to such international (PCT) applications.

This development means that when an international (PCT) application is filed by online filing with the EPO as receiving office, the EPO (as “office of first filing”) will automatically generate a DAS access code in the online filing receipt. Subsequently, the DAS access code can be used when filing a priority-claiming patent application at a DAS-participating patent office (i.e. an “office of second filing”), to allow the patent office in question to obtain a copy of the international (PCT) application from the EPO. Thus, in the rare case where a patent application is filed at an “office of second filing” claiming priority from an international (PCT) application filed at the EPO as “office of first filing”, the “office of second filing” can use the DAS code generated by the EPO to access a copy of the priority application from the EPO.

At Vantage Asia, Swati Gupta, who an associate at LexOrbis (big boosters of software patents in India for a number of years), spoke of WIPO in relation to CASE, noting that “[t]he US patent laws require the applicant to furnish known prior art documents during the pendency of a patent application by submitting the information disclosure statement (IDS). However, the European patent Office (EPO) obligates an applicant to disclose the results of official searches and examination reports carried out on priority applications.”

If they have time to. Corners have been cut and examiners complain about the system that was abandoned a month ago. It is saddening if not maddening to see what the EPO turned into. The SUEPO document at the top says it all really (many aspects covered).

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. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  5. 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



  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



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

    Links for the day



  8. 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).



  9. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...



  10. 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)



  11. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022



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

    Links for the day



  16. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



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

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



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

    Links for the day



  20. [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)



  21. [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



  22. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  23. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  24. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  25. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  26. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 15, 2022



  28. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

    Links for the day



  29. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious



  30. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

    Links for the day


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