EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.04.19

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 this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 08, 2019



  2. Mandatory Education for Those Who Use and Misuse Buzzwords Would Go a Long Way

    In an age of substitution — where marketing terms replace meaningful words and concepts — it has gotten more difficult to have honest debates, for example about the scope of patents



  3. Once Upon a Time Banter Was Allowed on Mailing Lists

    Hours ago Torvalds announced RC1 of the next Linux (kernel) release; it has been a while since he last said something ‘controversial’ (following his month at the penalty box); free speech deficit can make us weaker, not stronger (advantage to those who work in the dark)



  4. Links 8/12/2019: Debian Init Systems GR, NomadBSD 1.3

    Links for the day



  5. Can We Quit Celebrating DRM in GNU/Linux?

    Over the past couple of days various news sites and "Linux" sites expressed great satisfaction [1-5] over the passive embrace of Disney's DRM ploy (Disney+), even when Disney itself rejects DRM, seeing the harms practically caused by it [6,7]



  6. You Know WSL is Bad for GNU/Linux Because Anti-Linux People, Microsoft and Its Propagandists, Want People to Use That

    Microsoft and its boosters (and media partners) haven’t grown tired of spreading falsehoods to stigmatise and take control of GNU/Linux by creating their own versions and traps for it



  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 07, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 07, 2019



  8. 5 Years Ago the Linux Foundation Turned Linux.com Into a Non-Linux Site

    One can leverage the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to better understand how, over time, the Foundation called “Linux” deviated or diverged away from its mission statement for the sole purpose of raising corporate funds and selling influence to corporations (passing the community’s hard work to them — a form of tacit privatisation)



  9. Microsoft Redefining Ownership and Identity of GNU/Linux

    The idea that “Microsoft loves Linux” is as insane as it gets; but the lie which is “Microsoft loves Linux” is a powerful enabler of Microsoft entryism, e.g. if Greg steps down, does a Microsoft employee become the deputy of Linus Torvalds?



  10. Things That Cannot Be Said

    The limits on what we can say are mostly defined by what sources permit us to say publicly (for the sake of source protection)



  11. Fake European Patents (on Algorithms) Leading to Fake Embargoes

    Law firms have gotten their way in Germany; instead of supporting the productive workers the patent system is nowadays promoting the litigation 'industry' and it ought to be corrected



  12. From Moderate Advice to FUD and Misinformation: The Case of a VPN Vulnerability (CVE-2019-14899)

    What should have been a trivial bugfix in a variety of operating systems and bits of software — both proprietary and Free software — somehow became anti-Linux FUD, clickbait and worse



  13. Dangerous Thinker

    Society oughtn't be alarmed by people who say unusual things; it should be wary and sceptical of those corporations ever so eager to silence such people



  14. Unitary Patent (UPC) Died Along With the Credibility of Managing IP and the Rest of the UPC Lobby

    It is pretty astounding that Team UPC (collective term for people who crafted and lobby for this illegal construct) is still telling us lies, even in the absence of underlying supportive facts, and pressure groups disguised as "news sites" latch onto anything to perpetuate an illusion of progress (even in the face of a growing number of major barriers)



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 06, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, December 06, 2019



  16. Links 7/12/2019: Fedora 31 Elections Results, Lots of Media Drama Over VPN Bug

    Links for the day



  17. Links 6/12/2019: DRM in GNU/Linux and Sparky Bonsai

    Links for the day



  18. The EPO Rejects Innovation

    The EPO ceased caring about the needs of scientists whose work involves invention; instead, EPO management crafts increasingly lenient guidelines that yield illegal European Patents (not compatible with the EPC) that heavily-besieged EPO judges are unable to stop



  19. Startpage CEO Robert Beens in 'Damage Control' Mode, Trying to Get Startpage Relisted After Selling to a Massive Surveillance Company

    PrivacytoolsIO is being lobbied by the CEO of Startpage to relist Startpage, based on no actual refutations at all



  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 05, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 05, 2019



  21. Links 5/12/2019: qBittorrent 4.2.0, Expensive Librem 5 and OpenBSD Bugs

    Links for the day



  22. Microsoft Staff Repeatedly Refuses to Tell How Many People Use WSL, Defends Patent Extortion and Blackmail of Linux Instead

    The people who develop WSL (mostly Microsoft employees) get easily irritated when asked how many people actually use this thing; but more interestingly, however, they reveal their disdain for GNU/Linux and support for Microsoft blackmail (for 'Linux patent tax')



  23. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 04, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 04, 2019



  24. Links 4/12/2019: Tails 4.1, UCS 4.4-3 and Proxmox VE 6.1

    Links for the day



  25. Google Tightens Its Noose

    Now it’s official! Google is just a bunch of shareholders looking to appease the Pentagon at all costs



  26. Europeans Still Need to Save the European Patent Office From Those Who Attack Its Patent Quality

    Patent quality is of utmost interest; without it, as we're seeing at the EPO and have already seen at the USPTO for a number of years, legal disputes will arise where neither side wins (only the lawyers win) and small, impoverished inventors or businesses will be forced to settle outside the courts over baseless allegations, often made by parasitic patent trolls (possessing low-quality patents they don't want scrutinised by courts)



  27. We Never Accepted and Will Never Accept Corporate Money

    Corporate money is a unique problem because of its magnitude and the fact that it's impersonal; shareholders can only ever accept its supposed justifications if they're receiving something in return (of proportional worth to the payment/transaction)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 03, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 03, 2019



  29. Links 3/12/2019: elementary OS 5.1 Hera, Plasma 5.17.4, Firefox 71

    Links for the day



  30. Laundering the Reputation of Criminals: That's an Actual Job

    An important reminder that the manufactured, paid-for (media is being bribed) image of Bill Gates is the product of the PR industry he enlisted to distract from his endless crimes


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