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

04.05.19

The European Patent Office Will Come to Regret the Fake Patents It Has Granted for Short-Term Financial Gains

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Patents at 3:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

These patents harm not only programmers; they also contribute to the deaths of many patients

Floodable keyboard

Summary: The patent trolls-aligned EPO is a massive liability to Europe; staff of the EPO admits this, but management of the EPO ignores the warnings and carries on granting fake patents (not compliant w.r.t the EPC) like there’s no tomorrow

IN the United States, 35 U.S.C. § 101 undermines a lot of patents on nature and mathematics. It prevents a lot of patent grants but more importantly it’s used to dismiss lawsuits that leverage such bogus patents. The lawyers aren’t happy. It prevents them making a lot of money from lawsuits, whose number is collapsing.

Watchtroll’s new editor (the founder stepped down after two decades) has just used a former Federal Circuit chief judge to pretend patent law is to be made up by bribed politicians, not actual courts (“Judge Paul Michel: Look to Congress, Not Courts, to Fix the U.S. Patent System”). Michel is like a ‘retired’ lobbyist for software patents that patent trolls leverage (David Kappos does the same thing, often alongside Michel). This is nothing new. He always appears alongside the usual people, mostly former USPTO chiefs who are in bed with the litigation ‘industry’ (the new USPTO managers too have come from there). Donald Zuhn takes note of “effort by the Office to increase patent examination quality and efficiency through the development of an automated tool for USPTO examiners…”

Sounds familiar? It is more or less the same language we often see in Europe (“quality”, “efficiency”…) and the same methodology that failed miserably.

The European Patent Office (EPO) is being copied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). They want to grant lots of questionable patents which they know courts would reject (and judges aren't happy with that).

About a week ago we wrote about the Office kidnapping the branch of justice. It even abducts its overseer, the Administrative Council. There’s no separation of powers (essential for real justice). So it’s getting harder to demonstrate just how appalling patent quality became. The Office hopes to hide the facts and muzzle those who speak about it.

Meanwhile, J A Kemp, a proponent of patents on life, praises the EPO for liaising with nefarious groups. These are not “standards bodies” as the headline claims but more like front groups for patent trolls with their FRAND/SEP thickets which they exploit for anticompetitive blackmail. To quote:

The EPO has announced a cooperation with European Committee of Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) under which the three organisations will work together to improve and disseminate knowledge about the relationship between standards and patents. The agreement builds on existing co-operation in this area between the EPO, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the European Commission.

Whilst the exact nature and intended outcomes of this cooperation are not known, the comments in the EPO’s statement suggest a focus on providing further information resources for inventors and researchers in fields which are, or which may be in the future, affected by standards. This can only be welcomed as the increasing growth of Internet-of-Things development causes more and more diverse areas of industry to be impacted by the need to comply with (and potentially licence patents relating to) communications standards.

As we explained at the time, this is the EPO aligning itself with patent trolls and extortion rackets such as MPEG-LA.

Who can stop the EPO doing this? Seemingly nobody. This article which was cited by SUEPO on Thursday (yesterday) speaks of the judges’ loss of independence:

Alluding to this pending referral, in the present case T 0403/18 one of the parties present at an oral hearing in Haar requested that this hearing be held in Munich. As can be inferred from the minutes of this hearing (the written decision has not been published yet), with agreement of all parties the oral proceedings were indeed relocated to the former home of the Boards of Appeal in Munich, i.e. the Isar building at the Bob-van-Benthem-Platz

It could be argued that all BoA decisions since 2014 have not been entirely valid because Battistelli eliminated judges’ sense of independence and perception of impartiality. They decide with greater caution, having seen what happened to their colleague, Judge Corcoran.

Also cited by SUEPO on Thursday was this new article. Reported by Barney Dixon (IPPro Magazine) was a bunch of stuff based on a document we had published yesterday morning. To quote:

Despite a change of hands at the European Patent Office (EPO), little has changed in terms of social dialogue, representatives from the office’s Central Staff Committee (CSC) have claimed.
In an intervention at the EPO’s most recent Administrative Council meeting, staff representatives claimed that while they would have liked to provide positive news about social dialogue and the social situation at the office, “no progress worth noting has been observed”.

During the meeting, EPO president António Campinos gave an update to the council on the development of the EPO’s strategic plan.

Campinos also discussed developments on social dialogue and the need to foster it.

The first goal of the strategic plan is to build an engaged, knowledgeable and collaborative organisation.

This includes looking at ways to attract talent, as well as achieving more harmonious social relations and to ensure there is meaningful dialogue between social partners.

[...]

SUEPO also noted that despite claims of increasing social dialogue, SUEPO—which represents about half of the staff—is still excluded as a negotiation partner.

So the union is too fearful to speak out, judges cannot speak out, and European authorities refuse to intervene. Immunity entails impunity. So the EPO continues breaking the rules by granting CRISPR patents. Not even a pretense of following the rules or consistency in decisions anymore?

Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review, an advocacy front group for patents on life (still disguised as a “news” site), has just covered this latest example. It’s not an objective article but agenda-setting jingoism. Too much of that nowadays (decay of journalism). To quote:

The European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a new CRISPR/Cas9 patent to inventor Emmanuelle Charpentier, one of the key figures in the CRISPR landscape.

Today, April 3, ERS Genomics, the company providing access to CRISPR/Cas9 IP owned by Charpentier, announced she had been granted European patent number 3,401,400.

We took note of it earlier this week. Here they are granting patents in violation of the EPC. SUEPO has just estimated that about 30,000 such fake patents (European Patents not compliant with the EPC) may have been granted each year. Forward Pharma should know, having seen its granted patent implode, whereupon its very existence came into jeopardy. Yes, the EPO’s abuses are crashing European companies' shares, invoking layoffs. The company has just published these results, taking note of its lost patent:

Research and development costs for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 were $2.7 million and $20.5 million, respectively. The decrease in research and development costs for the year ended December 31, 2018 is the result of lower costs incurred in connection with the EP2801355 patent (“‘355 Patent”) opposition in Europe (“Opposition Proceeding”), lower share-based compensation and the wind-down of our development efforts of dimethyl fumarate (DMF)-containing formulations.

The damage caused by the deterioration of the EPO remains to be realised. It can take decades to be fully evaluated. In the US, for example, patent trolls are said to have incurred losses of many tens of billions of dollars (taken out of the productive economy). Researchers such as James Bessen have done work to that effect. This is a lot more than the EPO budget for an entire decade. They just externalise the costs for private profits. The public pays.

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. Software Freedom and The U.S. Constitution

    “We need to stand for the freedom to not use the software — we need to enjoy that freedom without giving up the rest of the existing Free software ecosystem.”



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 14, 2019



  3. Links 15/12/2019: Wine 5.0 RC1 Released, KDE Frameworks 5.65.0, Qubes OS 4.0.2 RC3

    Links for the day



  4. It Matters a Lot What You Call the System

    Why the best name for the best operating system would be "GNU", not "Linux" (media has twisted the words so as to marginalise GNU and its politics/philosophy)



  5. Only the EPO Goes as Far as Bribing Publishers (the Media) to Promote Software Patents and Publish Fictional Stories

    The world’s patent offices are growing tired of granting software patents which courts later toss out (because these patents are not valid); not only does the EPO advocate such patents — typically using a bundle of buzzwords — it’s also bribing the media to help



  6. EU Needs to Show That It Cares About SMEs and Not 'European Champions' That Are Actually Foreign Monopolies

    Judging by the EU’s nearly blind and unconditional support for the management of the EPO — no matter how abusive and corrupt it has gotten — one has to wonder if the ex-EU official in charge of the EPO reveals a profound democracy deficit as well as growing dangers to Europe’s businesses — the productive firms to which patent maximalism often represents far more risk than opportunity



  7. Guest Article: The Free Software Movement Should Come Out From the Box

    "From now onwards we have to think from a user’s rights perspective and mobilise users of Free software. They should know what rights they ought to get."



  8. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, December 13, 2019



  9. Links 13/12/2019: QEMU 4.2.0, GNU Guile 2.9.7

    Links for the day



  10. Links 13/12/2019: Zorin OS 15.1, Vim 8.2

    Links for the day



  11. Linux Foundation Has Outsourced All the Licence Compliance Stuff to Microsoft, a Serial GPL Violator

    OpenChain Specification/OpenChain Project and Automated Compliance Tooling (ACT) are yet more examples -- the latest of many -- of the Linux Foundation being outsourced to Microsoft, not only for code but also documentation and hosting



  12. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 12, 2019



  13. Copyleft: Keeping Code Free

    Now that news about "Linux" is dominated by promotion of proprietary software we ought to remember what perpetrators of such a strategy seek to eliminate



  14. Plans That Worked, Plans That Failed

    "I am still looking for good news, but the more good I try to find, the more nastiness I uncover. This is by far, Free software's worst year ever. 2019 Sucks!"



  15. Links 12/12/2019: KDE Applications 19.12, Qt Creator 4.11, New VirtualBox

    Links for the day



  16. Brand Dilution in Action

    Microsoft's proprietary software which spies on people and businesses is getting a "free ride" on the "Linux" brand; and nobody seems to care, nobody seems to notice how perverse that it



  17. At the EPO Money -- Not Quality -- is King

    Financiers are ruining quality



  18. The EPO's Strategic Failure 2023

    Potemkin social dialogue



  19. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 11, 2019



  20. EPO Promoting Software Patents in Countries Where These Are Illegal

    The EPO's vision of 'unitary' software patents (patents on algorithms in countries that disallow such patents, as per their national laws) won't materialise, but in the meantime a lot of Invalid Patents (IPs) are granted in the form of European Patents (EPs) and this is wrong



  21. We Support GNU and the FSF But Remain Sceptical and Occasionally Worry About an RMS-less FSF

    Richard Stallman (RMS) is not in charge of the FSF anymore (it's Stallman who created the FSF) and there's risk the decisions will be made by people who don't share Stallman's ethics or the FSF's spirit



  22. Links 11/12/2019: Huawei Lobbied by Microsoft (Because of GNU/Linux) and Microsoft Still Googlebombs Linux to Promote 'Teams'

    Links for the day



  23. Links 11/12/2019: Edge Native Working Group, CrossOver 19.0 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Instead of Fixing Bug #1 Canonical/Ubuntu Contributes to Making the Bug Even More Severe (WSL/EEE)

    Following one seminal report about Canonical financially contributing to Microsoft's EEE efforts — celebrated openly by GNU/Linux opponentsclosing bug #1 Ubuntu basically decided not that it was fixed but that it would no longer attempt to fix it (“wontfix”)



  25. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 10, 2019



  26. Today's Example of Microsoft's Faked 'Love'

    “On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated “Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams”. This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference,” according to Wikipedia



  27. Links 10/12/2019: Kubernetes 1.17, Debian Init Systems GR

    Links for the day



  28. 'Cancel Culture' as 'Thoughtpolice' Creep

    Richard Stallman spoke about an important aspect of censorship more than 2 decades ago (before “Open Source” even existed); it was published in Datamation (“Censoring My Software”) 23 years before a campaign of defamation on the Internet was used to remove him from MIT and FSF (censoring or ‘canceling’ Stallman himself)



  29. Microsoft Still Hates GNU/Linux and Mark Shuttleworth Knows It (But He is Desperate for Money)

    We're supposed to believe that a PR or image management (reputation laundering) campaign alone can turn Microsoft from GNU/Linux foe into friend/ally



  30. Actions Against EPO Corruption and Unitary Patent (UPC) Injustice/Lobbying

    The EPO is apparently going on strike again and an action against the UPC is scheduled for later this week (protest in Brussels)


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