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

04.24.19

Supreme Court of the UK, Which Habitually Throws Out European Patents, May Overturn Troublesome Unwired Planet v Huawei Decision

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Patents at 2:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad news for patent trolls and their legal representatives (the likes of Bristows/Team UPC)

A jungle
“But they’re GREEN monopolies! They’re GREEN!!!”

Summary: A lot of European Patents are facing growing scrutiny from courts (Team UPC, including Bristows, publicly complains about it this month) and “greenwashing” of the Office won’t be enough to paint/frame these patents as “ethical”

HAVING just covered the German Federal patent court's take on SPCs, weakening/limiting the breadth of some European Patents, let’s also consider the fact that Mayo may cause the USPTO to reject similar patents in the US (patents on food). Today’s EPO, under the leadership of António Campinos, is arguably more lenient than the USPTO. Some people from Team UPC have said that software patents are now easier to get in Europe than in the United States (where such patents originally came from, due to the Federal Circuit‘s decision/stance about half a century back). Owing to 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice (US Supreme Court), software patents are pretty much worthless in American courts nowadays; the same goes for patents on nature, owing for the most part to Mayo (there’s also Myriad). Weeks ago we saw the UK Supreme Court (highest British court) knocking down a European Patent on natural compounds (where the supposed innovation was a recipe).

Are we indeed seeing the Alpine avalanche of European Patents? Is it the beginning of the collapse? The rumbling of snow? Sooner or later it will come down and it will cover everything in its path.

Yesterday we caught this important new blog post from Florian, who we knew back then would be followed by a lot of ‘press’ coverage (authored and published by law firms, not actual journalists, i.e. the usual). It’s about the most infamous patent troll of Ericsson, whose legal wars in London posed a great threat to British software companies. The name of this troll keeps changing — pretty normal practice among trolls looking to dodge the negative past publicity. It’s currently known as “Unwired Planet” and we included articles about this latest development in yesterday’s (afternoon) daily links alongside this coverage by Rose Hughes for Richard Vary (Bird & Bird, Team UPC, FRAND zealots). We prefer not to link to it (published 35 minutes after Florian’s blog post) because that tends to promote lies of the FRAND lobby. This blog typically pushes such coverage (on this case and this topic in general) from “AmeriKat” (Bristows), but this time it’s their ‘sibling’ Bird & Bird. Expect Bristows to say much more (and complain) in blogs such as IP Kat and Kluwer Patent Blog in the coming days. To quote Bird & Bird: “As discussed on IPKat here, the Court of Appeal decisions in Unwired Planet and Conversant were significant. The Court found that the English courts have jurisdiction in considering and determining the terms of a global FRAND licence. The courts could not force Huawei to enter into a global licence. However, the court could prevent Huawei from using the technology to which the SEPs relate, unless they entered into a global licence.”

It would not at all surprise us if these patent trolls are Bird & Bird clients (without disclosure), i.e. they represent these parasitic, villainous trolls. The case in question relates to a patent troll of Microsoft, albeit indirectly. This troll is currently called “Conversant” (formerly MOSAID) and maybe it will rename again in the future. Their names are a dime a dozen and they don’t have any real operations. They don’t need a brand; they sell nothing.

The above case may serve to overturn a dangerous decision that threatens Free/libre software among many other things (including fair competition). When shifting to courts outside the UK, as they sometimes do, trolls want decisions that are more favourable to them (e.g. in Eastern Texas and its German equivalents). Thankfully, the UPC(A) seems to be permanently dead. More dead than ever. We’re past Easter now and there’s no sign of progress. Seeing the judges’ persistent ‘exile’ in Haar, the FCC in Germany won’t be impressed. The EPO cannot be trusted with anything. “The Convention watchdog” left this comment some days ago and hours ago it was belatedly (almost a week late) approved. It says:

As to geography:

To make it quite clear, the Landkreis München is not a broader area than the City of Munich but a different area. It comprises municipalities outside Munich but not Munich itself.

In this respect, the referring decision addresses an interesting point at Reasons, pt. 3.3. The Headquarters Agreement between the European Patent Organisation and Germany, concluded implementing Art. 25 of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities, contains in its Articles 11 and 12 provisions on the premises of the Organisation in Munich and of the Berlin sub-office. The Berlin sub-office has its legal basis in Section I, Article 3 a) of the Protocol on Centralisation which is part of the Convention pursuant to Art. 164 (1) EPC. The case of Rijswijk is governed by the corresponding Agreement with the Netherlands, defining in its Article 1: “branch” means the branch of the European Patent Office at The Hague (Rijswijk), in order to make clear that the existing premises of the IIB are covered by the Agreement and the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities. In any case this shows that the legal situation for Berlin and Rijswijk is different from the situation for Haar. The competence in Article 7 EPC to create further sub-offices does not cover sub-offices for the departments of the EPO entrusted with procedural functions under the Convention.

Another person then wrote: “Why does the possible interpretation of “Munich” as “Landkreis München” have to be *exclusive* of the City of Munich? Would it not also be in keeping with the Vienna Convention to interpret “Munich” in Art. 6 EPC as meaning “a location within either of the City of Munich and Landkreis München”?”

Imagine what would happen if all patent cases were decided by the same system that kicked out these judges to Haar, probably in direct violation of the EPC. As an act of retaliation (or scare tactics) from Office management…

Today’s EPO lacks legitimacy and Campinos has done absolutely nothing to change that. It’s like “greenwashing” of the Office, a man with a smile who stabs you as soon as you turn around.

Speaking of greenwash, there’s this new article about the EPO’s PATSTAT. It’s about patent monopolies on “sustainable innovation”, i.e. things you are not allowed to do in order to combat climate issues. Here they go again with epic greenwash:

Green Tech DB uses patents in order to provide a database that offers a comprehensive overview of the developments of Green Technologies worldwide.

Researches use the PATSTAT 2016a database as their patent source; which is produced by the European Patent Office (EPO). “The main advantage of using PATSTAT, a database produced by the European Patent Office, is to have information about patent applications that covers more than 80 different countries. As a patent is a legal object, information available in different patent databases is similar, what differs is the coverage across time and countries, and PATSTAT has one of the best coverage.”

The EPO’s database of patents used to be a source of envy, but nowadays it is polluted by loads of bogus patents which would cost a fortune to invalidate.

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. Links 19/1/2020: Wine 5.0 RC6, Alpine 3.11.3

    Links for the day



  2. Judges Reject EPO Patents on Life as Constitutional Complaints Against the EPO Pile Up in Germany

    EPO judges throw out patents on life (CRISPR at least); there's now growing hope that they'll have the courage to do the same to patents on software



  3. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 18, 2020



  4. StartPage (System1) Found New Spin Allies. Some Have Been Offered StartPage Jobs. Some Might Already be Working for StartPage in Secret.

    Pro-StartPage voices appear to be paid (or have been promised pay) by StartPage; the key strategy of StartPage seems to be, attack and betray people's privacy while paying people in particular positions to pretend otherwise



  5. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, January 17, 2020



  6. Links 18/1/2020: Mir 1.7 and GNU Guile 3.0.0

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 16, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 16, 2020



  8. Links 16/1/2020: Mozilla Layoffs, PinePhone Braveheart Shipping, KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS Reaches Beta

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft is a Market Leader in Lying and Corruption

    Microsoft is working hard to describe itself as the exact opposite of what it is and what it has been; ‘Internet rot’ helps a lot with this agenda, not to mention control of the media (the narrative)



  10. The European Patent Organisation Continues to 'Piss All Over' Separation of Powers

    The EPO continues to scatter invalid patents (IPs) that are European Patents (EPs) all over Europe and nobody can stop this, not even the judges of the EPO because they lack independence (by their very own admission)



  11. Zealots of Team UPC (Patent Litigation) Now Attacking the Courts and the Judges, Removing Their Mask on the Face of Things...

    The tactics of Team UPC aren't changing, only the shamelessness associated with these tactics is changing (because it looks like the end of days to them)



  12. Microsoft Now Uses or Leverages Software Freedom Against Free Software

    A reader's explanation of what Microsoft is trying to accomplish with its so-called 'embrace' and what steps will come next (how they manifest themselves)



  13. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 15, 2020



  14. Links 15/1/2020: CentOS Linux 8.1, Oracle VirtualBox 6.1.2 and GNU Sed 4.8

    Links for the day



  15. OSI Board at Microsoft: This is How Institutions Die or Completely Lose Their Purpose/Direction

    The photo (or meeting) may mark the turning point of the Openwashing as-a-Standard Initiative (OSI), which less than a year earlier took a bucket of money from Microsoft



  16. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 14, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 14, 2020



  17. When Microsoft's Actions Speak for Themselves (About Back Door Access)

    Unwittingly, people are being reminded of the 'special relationship' between Microsoft and the US Army (or government); The back doors or bug doors are still there, even 7 years after Edward Snowden's NSA leaks



  18. Why You -- Yes, You Too -- Should Consider Migrating to GNU/Linux

    The window is closing (and Windows/Vista 7 closing down); the chance to use machines that the users actually control is still there



  19. Can We Please Stop Lying for Microsoft in the Mainstream Media?

    Dishonesty for short-term financial gain (e.g. advertising money) will be a big loss in the long run. There’s a reason why so many news sites perish and Datamation (where I wrote more than a decade ago) now throws away remnants of reputation by spreading a big lie from Microsoft.



  20. It's Only Factual and Truthful to Point Out That About Half of the EPO's Management Committee Are From the President's Nation (and Many Are Underqualified Friends of His)

    The patent-granting extravaganza of what a reader and contributor of ours likes to call "Club Med" will result in great pain (not just for the Office but for Europe as a whole); pointing out who's to blame (the culprits) is an exercise in practicality



  21. Stranger Than Fiction: Team UPC's Mental Condition

    Team UPC's delusions continue to unmask UPC proponents (in 2020) as totally and entirely detached from reality



  22. Links 14/1/2020: IBM Joins LOT Network; X.Org Server 1.20.7, Tails 4.2.2 and Zanshin 0.5.71 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Vista 7 is Dead, Long Live GNU/Linux

    A reminder of Microsoft’s universal “PC tax” ambitions — evidence that the company was never interested in ‘playing nice’ with anybody



  24. Links 14/1/2020: Git v2.25.0 and End of Vista 7

    Links for the day



  25. Systematic Abandonment of the Independence of Judiciary at the EPO (or Collective Amnesia)

    The ‘constitution’ or the convention upon which the EPO is based (known as EPC) is routinely violated and nobody seems to care anymore; the EPO governs itself and conducts itself without as much as a fundamental legal text



  26. They Always Say They Love Linux (and 'the Children')

    Microsoft says it “loves Linux” and the Gates Foundation insists it “loves children” but the real underlying motivations have more to do with monopoly (Windows, Monsanto etc.) and nothing to do with “Linux” or “children” or whatever



  27. The Media's Obligation is Not to Repeat the Lies of EPO Management, But Money Changes Things

    The ridiculous lies about prospects of the Unified Patent Court are now spreading to EPO-friendly publishers — few powerful people to whom truth isn’t valued as much as the customers (their subscribers and sponsors are law firms)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 13, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, January 13, 2020



  29. The FSF and GNU Need a Better Savannah to Attract GitHub Refugees

    Thomas Grzybowski's explanation of why GitHub poses a risk to software freedom and what can be done about it



  30. Links 13/1/2020: Linux Lite 4.8, Linux 5.5 RC6, Corebird Continues as ‘Cawbird’

    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