05.08.19

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Corruption at the EPO is a Threat Not Only to Europe But to Every Continent in the World

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

European Inventor Award 2019 is an expensive distraction from the highly corrosive effect of EPO corruption and utter disregard for the law

EPO on CII
“EPO objective for 2023 is to spread its harmful practice to grant software patents to other countries, through the IP5 (USPTO, EPO, JPO, KIPO, CIPO)”Benjamin Henrion, as cited yesterday

Summary: The EPO is advertising companies and their software patents using paid press releases while calling abstract patents “AI” and striving to spread this bad practice to the whole world

THE EPO‘s promotion of software patents in Europe is now a threat to the whole world. The document from António Campinos makes it even clearer (as shown above), potentially threatening even 35 U.S.C. § 101.

As we also noted yesterday, the EPO now glorifies illegal software patents that harm everyone in the world. It produces paid press releases to that effect and so do nasty companies like Qualcomm; this is EPO giving actual awards (or honours) for bogus software patents and these nasty companies use that for self-promotional press releases (same press release here). It’s like the EPO is now in the business of corporate marketing, not a neutral assessment of patents. Celebration of illegal patents at the EPO has been taken to Twitter where the nasty company writes things like this or like that. Their employee has done enormous harm to society with those dubious patents and now the EPO wants to reward this person, serving no purpose other than marketing.

“Their employee has done enormous harm to society with those dubious patents and now the EPO wants to reward this person, serving no purpose other than marketing.”The EPO’s agenda seems to be getting only more toxic over time. Yesterday, for instance, the EPO was calling illegal software patents “AI” yet again (to make it sound like they’re magically legal). Typical EPO. The tweet said: “It’s great to have @Sam_S_Davis of http://amplified.ai at #SearchMatters. He pointed out the opportunities and challenges #AI brings to #patent search and how it can be used effectively – and still increase employment.”

Once more, later in the same day, the buzzword “AI” was misused by the EPO to ruin examiners’ life and grant bogus European Patents (leaving the legal bills for the public to pay). “Today there’ll be very diverse and interesting lectures and workshops,” they said. “For the first time, we’re hosting a panel discussion on future developments in searching in the #artificialintelligence era.”

Oh yes! The “artificial intelligence era!”

From this same event the EPO then wrote: “This morning VP 1 @steverowan1 welcomed #SearchMatters attendees and emphasised the importance of knowledge-sharing. The EPO is striving to further increase the high quality of its patents.”

“As usual, the media isn’t covering anything but the EPO’s PR.”The very opposite is true. Ask SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO. The EPO's own figures show that quality is going downhill. They know it, they just don’t say it out loud in public.

As usual, the media isn’t covering anything but the EPO’s PR. And then it wonders why it’s stagnating and dying? Or why people distrust and reject it? We’re seeing all sorts of new puff pieces [1, 2], yet nobody has mentioned corruption associated with these events or the issues associated with quality.

Yesterday we saw the think tank IAM, on behalf of its patent-trolling clients, objecting again to possibility of patents on life and nature being thrown out. To quote:

EPO president makes controversial patentability intervention – EPO president Antonio Campinos triggered a strong response from the European patent community when he asked the Enlarged Board of Appeal to review a recent appellate decision on the patentability of plants produced by biological processes. This IAM article explains why the intervention – though unlikely to succeed – would be considered by many to be harmful to innovation in burgeoning sectors of the life sciences.

Corruption or abuse at the EPO is a threat to everyone in the world because monopolies are being granted against the law; some of these monopolies will cause deaths. We explained the reasons several times before and we gave examples. There are moral/ethical questions to be considered.

“There are moral/ethical questions to be considered.”We don’t suppose that the so-called “legal community” (i.e. lawyers) will speak out about it because it profits from this whole lunacy. MaxDrei, we presume an attorney, has just claimed that “EPO insiders contend that it is the EPO’s duty to police the issue with full rigor but that strikes me as misconceived…”

Here it is in context (the Boards that are unable to exercise independence and therefore perpetuate patent maximalism):

You write that the Boards are showing no sign of “leniency” on priority. Leniency is not the right word.

Let us distinguish between the Paris Convention notion of “same invention” and Paris’s “successor in title”. No leniency on “same invention” please. The Gold Standard is correct.

Now, as to the “successor in title” issue, EPO insiders contend that it is the EPO’s duty to police the issue with full rigor but that strikes me as misconceived and out of line with its attitude on ownership issues between Applicant and named inventor, in cases where there is no priority issue in play.

The EPC has provisions to adjudicate cases of ownership disputes between two rivals for the status of owner. I do not see why the EPO cannot treat the “successor in title” priority issue consistently with all other non-priority ownership issues that have arisen over the last 40 years. It’s a matter between the rival owners. Letting soup-stirring, mischief-making, cost-leveraging 3rd party Opponents make hay with the issue degrades the underlying principles of the EPC and, as the article suggests, imposes disproportionate penalties on deserving inventors and Applicants.

Normally, I’m in favour of standards that foster more professional work by patent attorneys. The law should favour those who invest in top class patent drafting skills. But insisting that when ownership rights are transferred, and there is no dispute about ownership, every i be dotted and every t be crossed before filing PCT strikes me as excessively pernickety, anti-patent, unworldly, disproportionate and unreasonable.

Who does today’s EPO actually represent? Whose interests? Certainly not the productive industry, that’s rather evident. The EPO keeps claiming that it listens to the public, but that’s certainly not happening. Campinos, for example, only ever visits patent trolls’ front groups and ‘collection societies’, not scientists. And check this one out:

EPO and open source
Henrion: “EPO form mentions “Open Source Ecology Germany e.V.” as example in their form [] EPO template in German “The patenting of software can be argued, but the open-source idea does not stop at software.””

What we showed yesterday (and what’s shown in the image at the top) is the EPO’s hostility not only towards Open Source (or Free/libre software) but all software development, proprietary software included. The harms of software patents are well understood in the profession.

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