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06.11.19

Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Weeks ago: The Quality of Patents is Connected to the Quality of Life of Patent Examiners

Apple and scale

Summary: Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today’s joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics

WE LIVE in volatile times when law sort of matters ‘in principle’ but not in practice. Sometimes one needs to waste an extraordinary amount of money and spend years in several different courts for ‘justice’ (bar waste of time and money) to ‘prevail’. This extends across from staff affairs to quality of their work or patent quality. European Patent Office (EPO) Presidents Campinos and Battistelli promote software patents in Europe, which are very clearly not valid, no matter if you call them “CII” or “Hey Hi!” (AI) or whatever…

We also live in volatile times when the press as a whole is in decline and journalism hardly exists; ‘news’ about patents is directly or indirectly composed by patent law firms and as of SundayIP Kat team is sad to say farewell to GuestKat Rosie Burbidge, who is leaving the blog after 2.5 years.”

Less quality left there; she was one of their more decent writers. More patent trolls’ lobbyists like Bristows will take advantage of this vacuum, as they already have (some UPC propaganda was published there as recently as last week). Here is what IP Kat wrote, repeating what Burbidge had said in her last post (last week):

The IPKat team is sad to say farewell to GuestKat Rosie Burbidge, who is leaving the blog after 2.5 years. An expert in trade marks, designs and everything fashion, Rosie is now a partner at Gunnercooke and the author of European Fashion Law (EdwardElgar:2019). We wish her all the best for her future endeavours, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with her in some other capacity. Thanks Rosie!

Thanks, Rosie. Indeed. We’re no foes of IP Kat, but the blog took a turn for the worse over the years — to the point where instead of exposing Battistelli corruption it went to him (for handshakes and photo ops). It’s embarrassing. From soliciting information from EPO insiders to mass-deleting all comments about Campinos!

Each month that passes we feel more ‘lonely’; it feels like nobody other than us is eager to cover EPO abuses. What happened to courage and integrity? Have all media companies become just PR/marketing companies? Is that their last remaining business model?

Here is the EPO, again (as in every day this past month), offering ‘bribes’ to scholars if and only if they serve the toxic agenda of corrupt EPO management (we wrote about it as recently as this year and before that as well). The EPO does this not only to academia but also to the media. It helps keep the media on their side. Even silence alone would serve the agenda of lowering patent quality and abusing EPO staff.

The same day the EPO also wrote: “It’s not mandatory to appoint a professional representative when applying for a European patent, but it may be helpful.”

Leaked correspondence from inside the EPO (yes, we’ve published it) debunks this advice from the EPO, which discriminates against applications/applicants who don’t hire from the patent microcosm.

It is meanwhile made more apparent that the EPO’s advocacy of software patents spreads to the media, maybe even for a fee. New Electronics now glorifies a source of great nuisance to software developers with fake patents on maths (these are not valid patents, but it’s the EPO's fault, which offers special rewards for those). Watch what the most vocal promoters of algorithm patents keep tweeting this week; they cite EPO cases as caselaw, even though actual courts (not the EPO’s) reject software patents in Europe. Based on another new piece, EPO judges already grapple with patent quality questions, but as is widely known (to everybody) they have no autonomy/independence; they’re bullied by patent maximalists at the Office. So we’re left to rely on judges outside the EPO.

European Patents are losing their prestige very fast; too many bad ones are granted and even patent maximalists now admit that courts aren’t tolerating them. Here’s a new example from this week:

Patents afford great protection for inventions, but have high threshold in order to ensure that few patents that disclose nothing new are issued. AS one can imagine from common sense, anything that is patented needs to not be obvious, as this would allow for the protection of something that lacks sufficient invention to merit protection. After all, if it is obvious, how can you claim you’ve invented or found it? Even with this is mind, what makes a patent ‘obvious’? In a long awaited decision by the UK Supreme Court, the matter was (finally) put to bed, at least in the UK.

The case of Actavis Group PTC EHF v ICOS Corporation concerned a dosage patent owned by ICOS (EP1173181), which related to the use of tadalafil (more commonly known as Cialis) in a dosage form for the treatment of sexual dysfunction. The patent was exclusively licenced to Eli Lilly. Actavis initiated proceedings to revoke the patent, arguing that it was obvious (among other points), with the matter ultimately ending up with the Supreme Court.

The UK Supreme Court squashed quite a few European Patents lately; this won’t be good for the EPO, whose own figures show that it is aware of the problem (but won’t talk about it in public).

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