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

06.13.19

The EPO is a Patent Troll’s Wet Dream

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A scary look

Summary: The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it

THE concept of “patent trolls” has long been understood and realised in Europe; rarely did these parasites fulfill their wishes, but I spoke to some people who were victims of trolls, even here in Europe; truly disturbing stories (sleepless nights, fear of being assassinated etc.) because trolls are dodgy to say the least; they’re often just charlatans, frauds and thugs, greedy opportunists looking for a buck until they get caught (sometimes arrested) or stripped of their so-called ‘assets’ (which they sometimes lie about).

The European Patent Office (EPO) has been eerily close to front groups of trolls — sites and fronts that are literally funded by the trolls. António Campinos has been doing so even more than Battistelli; he not only promotes software patents in Europe but routinely meets with trolls who leverage these for blackmail. Campinos never fooled me; look no further than what he had done to EUIPO before he left it. The man is a disgrace and he comes from a disgraced Portuguese bank. My friends from Portugal are always amused when I name this bank. Battistelli came from ENA and Campinos, who studied in France, made his career in a rogue bank. So this French duo is a perfect companion for the charlatans, frauds and thugs patent trolls tend to be (they have threatened me too).

“So this French duo is a perfect companion for the charlatans, fraud and thugs patent trolls tend to be (they have threatened me too).”There are of course also law firms that are particularly close to trolls; they view the trolls as clients, they habitually represent them in courts. There’s a great degree of overlap between them and Team UPC, which lobbied for a fast lane/track for trolls. Any unitary ‘patents’ would be more economic not for SMEs but for enforcers such as trolls, to whom concept such as “scope of operation” does not apply; it’s inapplicable because they make nothing at all and merely sue those who do, as often and as widely as possible. Matteo Pes, a patent attorney, has just admitted: “Personally I’m battled. On one side, I would welcome courts with judges specialized in IP and expedite proceedings. On the other side, the UPC seems a top-down reform, expensive, that could easily put SMEs out of the games. And I like SMEs…”

Notice that he responded to Team UPC with their usual lies (which we won’t reproduce here). A truly nasty and malicious firm, Bardehle Pagenberg, a firm which lobbies for illegal software patents, has also just published shameless self-promotion titled “European Patent Opposition Proceedings”; they probably find that their troll ‘clients’ don’t get too easy a time in tribunals/courts.

What chance does the UPC stand anyway? Leaping past the stage of justice and onto kangaroo courts? Judging by how things are going, there are far too many barriers to it. Among them: Hungary, Germany, the UK and even Czechia. We’ve lost count, but Benjamin Henrion (FFII) has just highlighted this article titled “Ratification of UPC Agreement in Czechia postponed. Forever?”

To quote:

Last year the Czech Industrial Property Office and the Ministry of Industry and Trade commissioned a study on the overall impacts of the patent package on the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic signed the UPC Agreement but has not ratified it yet.

The study was carried out by PWC. Its conclusions include clear recommendation not to hurry with ratification but rather to wait for the system to be implemented in countries that have already ratified the package, and for their experience with its functioning.

The study quotes among the main reasons for postponement the legal and constitutional hurdles and the likely negative economic impact on Czech SMEs. While SMEs play a major role in the Czech economy they hardly apply for any patents. According to the study less than 0,1% of all European patent applications was filed by Czech companies. For instance, in 2016 the total number of patent applications filed by CZ companies with EPO amounts to 185, most of these applications originate from large enterprises such as Skoda Auto or Zentiva. The study concludes that if patent package is ratified the Czech SMEs would be passive recipients of the new system not its active players. Though the total numbers of European patents validated in the Czech Republic is rapidly growing (in 2016 almost six thousand EPs were validated in Czechia), this amount corresponds to only 6,5% of all European patents. Things could however drastically change for SMEs if patent package comes into force and it is ratified by Czech Parliament. Suddenly not merely thousands but dozens of thousands of unitary patents are likely to flood the Czech economy. This would significantly increase the SMEs costs for freedom to operate clearance searches and obviously the likelihood of patent infringement disputes against Czech SMEs as well. The study points out that Czech SMEs may lack necessary financial resources for clearance searches and for their effective defence in patent litigation at UPC should they be sued for patent infringement.

The differences in terms of litigations costs between the current system in Czechia and proposed UPC system would be immense and could lead to liquidation of many Czech SMEs who could not afford to defend themselves at UPC even if the patent claims raised against them would be unsubstantiated.

The EPO is so desperate for the UPC that it tries to pretend that it listens to the public (it is not) and it spends a fortune on some stupid ‘festival’ in which it associates itself with scientists (there’s another one coming soon). Days ago the EPO also published this belated English translation (warning: epo.org link) of an article that says or speaks of “Moon talk, astronauts and inventions at the Deutsches Museum.” The EPO’s obsession with space and with greenwashing is part of the PR strategy. They want to make it seem as though corrupt people are actually science champions for humanity. Today’s increasingly corrupt EPO management is deeply pathetic, but it is still trying to associate itself with science and scientists while mostly hiring lawyers (in-house lawyers too) to attack scientists/staff while weaponising patent trolls. No doubt the trolls are loving all this; they foresee the future of mass litigation, which is already reported as a present issue by those who put together the numbers. Litigation in Germany is soaring and trolls count for the sharp rise.

Days ago we took note of the exceedingly promotional press release from Americorp Investments (e.g. “Americorp’s newest patent allows for creation of customized wagers”, “Americorp Investments And Arrow Gaming Expand Gaming Portfolios” and “Americorp Investments awarded additional US gaming patent”). These suggest it has no plans other than becoming a patent troll with bogus software patents, even at EPO member states (the EPO is explicitly mentioned in all those). Americorp Investments shows all the classic hallmarks of a patent troll preparing for a shakedown campaign (behind the scenes if possible), using a string of utterly ridiculous press releases. To quote one portion:

Americorp Investments, a company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing innovative technologies for the gaming industry, announced Tuesday that it has been awarded an additional patent by the United States Patent Office. This patent is the 25th U.S. patent for gaming granted to Americorp or its affiliate Arrow Gaming. Americorp and Arrow also hold six gaming patents issued in Japan and the Philippines and have 37 gaming and related blockchain technology patents pending in the EPO and PCT countries and jurisdictions worldwide.

More of these patents are being granted — patents that must be rejected as bunk and void. Stop patenting maths! This troll is going after companies, demanding money for patents that would cost money to challenge. We’ve covered such stories before, namely game makers that are blackmailed by the likes of Americorp. This time it matters to us even more because of the explicitly-stated role of the EPO.

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. Debian Leadership Should Not be 'Shy' of Politics (and It's OK to Admit Palestinians Are Human Beings Too)

    The contemporary tendency to limit people's freedom of speech (e.g. permission to express political views) means that while people may find software freedom they will lose other essential freedoms



  2. New Series: Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    In the interest and motivation of exposing the true nature of things, Techrights will turn its attention to internal affairs at the higher echelons of the FSF, founded more than three and a half decades ago in MIT (where Stallman launched the GNU Project, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and a lot more foundational Free software)



  3. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 23, 2020



  4. Links 23/2/2020: PipeWire 0.3 and Osu!

    Links for the day



  5. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on Being Cancelled

    It was reading this that I realized I’d been cancelled myself. In my case, I was painted misogynist and transphobic, and for a post in which I supported women but denounced a crowd of men twisting the feminist cause, that I share, to attack rms, as if he wasn’t a feminist himself; and in which I express curiosity as to what pronoun to use to refer to zero women to paint me as someone who disregards gender identities and their pronouns.



  6. Good People Need to Run for Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board Positions After an FSF Coup Threw in the Towel, Pushing Out the Founder

    "I have been hit, but not knocked out, and my campaign for free software is not over." --Richard Stallman, October 2019



  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 22, 2020



  8. Alexandre Oliva's Message About Cancel Culture at the FSF

    Being cancelled is no fun. In my case, it was for standing for a friend who got canceled for defending someone else from an accusation that was later proven false.



  9. Links 22/2/2020: Polish Government Increases GNU/Linux Use, Samza 1.3.1

    Links for the day



  10. Being Rich Does Not Imply Being Smart (Especially When One is Born Into Wealth)

    Presenting the 'genius' (college dropout, but that does not matter when the yardstick of wisdom is wealth alone), with his own predictions overlaid on top of his photo from the show of Bloomberg (another 'genius' whose supposed brilliance is measured using money alone)



  11. The Rise and Fall of Free Software

    "We simply need to make the movement less corporate, and more grassroots."



  12. Why You Should Adopt Debian 10, Not Vista 10 (Windows Vista With Microsoft's Latest Surveillance Add-ons)

    A little personal story and recommendation of Debian "Buster" (10) or Devuan (whose developers persist)



  13. Ethics by Exclusion

    It's the same old philosophical question; can excluding those who are perceived to be intolerant be seen as an act of tolerance?



  14. Even Worse Than Microsoft Inside the Board of the OSI

    The OSI has accepted people from companies that actively attack Software Freedom and there may be more on their way



  15. ZDNet Continues to Stuff Its 'Linux' Section With Proprietary Software of Microsoft

    The above is what the "Linux" section of ZDNet is going to look like throughout the weekend (and this is hardly unusual, either)



  16. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, February 21, 2020



  17. Links 21/2/2020: EasyOS 2.2.11 Released, Microsoft's Control of the Linux Foundation Increases and More Binary Blobs Arrive

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 20, 2020



  19. Video: LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman

    LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman



  20. GNU World Order is a Personal Sacrifice, LinuxWorld Just Business

    As the Linux Foundation shows, Linux is just business (and proprietary software) as usual, software patents included, whereas it’s GNU that continues the Free Software Movement’s battles



  21. Links 20/2/2020: Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU18, Mesa 20, VirtualBox 6.1.4

    Links for the day



  22. Open Source Did Not Win, It Was Assimilated to and by Proprietary Software

    Don’t fall for the whole “Open Source has won!” spiel; You know we’ve lost the battle (and were in effect gradually conquered) at OSI and elsewhere when those who speak for the OSI are Michael Cheng (Facebook), Max Sills (Google), and Chris Aniszczyk (Linux Foundation); they say “Open Source Under Attack” (FOSDEM talk) but their employers are the ones attacking and they downplay openwashing



  23. Former Microsoft Employees Don't Like Talking About Past and Present Microsoft Back Doors (Designed for Spy Agencies)

    In a typical Microsoftian fashion, once they cannot defend the illusion/delusion that Microsoft values security the 'Softers' run away and block any further debate



  24. Techrights Warns Against Impending Extradition Efforts (Passage of Julian Assange to His Death in the United States)

    Imprisonment of journalists who are effective at exposing crimes (of the powerful, not petty crimes) must never be condoned



  25. Team UPC: Many Mouths and No Ears

    The mental condition of Team UPC gets more worrisome by the week



  26. Team UPC Insults Judges Because the UPC is Dead and UPC Lobbyists Have Nothing Left to Lose

    More judge-shaming tactics are in the mix; Team UPC seems to feel like there's nothing left to lose as the UPC is already dead (hope itself is next to die)



  27. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 19, 2020



  28. China Bashing is Grounded in Fear (That They Can Simply Do Better Than the West)

    The atmosphere of hate towards China — fuelled partly by a white supremacist in the White House — is unhelpful and insulting; dignity and understanding is the way to go



  29. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 18, 2020



  30. FFII Press Release: Germany Can No Longer Ratify the Unitary Patent Due to Brexit and the Established AETR Case-law, says FFII

    Germany cannot ratify the current Unitary Patent due to Brexit and the established AETR case-law. The ratification of the UPC (Unified Patent Court) by Germany would constitute a violation of the AETR case-law, which was used during the EPLA negotiations in 2006 to consider a deal with non-EU countries, such as Switzerland.


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