06.15.19

António Campinos — Unlike His Father — Engages in Imperialism (Using Invalid Patents)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: The EPO is a Threat to Software Developers Everywhere, Not Just in Europe

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

EPO on CII

Summary: Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same

THE European Patent Office (EPO) under the leadership of António Campinos is arguably far more dangerous than the USPTO with Iancu. Why? Because Iancu can still be sued and he is being challenged, unlike Campinos. The US doesn’t play fast and loose with institutional immunity, at least not at the patent office.

The US, on the patent quality front, has 35 U.S.C. § 101. Many patents fall at the altar; if not at the Office/PTAB, then in courts. The EPO, contrariwise, is ignoring the law and intimidating judges (not national ones but the ones it has access to). We’ve been writing about this since 2014, i.e. for half a decade. It’s not a new issue.

A growing problem that we mentioned several times last month is that the EPO seeks to influence (or lobby) other nations/entire continents to adopt its dubious practices; EPO management says it bluntly (see links and image at the top, right from the horse’s own mouth).

“A growing problem that we mentioned several times last month is that the EPO seeks to influence (or lobby) other nations/entire continents to adopt its dubious practices…”Just before the weekend Ben Wodecki (IPPro Magazine) wrote that “IP5 agree to launch AI and emerging tech task force” (similar to the EPO’s headline, which we’ll come to in a moment). To quote: “Present at the meeting was KIPO commissioner Park Wonjoo, who chaired proceedings; EPO president António Campinos; JPO commissioner Naoko Munakata; CNIPA commissioner Shen Changyu; and USPTO director and under secretary of commerce for IP Andrei Iancu. [...] The next IP5 heads of office meeting will be hosted by the CNIPA in 2020.”

Really? CNIPA? With its notoriously low patent quality? What on Earth is going on? Watch who’s taking over patent offices (the leadership positions in particular). It’s like “vendor capture”. Wodecki wrote what he did after the EPO had published this (warning: epo.org link) about the meeting in Incheon (headline was “World’s five largest patent offices agree on joint task force for emerging technologies and AI”). There was also this tweet about it (with a photo): “World’s five largest patent offices ( #CNIPA @kipoworld @JPO_JPN & @uspto ) agree on joint task force for emerging technologies and AI…”

Yes, CNIPA. The National Intellectual Property Administration in China, probably the only office where software patents are still allowed.

The EPO was ‘beaten to it’ by Korean media, as we noted the other day. What’s common is the “AI” hype. The EPO is lying to the public using buzzwords such as these; it’s hoping to promote abstract patents on algorithms, pushing software patents in Europe and elsewhere under the guise of “AI”. So do the maximalists at the UN/WIPO; they’re just striving to make up as many patents as possible, irrespective of any economic or scientific basis (patents for the sake of making their job seem relevant). In the EPO’s own words (repeating the term “harmonisation” thrice in one paragraph): “Meanwhile, the heads of office endorsed the final results of work on the three sub-projects in the area of patent practice harmonisation – unity of invention, citation of prior art and written description/sufficiency of disclosure – which aim to alleviate the burden on applicants and increase work efficiency. They acknowledged that the tangible outcomes of IP5 patent practice harmonisation have brought substantial benefits to users. They also recognised the need to select new harmonisation topics, which are in line with the IP5 vision, to be discussed in the future.”

The term “harmonisation” was thrown about quite a lot when Campinos and Battistelli pushed for the UPC, formerly “community” and “EU” patent. Words like “harmonisation” and “unity” (or “unified” or even “unitary”) are hard to antagonise because they sound so soothing. We’ll say more about the UPC in our next post. And speaking of “harmonisation”, the incestuous relationship between EPO and EUIPO seems to have deepened even further (‘fixing’ job appointments, based on nepotism and favours). Archambeau now heads the EUIPO (after his EPO career) and the EUIPO’s chief became the EPO’s. Just before the weekend the EPO published (warning: epo.org link) another piece of the puzzle. There was a Friday tweet about it (one of many like it) which said: “The likelihood of experiencing a high-growth period is 9% higher for SMEs that have filed for at least one #patent. More key findings about the IPR profile of high-potential SMEs in Europe here: http://bit.ly/HGFfull cc @EU_IPO #IPforSMEs pic.twitter.com/en4nAa4nSn”

This is what their latest “news” says:

The new MoU, which was signed by the EPO President and the EUIPO’s Executive Director, Christian Archambeau and follows an earlier one from May 2011, provides an extensive and flexible framework to foster even closer collaboration between the EPO and EUIPO. It aims to increase the consistency of activities involving both offices and their users in existing networks, and successfully support the transformations envisaged in the EPO and EUIPO strategic plans, likely to be adopted in the coming months.

Under the MoU the two offices will share information and align their European and international co-operation projects, especially in light of the complementarity of their activities (EPO responsible for patents, EUIPO for trade marks and designs); they will work to provide joint high-quality IP training activities, and raise awareness of the IP system, supporting business’ use of IP in the development of their innovation strategies, and informing policymakers of the socio-economic impact of IP in Europe.

The MoU will be accompanied by annual work plans detailing the joint projects to be carried out over the year.

The EPO can keep insisting that EU law and authorities mean nothing to it (because it predates them), but it’s pretty clear that the connection gets stronger over time. Yet the EPO continues to ignore or defy EU directives, granting loads of software patents in gross violation of these directives. This includes patents on life.

Days ago it carried on retweeting Qualcomm and writing its own promotional tweets about likely fake, bunk, invalid, bogus patents on algorithms (any mathematics patent would be thrown out by courts). The EPO wants to give actual awards for these. Another example involves algorithms dressed up as “AI”; this one too the EPO offers to reward (with special honours), as it did by retweeting the company and then adding: “Driving is safer than ever thanks to Amnon Shashua & his team at @Mobileye whose invention uses a single-lens camera & cutting-edge AI to spot & avoid traffic hazards in real time.”

“AI” just means navigation by computer code; these things are not patentable, but the EPO just doesn’t care. Just keep saying “HEY HI!”(AI) and it will sound novel.

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