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

07.16.19

EPO Looney Tunes – Part 1: Is D-Day Approaching for Battistelli’s “Difficult Legacy”?

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Patents at 3:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A four-part mini series about EBA referral G 2/19

EPO toons

“The European Patent Office is an executive organisation, it deals especially with patent applicants, as such, its view of the world may be biased. As an executive organisation, its interpretative powers are very limited. The European Patent Convention excludes computer programs, it is outside the EPO’s power to change this. The exclusion of computer programs is a political question. [...] The core task of a computer is to process data. So at least the processing of data is not patentable.”

Ante Wessels, FFII

Summary: European patent justice isn’t working within the premises of EPOnia; a bunch of ‘show trials’ may in fact turn out to be just that — a show

THIS series about the European Patent Office (EPO) comes from someone who prefers to remain anonymous. It is a series by a guest author. This author has a lot of credibility based on a track record of high accuracy.

“EPO Looney Tunes,” the author explains, is “a four-part mini-series exploring Battistelli‘s “difficult legacy” and the Enlarged Board of Appeal referral case G 2/19 which is scheduled for a hearing in the main EPO Isar Building today (Tuesday, 16 July 2019).”

The Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) is very important (a decade ago it dealt with questions like software patentability in Europe and I sent it a letter about it). There are similar things in the United States (dealing with 35 U.S.C. § 101 at the Office) and elsewhere in Europe, e.g. in EUIPO (previous home of António Campinos). Yesterday the following comment was left in IP Kat: “I note that I am not permitted to post obscene or defamatory comments, or to post ad hominem (or, I presume, ad feminam) attacks on members of the blog team or other posters. Moreover, the IPKat team will moderate my comments before they are published. This seems perfectly reasonable to me. What I do not understand is that the USPTO should be less privileged in this respect than the IPKat. David T. Keeling (former EUIPO Board of Appeal member, rapporteur in the SCREW YOU case, not rapporteur in the FUCKING HELL case)…”

Assuming that’s really him, it’s funny that he takes note of IP Kat censorship — a subject we explored/revisited at least twice earlier this month. Notice how IP Kat quit covering the attacks on EBA a couple of years ago (after some people had left the blog and the EPO temporarily blocked the whole blog). EBA has since then complained, publicly even, about its lack of independence. Will any of that change any time soon (under Campinos)? Will the EPO change at all? Yesterday the EPO tweeted: “The EPO’s success is based on the expertise of its highly skilled staff.”

“The EPO already drove away all the best staff,” I responded. “So now it can grant loads of fake patents and underpay the staff.”

We also recently noted here that examiners are bound by the decisions (e.g. interpretations of the EPC) of the Boards of Appeal, including EBA. So it’s highly crucial that independence gets restored. Without it, quality of patents will continue to suffer if not fall even further. With that in mind, here comes part 1.


Back in March of this year, JUVE reported on a case which had been referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal, the highest judicial instance at the EPO, in a move which was said to put Battistelli’s “difficult legacy” to the test.

The “difficult legacy” referred to here was the banishment of the Boards of Appeal to a new premises in Haar, an independent municipality on the outskirts of Munich.

The question as to whether oral proceedings could lawfully be held in Haar was raised by Aachen patent attorney Hans-Dieter Jostarndt, following objections raised by third parties during the granting procedure of EP 2 378 735.

The disputed patent relates to a technology for operating a mobile phone network and it belongs to IPCom, a well-known – some might say “notorious” – patent-holding company or “non-practicing entity”, which is a common euphemism for a patent troll.

One of the leading patent trolls in Germany, IPCom was established by the flamboyant Munich patent attorney, Bernhard Frohwitter, and it lays claim to a portfolio of over 1,200 patents, many of which were acquired from Bosch. It has been active in the business of trying to “shake-down” big telecom companies since 2008 or thereabouts.

In the course of the proceedings in the case of EP 2378 735, Jostarndt requested that an oral hearing scheduled for 25 January should be moved to the seat of the EPO in Munich because “Haar is obviously not intended in the EPC as a place for acts and negotiations.”

The Technical Board of Appeal dealing with the case decided to refer the matter to the Enlarged Board of Appeal.

Oral proceedings are scheduled to be held in the main EPO Isar building on Tuesday, 16 July 2019.

The hearing will be public so anybody who is interested can attend.

One of the questions on the agenda is whether an EPO Appeals Board can lawfully hold oral proceedings in Haar “if the appellant objects to this site as not being in conformity with the EPC and requests that the oral proceedings be held in Munich instead?”

Despite the excitement which the case has generated inside the EPO, observers are cautioning that it may all turn out to be a bit of an anti-climax because the question about Haar’s conformity with the EPC is preceded by two other questions which concern the admissibility of the legal action itself.

Should the Enlarged Board decide that the appeal is inadmissible, then it will not need to consider the “Haar question”.

In that case, the issue of Haar’s conformity with the EPC would remain unresolved and would be likely to fester on in the background until it resurfaces in a future proceedings.

While we are waiting for the Enlarged Board to make up its mind on referral G 2/19, it seems like a good time to take a peek behind the scenes and have a closer look at the background and some of the personalities involved in the case.

The next installment will follow shortly…

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

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. Microsoft Loves Power

    An explanation of why Microsoft says it loves this and that; Microsoft lacks the capacity to love or to express empathy as it's always about self gratification or coercion, nothing else



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 04, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 04, 2020



  3. Indoors Society, Shut the Windows

    Times are changing in all sorts of ways; it seems like GNU/Linux and other Free/libre operating systems may emerge as winners when the 'dust settles'



  4. Allegation That Microsoft Adopted the Mentality of Suicide Bombers Against Linux, Leaks Reveal

    Looking at leaked E-mails from around the time Microsoft used Cyanogen as a 'proxy', we're finding some stunning admissions or speculation about the real motivations



  5. [Humour] A Union in Whose Interests?

    The union-busting 'yellow union' (the one that helped Benoît Battistelli marginalise SUEPO) is unable to represent staff any longer



  6. FFPE EPO Has Rendered Itself Obsolete by Liaising With Benoît Battistelli

    FFPE EPO has been left out of staff representation, demonstrating that liaising with the oppressor is a self-deprecating move which must be avoided (the only remaining potent union is SUEPO)



  7. Links 4/7/2020: LibreOffice 7.0 'Personal Edition', Atari VCS Coming Soon

    Links for the day



  8. [Humour/Meme] The 'New' Edge (Chrome Copycat) is Already Dead, So Microsoft is Trying to Just Kill the Competition

    Edge market share is so minuscule that it doesn’t even make it into this chart (it’s in “other”); no wonder Microsoft now bullies Windows users into using it, for users reject it even after months of endless advertising/AstroTurfing and aggressive exploitation/appropriation



  9. Fourth of July in the United Kingdom and the United States

    In these bizarre times Independence Day is still being celebrated, even as so many people are out of work, running out of hope and being fed xenophobia in social control media with a racist 'celebrity' president (the "user in chief")



  10. [Humour] Bigger is Always Better When You're a Deluded Maximalist

    The EPO totally lost sight of its mission; it's just speeding everything up, very carelessly, not minding quality and accuracy/certainty/legal validity



  11. 'Managing Intellectual Property' Managing to Become Uncritical Parrot of EPO Management

    Managing to amplify the EPO's lies isn't hard; one just needs to copy, paste, edit a little; then they call it 'journalism', irrespective of the proven track record of EPO management lying to staff and to the media



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, July 03, 2020



  13. Monopoly Abuse, Still: Microsoft Pays Projects to Embrace/Move to C#, GitHub and Visual Studio

    Microsoft's greatest of efforts to lull regulators into inaction and fool us all into thinking that things have changed are undone by actual behaviour, which is abusive, anti-competitive and just... typical Microsoft



  14. Links 4/7/2020: Grml 2020.06 and diffoscope 150 Released

    Links for the day



  15. [Humour/Meme] Don't Let a COVID Crisis Go to Waste When You're Eager to Find Excuses for Many Layoffs and Shutdowns

    Microsoft business units that were defunct (long-failing, well before COVID-19) are being thrown out and Microsoft exploits a virus to rationalise these decisions while spicing up media coverage with "Hey Hi" (AI) and "virtual" experience or Facebook (to give the false impression that nothing really goes away)



  16. Free Software Tackles Political Issues. Political Tactics Are Also Being Weaponised Against Free Software.

    Divide-and-rule tactics seem to have been exploited to weaken collaborative work on Free/libre software; the response to these tactics needs to start with realisation that this is going on (even if it's done in a somewhat clandestine nature)



  17. Offence and Racism

    o those in positions of power and privilege (financial) you are controllable by guilt; dividing us and causing us to feel guilt and fear (over potential offence) is a powerful social control mechanism and pretext for dismissal, censorship, humiliation



  18. Links 3/7/2020: TrueNAS 12 Beta 1, Librem 13 Product Line

    Links for the day



  19. [Humour] European Patents Only Useful Outside the Legal Framework?

    Patents that aren't valid in the eyes of courts would best serve patent trolls that settle out of courts, en masse



  20. Microsoft's Share in Web Servers Rapidly Falls to Just 4.5% (Falling More Than 5% in a Single Month)

    Microsoft's share as measured at Netcraft (de facto authority in this area) is rapidly declining; expect IIS to go the way of the dodo some time in the coming years



  21. The Lock-downs Are Over and Still Zero Media Coverage About EPO Scandals and Corruption

    The appalling state of journalism in Europe (and to some extent in the world at large) means that the EPO's management can get away with all sorts of horrible crimes and fraud; the silencing of the media is, in its own right, quite scandalous



  22. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, July 02, 2020



  23. “Microsoft's Deadly Love” by Alessandro Ebersol (Agent Smith)

    Full credit goes to PCLOS Magazine for publishing this good piece, which we’re reproducing



  24. Links 2/7/2020: Microsoft Partner Says GNU/Linux Share in Desktops/Laptops at 4% Even After Lock-downs, OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 and Mageia 8 Alpha 1 Released

    Links for the day



  25. Why People Should Never Ever Use DuckDuckGo

    DuckDuckGo is another privacy abuser in disguise; the above forum thread enumerates key reasons



  26. After 2 Years and 2 Days António Campinos is a Perfect Leader, Fostering EPO Abuses While Smiling

    EPO corruption persists, but this time the corruption enjoys better marketing/PR and complicit (or at best silent) media



  27. [Humour] As If Monopolies for Life Will Save People's Lives...

    The mentality of monopoly or the mindset of patent maximalism has been quick to exploit the deaths of half a million



  28. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, July 01, 2020



  29. IBM-Funded FSF Censors Itself on Software Patents

    Donald Robertson’s article bemoaning and openly condemning the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over software patents, which it illegally grants in some cases, was modified a week later; and why? One can only guess… (but remember that the FSF’s foremost sponsor is lobbying against 35 U.S.C. § 101 and for software patents)



  30. [Humour/Meme] Remember That As Recently as Last Year Microsoft Was Still Shaking Down and Even Suing Companies Over 'Linux Patent Infringement'

    There's no 'new Microsoft' except a (better at) lying Microsoft; its covert actions tell us a lot about its ongoing hatred of GNU/Linux, which it is assaulting in new and more sophisticated ways


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