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07.29.19

Today’s European Patent Office (EPO) Stifles Access to Medicine With Its More Dubious European Patents

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The results of the Access to Medicine Index are largely based on company data provided by the pharmaceutical companies themselves.” (Source: Wikipedia on the marketing ploy of people who invest in and profit from monopoly)

I wanted to cure my patients but 'award-winning' patents stood in my way

Summary: There are mortal dangers associated with the EPO’s dogmatic efforts to grant as many patents as possible while lowering if not eliminating the independence of its judiciary branch

WORKERS in the area of patents should be profoundly concerned about the Campinos/Battistelli strategy of lowering patent quality in the name of so-called ‘production’ (even if by grossly violating the EPC in a lot of ways), giving rise to illegal software patents in Europe, not to mention patents on life, nature, patient treatments with algorithms etc. This strategy discredits the patent system as a whole (not just in Europe) and is assured to incite the public against it.

At the moment, the corrupt European Patent Office (EPO) is trying to ‘manufacture consent’ (from the public) by constantly lying. It wrote at least two “tweets” about SMEs on Monday morning. This isn’t because it cares about SMEs; it harms them, so it’s googlebombing the term “SMEs” pretty much every week. It’s fooling nobody, as these are merely efforts to bury facts with marketing and bogus ‘studies’ (funded by the EPO). Sooner or later people find out the truth. More and more people understand that today’s EPO is a tool of corporate occupation — an occupation against public interests.

Here’s Virtuoso Legal’s Martin Hendry (over at Lexology, which syndicates law firms) on what happens when the NHS confronts corrupt EPO. It was published at the start of this week to say:

In this case, the Secretary of State of Health argued that Servier had intentionally or recklessly deceived the courts and the European Patent Office (EPO) in applying for and enforcing a patent. This was alleged to constitute the economic tort of interference by unlawful means. The Court of Appeal was not persuaded that the case should proceed because this tort includes interference with the liberty to deal between the claimant and third party (i.e. in this case, between the NHS and either the English courts or the EPO).

[...]

Of course, the NHS may be squeezed and strained in many different directions and among its myriad functions and services, patent examination and opposition are not currently included! Still, the NHS is so beholden to patent litigation and clearly picking up the tab for expensive branded medicines, when time and again the patent protection for the relevant drug is shown to be invalid in court or the EPO.

The EPO’s courts or internal appeals/oppositions lack independence and this means that affordable challenges (like Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)) aren’t quite available. As someone who indirectly works with the NHS (as does my spouse), things like these bother me. A lot of people will literally die because of such dumb patents that serve no purpose other than limiting access to medicine (to keep prices artificially high). There’s a moral duty to properly assess the ramifications of such patents; surely a lot of examiners are aware of these ethical dimensions, hence a good number of them dissent against the unjust status quo.

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