08.20.19

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EPO Cannot Handle Patent Justice With a Backlog of About 10,000 Cases at the Boards of Appeal

Posted in Site News at 12:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Index: G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)

EPO toons

Summary: The EPO’s long war on judges and on the law has proven to be costly; it’s difficult to pretend that the EPO functions like a first-world legal framework

ABOUT one year ago the European Patent Office (EPO) had about 9,000 impending cases after Battistelli had attacked and understaffed the appeal boards for a number of years. António Campinos obviously did nothing to tackle this issue. Some of these cases, including an imminent one regarding computer simulation, concern software patents in Europe. Several months ago a blogger from Kluwer Patent Blog took note of that staggering number. The EPO management’s attack on its judges has resulted in an unbelievable backlog in the ‘justice’ faculties/departments. What good is justice that can take like a decade to arrive? It may be irrelevant by the time it’s ‘reached’. Similar issues exist at ILO-AT.

“What good is justice that can take like a decade to arrive? It may be irrelevant by the time it’s ‘reached’.”Just promoted via Lexology was last week’s article from a law firm, revealing that ‘acceleration’ is possible in particular cases (like PPH or PACE). To quote:

Appeal proceedings at the European Patent Office (EPO) typically last in excess of three years, but can last significantly longer (according to the 2017 Annual Report of the Boards of Appeal, technical appeal proceedings lasted 38 months on average, but some cases had been pending for eight years). With this long duration of proceedings, it is no surprise that there is a substantial backlog of pending cases (over 9,000 at the end of 2018, according to the 2018 Annual Report of the Boards of Appeal).

[...]

Requests for accelerated processing of an appeal should be filed with the competent Board of Appeal, and may be filed at the beginning of or during appeal proceedings. Such requests should specify the reasons for urgency, and be submitted with documents that support this reasoning. There is no official form for requesting accelerated processing of an appeal.

Preparing for such a request takes time and money. Given what we saw in the past (EPO leaks), this may discriminate based on size, connections, and money.

“Thankfully, the UPC is failing.”This is the kind of thing Germany’s FCC must look into; justice in today’s EPO is mostly an illusion. It’s infeasible. It used to more or less work, the Office used to more or less function. But now? Total chaos. Does one want to extend this system to courts all across Europe?

Thankfully, the UPC is failing. SUEPO linked to an article to that effect earlier today. People in the comments in that article (composed by Team UPC) mostly focus on Techrights, still upset because of our opposition to software patents (we assume these comments come from one single patent attorney).

“Ironically in some sense, the person who pushed the hardest for the UPC is also the person who doomed it. Battistelli’s attacks on the judges aren’t forgotten and aren’t forgiven. Brexit isn’t even the prime barrier; the extreme lack of justice at the EPO is.”In summer of 2019 the famous complaint against the UPC turns two. Each year that passes is another nail on the UPC’s coffin. Almost exactly a year ago this site called Down to Earth boiled down to misinformation, slanting everything in favour of the litigation ‘industry’ (as if it’s the sole thing that matters). The writer ended up putting a copyright sign/symbol as the head image in the article about patents, showing that these people have no clue what they’re writing about (or intentionally lying). They referred to patents as “IP” (not Invalid Patent but something meaningless and misleading).

Ironically in some sense, the person who pushed the hardest for the UPC is also the person who doomed it. Battistelli’s attacks on the judges aren’t forgotten and aren’t forgiven. Brexit isn’t even the prime barrier; the extreme lack of justice at the EPO is.

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