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

09.19.19

When the EPO Sees Itself as Above European Law, Grants Patents in Defiance of the EPC (Its Founding Document) and Violates Staff’s Labour Rights/Protections (International Law)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 10:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Skeleton

Summary: The absurd state of affairs at the EPO has reached the point where laws at every level are being violated and even judges are being threatened or vainly ignored; the EU is belatedly trying to tackle these issues, which have actually cost its credibility a great deal and threaten the perception of Rule of Law at multiple levels

THE WAY things are going, the European Patent Office (EPO) does everything it takes for its critics to be proven correct. The current president was appointed by nepotism (Battistelli), he refuses to undo illegal rules, and moreover he’s meeting disgraced officials to undermine the EPC (like 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the US for some parts of it) whilst actively promoting software patents in Europe. They’re not even shy to show their disdain/hatred of the law and rather fundamental rules. What motivates them to do all that self-harming stuff? Do they not genuinely care about the future of Europe, including the Office? They’re supposed to at least listen to the staff and the general public, not impose their will on both. This shouldn’t be a hard concept to grasp. Power comes from consent typically; otherwise brutality becomes necessary and things get rather ugly very fast.

“Power comes from consent typically; otherwise brutality becomes necessary and things get rather ugly very fast.”We’ve been tracking EPO abuses for quite some time; hardly anything is improving, only suppressed. Discussion in the media is nowadays nearly dead. Not because anything was tackled/resolved; unless the EPO thinks that the sole issue it had was ‘hostile’ media.

Months ago we wrote about “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI) — a programme whose net goal would be further reductions in patent quality. How low can it go? Earlier this week the EPO wrote: “Today we are hosting a conference on #3Dprinting. EPO examiners across all sectors are preparing to face challenges this emerging tech brings.”

Surely the EPO understands that the patents it grants are a barrier and affront to 3-D printing i.e. they slow down innovation and have already held back this domain for decades (famously so; UAVs also).

Distracting from the real news, which is the EPO's "fascist bills", the EPO still writes about the latest ‘state visit’ in Munich — one in which the Romania-born Andrei Iancu was present to promote patent maximalism on behalf of American corporations. Iancu and the EPO are management-leaning bureaucrats — two names one associates with attacks on justice and judges for the sake of corporate profits. The USPTO wrote: “Our productive conversations will lead to even more collaboration between our two offices. We value our close friendship with the EPO and look forward to further strengthening our relationship in ways that will benefit our stakeholders in the U.S. and Europe.” ~ Director Iancu.”

The EPO retweeted this.

We’ve meanwhile found this new press release about a patent front group for software patents (IPO), which has “Keynote speakers include Antonio Campinos, President, European Patent Office; The Honorable Andrei Iancu…”

That the EPO continues to openly associate with lobbyists of aggressors from the US (that’s what IPO is) doesn’t shock is. It’s not surprising us anymore. Nor does the fact that last week they mentioned the UPC, probably for the first time in a very long while (many months). They’re not totally giving up just yet. A couple of days ago Mondaq published this self-promotional piece for Markus Gampp LL.M. (DLA Piper), who said: “Nonetheless, Brexit does not necessarily mean the end for the UPC and the entire reform project.”

It does. In its current form it’s dead. Finished. Needs restarting the process (if ever). And here are all the relevant paragraphs:

However, the UK leaving the EU will likely have substantial impact on the biggest reform in the history of European patent law: the long-awaited introduction of the European patent with unitary effect and the Unified Patent Court (UPC). This system would enable a patentee to enforce their patent across Europe with just one action before the UPC. All decisions taken by the UPC, including injunctions, damages and decisions on the validity of a patent would have pan-European effect.

The UK was to play a vital role in this ambitious project, inter alia by hosting a branch of the court’s central division in London. As the underlying agreements currently stand, as a non-EU member the UK can not participate in the UPC. The new system can only enter into force upon ratification by 13 member states, including the UK and Germany. The German ratification is currently on hold pending resolution of a constitutional challenge against the national legislation implementing the UPC. While some have advocated this possibility, it appears highly doubtful whether the UK could participate in the UPC system as a non-EU member when it comes into force.

Nonetheless, Brexit does not necessarily mean the end for the UPC and the entire reform project. There are ways (eg through bilateral agreements) by which the UK may conceivably still participate. However, this could potentially take years to implement, causing a significant delay.

No legal system can be entrusted/empowered under the EPO. Evidence is everywhere.

Brian Cordery (Bristows) has meanwhile invoked another event of patent maximalists, AIPPI. He’s now pushing patents on life in Kluwer Patent Blog. The usual greedy, dishonest Team UPC taking points; “Echoing a point made by Sir Robin Jacob in his address at the Opening Ceremony,” he wrote, “the message was clear from the outset: when it comes to the form of claims in antibody patents, the US is the odd one out.”

It’s a race to the bottom for them.

Europe has come to the point of embracing patent quality even lower than that of the United States. How? By deliberately violating the EPC. The judges, who no longer have any autonomy, typically let it be. They can get ousted otherwise.

Some people who pay to promote their promotional sales pitch tell us that the “Technical Boards of Appeal as well as the Legal Board are independent” (no, Weickmann & Weickmann’s Christian Heubeck should know this is no longer the case). Here’s the whole paragraph in question, published just days ago:

The Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office, i.e. the judicial panel of the second instance of the EPO, examine appeals from the decisions of the Receiving Section, the Examining and Opposition Divisions of the European Patent Office. The Technical Boards of Appeal as well as the Legal Board are independent and are bound only by the European Patent Convention (EPC). The procedure before the Boards of Appeal is outlined in the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal.

This is totally false; it’s nonsense because everyone including examiners and the Boards themselves know that independent judges are no more; it’s not the fault of the judges either. It’s the fault of the Office and the Council, which work collaboratively to crush the EPC. This is why the EPO is so absurd; it does follow even its own rules. This isn’t a particularly new problem.

Consider our various new articles about Stallman being pushed out [1, 2] for having said tactless things that were then distorted and spun by hostile media. As Benjamin Henrion has just put it (upon the news about Stallman): “Stallman an opened our eyes that the European Patent Office (EPO) was a “corrupt and malicious organization which should not exist”. Intergovernmental organizations like FIFA are designed to be captured and corrupted” [] Stallman: “But if the European Patent Office stands in your way, get rid of it too” [] Maybe one day we get someone who realize the EPO construction was not respecting the ‘rule of law’ principle…”

He then highlighted this new page about the EPO rejecting orders from our representatives in the EU: [via]

Barrier-free access to plant material is essential for the innovative capacity of the European plant-breeding sector and farmers, as well as for the genetic variety of our crops and the health of EU citizens.

In 2015, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) ruled that products obtained from essentially biological processes, such as plants, seeds, native traits and genes, are patentable. On the basis of this decision, a broccoli and a tomato variety were effectively patented (Cases G2/12 (tomatoes) and G2/13 (broccoli)).

In response, the European Parliament adopted a resolution[1] on 17 December 2015 calling for clarification of patent law for plants. In its Notice of 8 November 2016, the Commission stated that it was never the intention to grant patents on natural traits that are introduced into plants by means of essentially biological processes such as crossing and selection. All Member States supported this reading and the Board of Directors of the EPO eventually amended its policy so as not to grant patents on products from essentially biological processes.

Unfortunately, the Technical Board of Appeal of the EPO rejected this decision on 18 December 2018, arguing that the European Patent Convention takes precedence over the EPO’s implementing rules and that patents on plants may therefore be granted.

At this stage, the President of the EPO has requested a final judgement from the Enlarged Board of Appeal to conclude the issue. Third parties are entitled to submit written statements on the matter to the Enlarged Board before 1 October 2019.

Does the Commission intend to submit a written statement to the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO in order to protect the innovative capacity of the European plant-breeding sector and the general public interest?

What action does the Commission envisage taking to ensure that products resulting from natural processes are not patentable?

Here’s more on that in other new pages. At least some politicians are paying attention to the way a corrupt EPO management ignores European Parliament and grants these illegal patents anyway, helped by judges who are threatened by Office management (in direct defiance of the EPC).

“EPs will quiz the EU Commission on Monday on how to ensure that products obtained from essentially biological processes, such as crossing, cannot be patented,” says this new page: [via]

The European Patent Office’s (EPO) Enlarged Board of Appeal decided in March 2015 in the tomato (G0002/12) and broccoli (G0002/13) cases that products obtained from essentially biological processes, such as crossing, can obtain patent protection. The European Parliament responded in December 2015 with a non-binding resolution demanding that EU rules be clarified and reiterating its objection, from May 2012, to patentability of products derived from conventional breeding.

After the European Commission intervened in November 2016, the EPO amended its policy so as not to grant patents on products obtained from essentially biological breeding processes. However, the EPO’s Technical Board of Appeal rejected this decision in December 2018, arguing that the European Patent Convention takes precedence over EPO’s implementing rules.

We certainly hope that all (or at least most) EPO examiners agree with us that patent maximalism at the EPO helps neither examiners nor the Office. It merely discredits the whole institution and harms science for the sake of profits (companies like Bayer/Monsanto). People who protest in front of the EPO and demonstrate against the EU (in forms like a rebellious Brexit referendum) are motivated/emboldened by utterly disgraceful behaviour such as this. We deserve better than this. We don’t need patent lunacy (patents on life and nature) and patent trolls. We don’t need the UPC either. We need to think what would best serve Europe’s place in science and technology (worldwide). Not law firms’ interests.

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. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 15, 2019



  2. No, Microsoft is Not an 'Open Source Company' But a Lying Company

    The world’s biggest proprietary software companies want to be seen as “open”; what else is new?



  3. Meme: Setting the Record Straight

    Stallman never defended Epstein. He had called him “Serial Rapist”. It’s Bill Gates who defended Epstein and possibly participated in the same acts.



  4. EPO Staff Resolution Against Neoliberal Policies of António Campinos

    “After Campinos announced 17 financial measures,” a source told us, “staff gathered at multiple sites last week for general assemblies. The meeting halls were crowded. The resolution was passed unanimously and without abstentions.”



  5. Satya Nadella is a Distraction From Microsoft's Real Leadership and Abuses

    "I’m merely wondering if his image and accolades that we’re incessantly bombarded with by the press actually reflect his accomplishments or if they’re being aggrandized."



  6. Raw: EPO Comes Under Fire for Lowering Patent Quality Under the Orwellian Guise of “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI)

    Stephen Rowan, the President’s (António Campinos) chosen VP who promotes the notorious “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI) initiative/pilot, faces heat from the CSC, the Central Staff Committee of the EPO



  7. Making The Most of The Fourth Age of Free Software

    "For better or for worse, we can be certain the Free Software Foundation will never be the same."



  8. FSF is Not for Free Speech Anymore

    The FSF gave orders to silence people



  9. Links 16/10/2019: Plasma 5.17.0, Project Trident Moves to GNU/Linux, NuTyX 11.2

    Links for the day



  10. ...So This GNU/Linux User Goes to a Pub With Swapnil and Jim

    It's hard to promote GNU/Linux when you don't even use it



  11. How to THRIVE, in Uncertain Times for Free Software

    "The guidelines are barely about conduct anyway, they are more about process guidelines for "what to do with your autonomy" in the context of a larger group where participation is completely voluntary and each individual consents to participate."



  12. When They Run Out of Things to Patent They'll Patent Nature Itself...

    The absolutely ridiculous patent bar (ridiculously low) at today’s EPO means that legal certainty associated with European Patents is at an all-time low; patents get granted for the sake of granting more patents each year



  13. EPO Boards of Appeal Need Courage and Structural Disruption to Halt Software Patents in Europe

    Forces or lobbyists for software patents try to come up with tricks and lies by which to cheat the EPC and enshrine illegal software patents; sadly, moreover, EPO judges lack the necessary independence by which to shape caselaw against such practices



  14. Professor Dr. Maximilian Haedicke on Lack of Separation of Powers at the EPO (Which Dooms UPC)

    Team UPC (“empire of lies”) is catching up with reality; no matter how hard media has attempted to not cover EPO scandals (after the EPO paid and threatened many publishers that tried), it remains very much apparent that EPOnia is like a theocracy that cannot be trusted with anything



  15. As Expected, the Bill Gates Propaganda Machine is Trying to Throw/Put Everyone off the Scent of Jeffery Epstein's 'Incestuous' Ties With Gates

    Media ownership up on display; it's amplifying false claims for a whole month, whereas truth/correct information gets buried before a weekend is over



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, October 14, 2019



  17. [ES] El Kernel de Linux está introduciendo Open Source Privative Software

    Linux, el kernel, continúa su trayectoria o el camino hacia convertirse en software propietario de código abierto (OSPS).



  18. Linux Foundation Board Meeting

    More sponsored keynotes and tweets — like more sponsored articles (or “media partners”) — aren’t what the Linux Foundation really needs



  19. Links 14/10/2019: Linux 5.4 RC3, POCL 1.4, Python 3.8.0

    Links for the day



  20. This Week Techrights Crosses 26,000 Posts Milestone, 3 Weeks Before Turning 13 (2,000+ Posts/Year)

    A self-congratulatory post about another year that's passed (without breaks from publishing) and another milestone associated with posting volume



  21. No Calls to "Remove Gates" From the Board (Over a Real Scandal/Crime), Only to "Remove Stallman" (Over Phony Distraction From the Former)

    Jeffrey Epstein's connections to Bill Gates extend well beyond Gates himself; other people inside Microsoft are closely involved as well, so Microsoft might want to cut ties with its co-founder before it becomes a very major mess



  22. “The Stupidest [Patent/Tax] Policy Ever”

    It’s pretty clear that today’s European patent system has been tilted grossly in favour of super-rich monopolists and their facilitators (overzealous law firms and ‘creative’ accountants) as opposed to scientists



  23. Meme: Software Patents at the EPO

    The evolution of “technical effect” nonsense at the EPO



  24. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 13, 2019



  25. Firm of Microsoft's Former Litigation Chief Uses Microsoft-Connected Patent Lawsuit Against GNU/Linux (GNOME Foundation) for New Breed of FUD Campaigns

    The patent troll of Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold has fed a patent troll that's attacking GNU/Linux and a firm owned by Microsoft's former litigation chief says it proves "Open Source Software Remains a Target"



  26. "Widespread Adoption" (Did You Mean: Takeover by Monopolies?)

    "Quite a few of them are people that would rather replace David with Goliath, just because he's bigger. Quite a few are already taking money from Goliath."



  27. Links 13/10/2019: Red Hat CFO Fired and KDE Plasma 5.17 Preparations

    Links for the day



  28. Bill's Media Strategy Amid GatesGate

    There are many ways by which to game the media’s news cycle — an art mastered by the groper in chief



  29. Hard-Core Micro-Soft

    The word "core" is increasingly being (mis)used to portray user-hostile proprietary software as something more benign if not "open"



  30. Free Software Timeline and Federation: When Free Software Advocacy/Support is a Monopoly Expansion Becomes Necessary

    Support for Software Freedom — like support for Free software (think Red Hat/IBM and systemd) — should be decentralised and compartmentalised to make the movement stronger and adaptable


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