09.21.19

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When Patent ‘Professionals’ Sound Like Children Who Learned to Parrot Some Intentionally-Misleading Buzzwords, Myths and Lies

Posted in America, Europe, Law, Patents at 12:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pencil/crayons

Summary: With buzzwords like “AI” and misleading terms like “IP” the litigation zealots are trying to convince themselves (and the public) that software is a physical thing and a “property” which needs “protecting” from “theft”; it doesn’t seem to bother these people that copyright law already covers software

HOW can a patent office seriously assert that it is serious about innovation when everyone who meets the officials comes from law firms and rarely has any scientific background? If this system’s inception truly dates back to need to advance science, shouldn’t these officials focus on actual scientists?

This may sound like a shallow observation, but it perfectly describes the pattern we’ve been seeing at the European Patent Office (EPO) under António Campinos and his predecessor Battistelli (neither of whom has any background in the sciences). Seeing how the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) wants to work around 35 U.S.C. § 101, we’re nowadays witnessing a similar trend in America too. A resurgence of software patents in Europe poses risk to US (case)law as well. We hope that American readers understand that. The EPO openly brags about objectives like spreading software patents to the whole world. We’ve covered this before.

Entryism and Cronyism

The litigation ‘industry’ appears to have convinced the world’s patent offices (or infiltrated these offices) to deviate and depart from the law in order to simply increase the pace of granting (patent-granting), disguising old things with a fresher coat of buzzwords and hype; this has been the case in Europe for a number of years and it’s now being imitated by the United States, whose administration comes from the litigation firms themselves. The issue occurs at two levels typically; one is the patent office, the other being the lawmakers (law firms pay them money to alter patent law to the detriment of science).

We’re troubled to see who’s shaping today’s laws in Europe, judging by who submits recommendations to the EPO and whose submissions the EPO amplifies the most. Mitscherlich PartmbB’s Sebastian Roth has just written about “European Opposition Proceedings” (Board of Appeal (EPO) decision T 1087/15) and his colleague Martin Koerberc wrote about “EPO Opposition & Appeal” — something that significantly increased in number in recent years (soared even) due to significant declines in patent quality. The EPO does not seem to mind all this; it profits from it. The adherence to law does not matter much, either. The EPO ignores courts anyway. It’s really, really bad.

Generally speaking, corruption at the EPO is the world’s eighth wonder. Wonderful to see nobody held accountable. Ever. One would assume that accountability exists in Europe (a relatively developed continent, constitutionally speaking), but the EPO is an island and nobody is able to justify its immunity, which is regularly abused. All the EPO wants is lots and lots of patents and no rights for staff. None at all.

There are many facets or aspects to the EPO’s abuses, but here we focus on patent scope rather than labour rights, immunity and so on.

‘Kids’ Learn About the Mighty “HEY HI”

Let’s start with WIPR’s article about AIPPI with its Echo Chamber Congress, where liars and lawyers prop up “HEY HI” (AI) hype in order to promote illegal patents that aren’t valid. “While the number of patent applications relating to artificial intelligence has soared in recent years,” it says, “there is still some confusion around the patentability of the technology, as lawyers discussed at the AIPPI World Congress.”

What they mean by “AI” is just some old algorithms spun as “AI” for the sake of bypassing rigid restrictions. The EPO welcomes such bypassing tactics; it compels examiners to fall for these.

“AI is not patentable,” Benjamin Henrion wrote in response to this, “as software is not patentable, under the EPC and under Alice. Till the patent offices ignore the courts and the law… [] When the French courts will say that AI is nothing more th[a]n an unpatentable computer program.”

This alludes to what happened in the past. The EPO just ignores all caselaw that does not suit patent maximalists. In other word, the EPO arrogantly breaks the law, ignoring even those who highlight the issue. Why is this being tolerated and how long for? Until the Office collapses? Until patent certainty is so low that there’s decrease in ‘demand’? The number of applications for European Patents is already decreasing. The EPO’s management very well knows that, so its response is to power the patent bar further and further. It does so even when it’s blatantly and obviously illegal. It’s like banks that ‘grant’ more and more ‘toxic loans’ just to fake growth. They don’t let themselves be too worried about the imminent or the inevitable collapse. That will be “someone else’s problem,” they must be telling themselves. In the case of banks the public typically foots the bill for all this corruption and greed, whereas in the case of patents the wrongly-accused parties (businesses and individuals) bear the cost.

“Our member states need an Office that can be the advocate of patents in Europe and promote the development of an effective patent system,” the EPO wrote last week. But the EPO is intentionally granting illegal patents that are proven, based on studies, to harm innovation. There is a body of scholarly work that they ignore and at the same time they offer bribes to academics willing to manufacture ‘studies’ which support EPO agenda. This is as unscientific as it gets. It’s something to be expected from oil companies, not a monopoly on Europe-wide patent grants. What makes this ever more obscene is that the EPO ceased to even hide this; it is openly advertising its sponsorship of self-serving ‘studies’. Not even oil companies are foolish enough to do this (one has to dig and inquire a little). Not too long ago the EPO manufactured some ‘greenwashing’ propaganda. which it spread as recently as a couple of days ago*.

Pretending Patents Are ‘Property’

Other than “HEY HI” there’s also the “AYE PEE” (IP) hype. There is no such thing as “AYE PEE”. Lumping together trade secrets, copyright, trademark and patent law assures a misleading and pointless discussion. Society should abandon lawyers’ propaganda terms and use more meaningful vocabulary instead.

The other day the EPO wrote: “Together with national patent offices and the @IPRHelpdesk, we’ll be sharing our expertise on how sound IP management can boost your business at these seminars…”

So-called ‘IP’ management…

The EPO retweeted another thing to that affect and wrote separately about “an opportunity to improve technology commercialisation with open-innovation strategies facilitated by IP.”

Here they go with ‘IP’ again; the EPO does only patents. Strictly so. Unlike UK-IPO, USPTO and so on.

Tosshan Ramgolam published on the same day something entitled “Introduction to the IP Education Series”.

When you say “IP” that already means that you are intentionally dishonest and not interested in education, only propaganda terms like “piracy”.

In the past couple of days the EPO also mentioned “SMEs” quite a lot (even by its own bad standards). Trying hard to distract from the harm caused to them by the EPO? Without a so-called ‘professional representative’ (i.e. very expensive law firm) the SME is lost in the haze**, as we’ve shown before, outspending many of its practical operations. Something like the UPC would make things orders of magnitude worse for SMEs.

Lies Told by Team UPC ‘Kids’

Then, retweeted by EPO was its Vice-President (from UK-IPO) saying: “Great opportunity to meet UK users of the @EPOorg at the @TheCIPA Congress.”

The EPO is in bed with Team UPC, looking to harm SMEs all around the world. CIPA is a predatory body of patent maximalists. Also retweeted by EPO was CIPA’s own tweet: “We’re delighted to welcome Steve Rowan, Vice-President of @EPOorg, to give the morning keynote at #CIPACongress2019″

Totally inappropriate for the EPO to be with Team UPC and CIPA as it’s showing what the EPO basically became — a tool of the litigation zealots.

No wonder the EPO continues to stubbornly advocate patents on just about everything. The relationship between CIPA and UK-IPO is also troubling and at times disturbing. It’s like letting makers of bombs have a say on foreign policy.

Speaking of Team UPC, here’s some new propaganda from the site that does, in fact, act like its think tank (for a number of years). To quote: “Speaking to Managing IP, Tim Moss, CEO of the UKIPO, discusses Brexit planning, the Unified Patent Court and expanding the office’s international reach…”

To better understand where they’re going with this read this other new article full of intentional lies. Those lies were told in this new event as if UPC is “just a matter of time” (i.e. the same old lies) when in fact it is dead and cannot go on without the UK. To quote the relevant part:

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) was discussed as a potential Brexit-related concern. With the UPC’s fate lingering in Germany’s Constitutional Court, audience members speculated on how the timing of the court’s decision might be affected by Brexit.

Responding to an audience member’s concern, Williams said any conversation about whether or not the UK – which has ratified the UPC Agreement – would be part of an operational UPC would depend on when Germany issues a decision.

“In a perfect world you will like us to have the discussion while we are in the EU; logically that is a more pleasant environment. If we exit in October … the conversation is in a more different atmosphere. We are sure of the benefits of the UK to be part of the UPC. My experience says if there is a political will you will find a legal solution.”

Nettleton added that from an industry perspective the UPC would be much stronger with UK involvement.

“It was a surprise to me that I heard the UK would still want to participate in the UPC after Brexit. But then again, after Brexit, nothing can surprise you,” he said.

This is sheer lunacy; notice how they spread the infamous lies. They’re like kids telling a lie, telling others what they want to believe. How can they get away with this?
_______
* As a new example of this, consider a new tweet that said: “Patent applications in the EPO’s databases contain significant amounts of information relating to sustainable technologies. Scientists can make use of this wealth of knowledge in their work on developing new technologies against #climatechange.” In reality, when the EPO grants monopolies on these things fewer people will be legally permitted to tackle climate change. But the EPO won’t let these inconvenient facts get in the way.

** Kluwer Patent Blog, citing a case dated 18 June 2019, says:

A request for re-establishment should be filed within two months of the date of removal of non-compliance. This date may be the date on which the applicant became aware of the missed due date, even if the professional representative did receive the EPO communications mentioning the failure to comply with the deadline.

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