10.26.19

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EPO Management Plays With — and for — the Wrong People

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: The EPO makes it abundantly clear that scientists, SMEs and Europeans don’t mean a thing to it; it’s all about lawyers, patent trolls and international monopolists looking to guard their monopolies

THE MANAGEMENT of the European Patent Office (EPO) and sometimes even the Council (Organisation) believe they do a great job. A great job for who? To whom are they being beneficial? Check who attends the meetings of today’s Administrative Council and who these people are accountable to. They’re patent maximalists, not scientists, so the likes of António Campinos and Battistelli make sense to them until scientists get so angry that they need to ‘shuffle’ the leadership again (only to be replaced with friends and family of the next President). Those angry scientists include patent examiners, who have plenty of other things to be angry about.

The ‘normalisation’ of software patents in Europe has done great damage to European technology (especially software) companies; just like the same in the US (until 35 U.S.C. § 101). But the EPO doesn’t care because it’s in the pocket of litigation giants, not small ’boutique’ software houses across Europe.

“They paint themselves as the very opposite of what they are and who they serve.”Just before the weekend this German software developer (and famed activist against software patents) wrote: “The trolls’ lawyer, Adrian Speck, in #unwiredvhuawei just made a false claim about the legal situation in Germany: he said a defendant couldn’t change mind and still accept #FRAND rates. Not true. SEP injunctions in Germany get stayed once a defendant accepts terms deemed FRAND.”

We aren’t covering this case, except in our Daily Links. At the start of the year we said we would not cover pertinent patent cases so as to save time. But the above is noteworthy because nowadays the trolls’ lawyers see a rise in ‘business’ (there have been studies into it). It has been predictable and foreseeable all along that the EPO with its inherently illegal policy would do this; it gleefully attracts patent trolls from all over the world and then it wants to give them something like the UPC.

The above software developer shared this ‘tweet’ which said (it’s part of a series): “He notes that at the moment, there is only one first instance patents judge who can try these type of cases [Birss]. “If ruling is upheld one can see this will become an attractive game that will completely overwhelm the English courts.””

“With something like UPC and [the] EPO connected to it,” I responded, “judges would be chosen and kept for attracting litigation and trolls (money sources for them)…”

It’s very worrying to see the vision EPO management has for Europe. It’s not difficult to see whose biddings are prioritised. Looking through EPO ‘tweets’ is always a somewhat troubling experience; they never promote anything to do with science.

“The number of European patent applications relating to self-driving vehicles increased by 330% between 2011 and 2017,” they wrote the other day. Notice how the only (sole) measure they have is number of patents or applications. Nothing else matters.

In this particular case they’re giving new names, buzzwords and acronyms to old ideas (e.g. “SDV”), offering new patents and many monopolies that are illegal as per the EPC. It’s done so as to fake ‘growth’ by essentially breaking the law. Like banks lending too much money (which they don’t even have)…

Every day up until Friday (yesterday) the EPO was also repeating the joint EUIPO propaganda. Here are a couple more examples [1, 2] (two days before Friday), one of which said, as per the same old template: “Businesses that use intellectual property rights more intensively generate 45% of the EU’s total GDP.”

The EPO has been repeating this paid-for propaganda for a whole month now, pretty much every single day. Every day they repeat these lies because they try to give the impression that the more patents get granted, the merrier. Heck, why not grant one billion patents in 2020? Wouldn’t that be the hallmark of “innovation”? And doesn’t every business boil down to nothing other than patents? They had the audacity to mention “SME” some days ago and again yesterday (Friday). They paint themselves as the very opposite of what they are and who they serve.

Here’s a new tweet that says: “Idle thought to my patent litigator friends, if [Section] 101 weren’t on the table to obtain early dismissal of NPE suits, what would you change about patent litigation to give small companies the ability to escape NPE threats early / at low cost?”

“Patent litigators are no friends,” I responded. “Whose friends are they? Ask yourself that question.”

Watch this so-called ‘report’ from Texas. It’s a patent propaganda outlet and it’s always happy to celebrate new patents — low-quality patents which the USPTO very well knows court would invalidate (if the wrongly-accused could afford the litigation).

On went the EPO with a lot of misleading statements. It’s a torrent of lies and it later deleted this tweet which said: “How can you benefit from over 100 million patent documents from all over the world?”

“Reviewing such documents only makes you liable for more in damages,” I responded, “which is why even legal professionals advise people to actively refrain from such an activity…”

We don’t know why the EPO deleted this tweet; it never wrote anything similar to it later.

EPO workers who read such tweets should ask themselves, “whose interests are being served?”

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