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11.05.19

The EPO Instructs European Examiners to Grant Junk Patents on Algorithms (Maths and Stats)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

After rushed consultation with the litigation ‘industry’ that nowadays controls the EPO (and increasingly the USPTO as well)

You told me that my 'AI' patent was worth something. Relax, here at the EPO everything AI' is purrrre gold; in European court it's junk.

Summary: The departure from patent law and arrival at extraterritorial patent blackmail means that legal duels have been swapped or deprecated in favour of illegal ‘settlements’ (over illegal patents)

THE LAW does not seem to matter. Caselaw does not matter either. Judges? Look what Battistelli did to them (and António Campinos has shielded Battistelli over it for well more than a year). It’s worse than embarrassing; it’s a colossal fiasco that European media — with rare exceptions — refuses to even talk about.

“It’s worse than embarrassing; it’s a colossal fiasco that European media — with rare exceptions — refuses to even talk about.”In the US, the capital of patent trolls, Iancu openly mocks 35 U.S.C. § 101 (i.e. the law) and in Europe the EPO grants software patents in defiance of the EPC. Phillips & Leigh, flinging a bunch of self-promotional pieces into Mondaq lately, has just cited the European Patent Convention, but the EPO violates it every day in order to fake ‘production’. To quote:

Under European law the test for whether a patent discloses enough is whether it “disclose(s) the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by a person skilled in the art” [Article 83 European Patent Convention]. This is interpreted as meaning not that the patent application has to provide a blueprint for the invention, that can be slavishly followed with guarantee of success: but that the skilled person with a reasonable degree of experimentation can put it into effect.

One has to note that these law firms never speak of the fact that the EPO basically disregarded the EPC years ago. It’s still in a state of gross noncompliance, but nobody is being held accountable for it. Nobody! This has become a shameful display not just for the Organisation but for the whole Union. This complete lack of oversight has led to the granting of hundreds of thousands (maybe a quarter million!) invalid patents, i.e. European Patents not compliant w.r.t. EPC. Every day we see new examples of the EPO promoting illegal software patents (or patents on maths/stats), this time under the guise of something called “websummit” (yes, an insult to the WWW which only thrived in defiance of such patents). “If you’re going to #websummit,” they tweeted yesterday, “you cannot miss the panel discussion on “Patenting the future: The next big invention” on 6 November! See you there!”

See who’s there; those are proponents of software patents. One of them has like a hundred (probably more) European Patents on maths and the EPO showers such people with awards. As of days ago (end of last week) the EPO moreover changed its guidelines, without bothering with a legal process at all, allowing examiners to grant patents on maths/stats (even encouraging if not forcing them to).

“This complete lack of oversight has led to the granting of hundreds of thousands (maybe a quarter million!) invalid patents, i.e. European Patents not compliant w.r.t. EPC.”“Changes in EPO Guidelines of Examination,” as the lawyers’ site put it, have officially come into effect. Who wrote that? A massive proponent of software patents, a litigation giant, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP. This firm’s Sanam Habib and Maeve O’Flynn are celebrating illegal guidelines by which EPO allows itself to break the law, the EPC, and grant software patent disguised as “hey hi” (AI). To quote the relevant portion:

Last year, to be in line with the ever growing area of artificial intelligence (AI), the Guidelines added a brand new section for AI. This year the EPO has updated the section relating to patentability of AI and machine learning, and mathematical methods to clarify that “term such as ‘support vector machine’, ‘reasoning engine’ or ‘neural network’ may, depending on the context, merely refer to abstract models or algorithms and thus do not, on their own, necessarily imply the use of a technical means. This has to be taken into account when examining whether the claimed subject-matter has a technical character as a whole (Art. 52(1), (2) and (3))”.

Classifying text documents solely in respect of their textual content is not regarded as per se a technical purpose, but a linguistic one. Care needs to be taken in the presentation of the technical purpose of semantic AI systems.

Shouldn’t they clarify that such patents are likely worthless in actual courts? No, of course not! That might scare away potential clients from Finnegan, which makes millions if not billions of dollars from such scammy practices, enabled in part by heavy lobbying. Finnegan pays a lot of money to the EPO’s propaganda outlets (such as IAM), expecting something in return.

What’s in this for the general public and software professionals? Nothing but trouble.

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