11.21.19

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Injustice at Every Level Would Simply Doom the Entire Patent System

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 11:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lack of respect for the fundamental laws and for constitutions (or the EPC) means the culprits cannot lecture the public on the need to obey the law

We break the law because we need to run an office to apply the law
And they hope to also enforce the law (with the UPC)

Summary: Repeated failure to restore the Rule of Law and enforce accountability/oversight in Europe’s patent system renders the entire system moot; it is a case of adherence to basic constitutional pillars

UTTER LAWLESSNESS has long been a problem in EPOnia. Stakeholders cannot sue anyone but other stakeholders, staff cannot sue the management (no matter the circumstances or severity of grievances), and ILO-AT seems to be ‘in bed’ with EPO management. The EPO’s judges are openly complaining that they lack the independence they require (as per the law) and examiners say they cannot do their job properly anymore.

Only patently dishonest people would claim that there’s no problem at the EPO. The future isn’t rosy, either. The EPO has issued the “news” “European Patent Office launches new Espacenet, improving access to world’s largest free collection of patent documents” (warning: epo.org link), soon to be boosted by Watchtroll (stenography from litigation fanatics and patent trolls).

“Only patently dishonest people would claim that there’s no problem at the EPO.”The quality of patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) under
Campinos and Battistelli is rapidly decreasing, as will the value of these documents. All those software patents would likely perish in practice (e.g. in European courts, if challenged).

As someone noted earlier today in IP Kat comments:

Alice, Mayo and Myriad attempted for policy reasons to limit what was patentable in the computer-related and biotech field. Part of the reasoning was to make sure the ‘building blocks of innovation’ were not monopolised, i.e. stayed part of the commons. The IP community reacted by simply seeing the increased uncertainty, as you say, but there are much broader ramifications. Unfortunately economists have not jumped in and given us the numbers for how much the economy would benefit or lose. They only do the easy analyses, and don’t tackle the really complex things. And if economists don’t do this, then government has no way of seeing the real impact of what the Supreme Court was doing. So government sees no point in trying to protect the commons, because in trying to do so it will only see the criticism of the IP and R&D community, without any means to look at the gain.

The EPO has meanwhile moved in the opposite direction of the US. It’s introducing all sorts of laughable patent ‘families’ and uses buzzwords like ‘hey hi’ (AI) to justify granting patents on mathematics. And who’s gonna stop that? The EPO is virtually above the law and when it breaks laws nobody is held accountable. This means that lots of Invalid Patents (IPs) or bogus European Patents (EPs) are being given for those likely to just use them in bulk for blackmail or against small actors for ‘protection money’. This is the very opposite of justice.

“…this is a repetition of the same mistakes which led to the granting of loads of fake patents — patents that simply would not withstand challenge outside the EPO.”Surely Max Walters (longtime writer for the patent microcosm) knows that quicker oppositions would mean sloppier ones, i.e. ones that are likely to leave fake patents in tact. But today he echoes a similar ‘report’ from WIPR ‘sphere’ (more patent maximalists in the EPO’s pockets) by saying that lawyers “welcome opposition speed but want clearer BoA data”. To quote: “In-house lawyers in the pharmaceutical industry say data showing that EPO opposition procedures are speeding up provides clarity but that more information should be published on how successful subsequent appeals are.”

Speed is the wrong thing to measure. As we noted earlier this week, this is a repetition of the same mistakes which led to the granting of loads of fake patents — patents that simply would not withstand challenge outside the EPO. The EPO now hopes to ‘steal’ all the courts — a subject we’ll tackle in the next post.

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