11.28.19

The Collapse of European Patents Continues

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 3:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

With or without courts getting involved

Graph extrapolated from the EPO
What good are patents granted in error?

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO), confronted or challenged by courts that the EPO does not control, sees many of its newly-minted patents thrown out, reducing confidence in the whole system

EACH time an Invalid Patent (IP) gets granted there’s an opportunity for a law firm to make a buck (or euro), if not from application/renewal fees (shared with the patent office) then from frivolous litigation as well. But each such IP (we intentionally twisted this acronym) also harms the image of the office and the law firm. What kind of legal advice are they giving clients/applicants? This is a crisis in the making (early signs of which are nowadays seen and are increasingly visible in the United States).

“It is inevitable, as we’ve warned for a number of years, that many European Patents (EPs) will become IPs.”We’re not against patents; we’re for patent quality. We insist that patents should exist only in domains where their contribution to science/economics are undeniably provable. Yes, it’s about progression and advancement of human knowledge — something that monopolists have long opposed (as it is a form of disruption to the status quo they strive to perpetually exploit).

It is inevitable, as we’ve warned for a number of years, that many European Patents (EPs) will become IPs. If the largest patent-granting authority in Europe strives to just fake ‘production’ by granting loads of IPs, not only will support for this second-largest European institution diminish; it harms the EU’s reputation/credibility as well. It thus becomes a threat to peace, too.

Sara Moran has just commented on the British Court of Appeal looking into an IP:

Therefore the Court of Appeal was entitled to interfere with the trial judge’s assessment of obviousness and to hold that the 181 patent was invalid for lack of inventive step because the skilled team, during routine testing, would have been very likely to have come upon the dosage regime which is the subject matter of the patent.

Why was this patent granted in the first place? Appealing cases to the Court of Appeal (or higher) is unbelievably expensive. Many would have given up before that or never bother with a court battle, instead settling over IPs (patents of no real legitimacy).

“Why was this patent granted in the first place?”But the above case is sadly enough becoming the norm. Earlier this year we covered similar outcomes, even at higher level (the highest possible level). Will EPOnia heed the warning? Of course not! That would be bad for ‘production’…

The following new article/press release from FreshPlaza says that the “Boards of Appeal for the European Patent Office (EPO)” (since it’s besieged and terrorised by Office management, by its very own admission, can it overrule Office management?) has just restored a likely bogus/fake/invalid patent in defiance of the Opposition Division’s findings. To quote:

On November 13, 2019, the Boards of Appeal for the European Patent Office (EPO) reinstated Houweling’s European patent directed to its Ultra-Clima Semi-Closed Greenhouse. The Ultra-Clima European Patent was opposed by eleven greenhouse manufacturers, who combined efforts to challenge the patent. The Opposition Division of the EPO originally proposed revocation of Houweling’s European patent. Houweling disagreed with this finding and appealed the decision to the Boards of Appeal for the EPO. The Boards of Appeal reversed the proposed revocation and finally upheld Houweling’s patent. The Boards of Appeal found that Houweling’s patent meets all formal requirements of the EPO, and claims subject matter that is both novel and involves an inventive step. Houweling’s European patent covers most major countries in Europe.

What’s also noteworthy here is that the patent is a monopoly that decreases (limits/bans) access to something that’s needed to save humanity from catastrophe. Are such patents even desirable (irrespective of whether they’re valid or not)?

We’ve also just seen this new report from pv magazine International about fake patents granted by the EPO in the area of solar energy:

The European Patent Office has revoked SolarEdge’s inverter multi-level topology patent and the Israeli company said it intends to challenge both decisions.

[...]

On November 19, Mannheim Regional Court ruled Huawei had not committed patent infringement in relation to one of the two claims, and a court representative has told pv magazine the second case will be heard by January 7. “The judge declared that Huawei did not infringe on the patent relating to optimizer and inverter architecture and dismissed SolarEdge’s lawsuit directly,” announced Huawei in a statement this morning.

The European Patent Office (EPO) on Thursday responded to a patent opposition case lodged by Huawei against SolarEdge in relation to inverter multi-level topology. “The EPO decided that the SolarEdge patent did not involve an inventive step and the grant of the patent is revoked,” the Chinese manufacturer said.

So much for “green tech” patents, eh? PV-Tech‘s report has said that “German court rules against SolarEdge in Huawei patent infringement case”

So the EPO granted fake patents (monopolies on climate change mitigation techniques) and only lawyers benefited from pointless wars that courts deem fruitless and baseless:

Inverter manufacturer SolarEdge has been dealt a double blow after patent infringement proceedings brought against rival Huawei were thrown out and a European patent held by the firm was revoked.

However, in a statement released today, SolarEdge has confirmed its intent to appeal against the decision.

Last week, Mannheim Regional Court in Germany heard two particular cases brought forward by SolarEdge against Huawei, claiming that the Chinese tech giant infringed on its patents relating to its multi-level inverter topology technology, dubbed HD Wave.

It stems from an original complaint filed with the court last summer, vigorously denied by Huawei at the time, that called for a recall of products infringing on that patent.

But following proceedings heard on 19 November 2019, one infringement claim was dismissed and another deferred.

Imagine how much financial damage (to the firms involved) was caused. No, not the law firms; they always profit from disputes.

“Notice how they’re speaking only to patent and litigation firms in articles about patents (or citing EPO management). That is like speaking only to oil companies in articles about climate.”Who does this EPO policy really benefit? Not SMEs, that’s for sure; they’re harmed the most, but the EPO won’t let such ‘pesky’ facts get in the way. Yesterday a site called Bdaily repeated lies of the EPO, manufactured and paid for by EPO management to mislead the European public. To quote one bit (it’s mostly copy-pasted stuff from lawyers’ mouths): “The report acknowledges that European SMEs have been responsible for some important inventions in diverse fields such as pharmaceuticals, medical technology, clean energy, electronics and computing. Due to their lack of resources however, many SMEs opt to exploit their inventions through collaborations with partners.”

Notice how they’re speaking only to patent and litigation firms in articles about patents (or citing EPO management). That is like speaking only to oil companies in articles about climate. The EPO’s sheer disdain for truth was mentioned here yesterday. It’s a threat to sustained human existence, not just to “business” (which isn’t the same thing; without humans there’s no “business” and no “economy”).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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. Links 28/1/2021: Stable Kernels and Sudo Bugfixes

    Links for the day



  2. Showing Solidarity With FSFE Survivors

    What does justice look like?



  3. IBM is Throwing Away Red Hat's 'de Facto Standard' Status in Servers, Wrongly Assuming People Can't (or Won't) Go Elsewhere

    This new video is over half an hour long and it’s a discussion of IBM’s self-harming (shot-in-the-foot) move, which it already seems to regret



  4. Why 6 Screens and 6 Virtual Desktops

    An explanation of how I use computers and how I distribute tasks (across screens and across virtual desktops)



  5. Red Hat Developer Network Promoting Microsoft's Proprietary Software, Sometimes by Mass-Mailing People

    Red Hat is doing a disservice to people who subscribe to E-mail newsletters; those people are almost never into Microsoft's proprietary software, which they want to get away from



  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 26, 2021



  7. Links 26/1/2021: Mozilla Firefox 85.0, Tails 4.15, Zentyal Server 7.0, GNOME 40 Alpha

    Links for the day



  8. Instead of Making Access to COVID-19 Solutions Easier Bill Gates Has Made It Harder (Patent Profits)

    Counterproductively — and at a great cost to human civilisation — Bill Gates has once again put profits and monopoly ahead of global goals such as collective health



  9. We Need More Documents Leaked to Know Intel (From the) Inside

    We invite more leaks from the belly of the beast "chipzilla", seeing that it is becoming a drone of Microsoft again, yearning for the "Wintel" days instead of moving on to a world dominated by GNU/Linux and Free/libre software



  10. Why GNU/Linux Users (and the Public at Large) Should Support Leaking/Whistleblowing Sites (Including Wikileaks)

    To demonstrate the value of "scientific journalism" (a term apparently coined by Wikileaks) we take a look at Red Hat's response to embarrassing leaks (demonstrating what a scam their certification and examination programmes really are)



  11. EPO President António Campinos is Still Not Listening, According to Internal EPO Documents

    Increasingly arrogant and unaccountable management of Europe's second-largest institution (EPO) has left staff disillusioned but still defiant; there's clearly unsuitable or unfit-for-purpose management at the EPO, self-selecting based on nepotism/loyalty so as to cover up abuses



  12. Why You Should Give Falkon (the Web Browser) a Chance on GNU/Linux, BSD, or Windows

    In this crazy new world where advertisers are the real customers and Web users ("audiences") have been reduced to mere products we need a browser that isn't controlled by a company; try Falkon



  13. Kluwer Patent Spin and Distortion of Facts (Regarding UPC and More)

    Kluwer Patent Blog disgraces the firm that puts its name on it; instead of sticking to facts they're distorting the facts and the sole/principal goal is to manipulate/mislead the public and public servants



  14. Links 26/1/2021: 4MLinux 35.1, GParted 1.2, Gnuastro 0.14

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, January 25, 2021



  16. It's Wrong to Assume Red Hat Competes With Microsoft

    The community ought to stop pretending that one monopoly seeks to replace another despite close partnerships (some would say "collusion") between the two



  17. EPO Staff Representation Complains That EPO Management Exploits Pandemic and 'House Arrests' to Overwork Staff, Lower Quality

    The EPO keeps breaking its promises to workers; not only are key employees seeing their net salary cut (inflation factored in) but pensioners too are being robbed and in the meantime the total time spent on work is increasing



  18. Fake News is Not a 'Wing' Thing

    The two-party corporate-led system (and media) would have us obsess/bicker about accuracy of news based on some binary/dual system of blind loyalty rather than underlying facts and priorities



  19. Links 25/1/2021: Huawei on GNU/Linux, NuTyX 20.12.1, Whisker Menu 2.5.3, Lutris 0.5.8.3, Linux 5.11 RC5

    Links for the day



  20. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) in ZDNet is the Norm

    ZDNet continues to emit lots of garbage 'journalism', in effect Microsoft PR and what's known as "black PR" for Linux; just like Bleeping Computer, which ZDNet hired this writer from, there's no adherence to facts, just smears and innuendo



  21. Truth Tellers Aren't an Enemy of Free Software

    There's a perpetual attack on people who speak out against actors and corporations in positions of great power, however subtle and indirect those attacks may seem on the surface (they don't wish to be held accountable for defaming activists)



  22. The Linux Foundation, With Over 124 Million Dollars in Annual Revenue, is in Trouble Because of the Pandemic, So It's Trying to Reinvent Itself as Training and Certifications Outfit

    With mountains of cash and a Public Relations (PR) or marketing business model the so-called 'Linux' Foundation became reliant on travel, lodging, booths and speeches on sale; COVID-19 is a great risk to that business model



  23. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 24, 2021



  24. Our Move Further Away From the World Wide Web, the Browser Monopolies, HTTP, and HTML

    The World Wide Web (WWW) is going down a bad path and a clearly regressive direction; the solution isn't going 'retro' but exploring more sophisticated systems which are robust to censorship (localised or globalised) and downtime (related to censorship) while reducing surveillance by leveraging encryption at the endpoints



  25. Important Issues Not Entertained in the Community, Especially Critics of the Status Quo

    here's corporate infiltration inside communities (for oligarchy hunts volunteer, unpaid labour) and those who speak about that as a threat to our cause and objectives are painted as misguided outcasts who must be ignored



  26. Internet Origins of the Mob

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  27. When Proprietary Software Users Dictate the Freedom-Leaning Communities

    Fedora doesn't care about software freedom and its steward (or parent company) is sometimes imposing proprietary software on staff; they've quit caring



  28. In 2020 Onwards 'Open Source' is Just a Marketing Ploy of Monopolies, Unlike Free Software

    More people are nowadays seeing or witnessing 'Open Source' for what it truly is; the term has become a misleading marketing term of proprietary software firms looking to rebrand as "ethical" (e.g. by sharing some code with other proprietary software firms, over proprietary platforms such as GitHub)



  29. Microsoft: The Year After We Bought GitHub There Was a Significant Decline in Number of New Projects on GitHub

    Microsoft has just admitted that in 2019 GitHub saw a very significant decline in number of new projects (and users, which it is conveniently miscounting by adding 'phantom' ones) on the site. Just what we had heard before they confirmed it (and they foresaw this effect of the takeover, hence the lies about "loving" Linux).



  30. Social Control Media is a Passing Fad, We Should All Go Back to Blogging and Subscribing to RSS Feeds

    The whole "social control media" phenomenon has been oversold or promoted using lies; in reality, as a mountain of evidence serves to show, it's a way to manage society at a macro scale


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