12.03.19

‘Priceless’ Tickets to the EPO’s Back End and Team UPC

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

These tickets don’t even name the price of the workshop

CIPA's ticket

Summary: CIPA’s and the EPO’s event (later this week) is more of the same; the EPO exists not to serve European businesses but a bunch of law firms and their biggest clients (which usually aren’t even European)

THE leak we've just published shows what goes on behind the scenes at the European Patent Office (EPO). The funny thing is, it would not have to be leaked had EPO not worked in the dark. António Campinos is very secretive; how many of his opaque decisions are open to outside scrutiny? Think about it…

“This is no laughing matter because these policies can break (or fail) Europe’s industry, which has lots of SMEs.”The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not gamble with its money the way the EPO does. It receives Federal budget and it has reports; it can also be sued (as habitually happens). Opaque selection of venues (like European award ceremonies) and people (like Breton as head jurist for such events) can be confronted by FOIA lawsuits. But not at the EPO.

“Judging by the program (London), it is — as usual from Research and Markets — patent maximalism, complete with the UPC nonsense.”The US is openly debating 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice (biased debates nonetheless, but the public can see these and scrutinise, accordingly), whereas the EPO rationalises software patents in Europe privately, using false ‘economics’ from people who lack a technical background. This is no laughing matter because these policies can break (or fail) Europe’s industry, which has lots of SMEs.

Yesterday the EPO posted some more tweets about SME something. But we already know, based on leaks, that the EPO is run for (and by) large multinationals. It’s hardly European and patents granted to the US aren’t far behind (in number) Europe’s.

“At the cost of what? It does not say. So I filled in a mock registration (to see what SMEs would need in order to participate).”We’ve just noticed that the Dublin-based Research and Markets does European Patent Office (EPO) indoctrination, under the umbrella of “the European Patent System,” and markets this a year in advance. “This two-day seminar for Administrative Staff in the Patent Profession on how to competently prepare an application for filing before the EPO,” it says. “Providing an introduction to the European patent system and how to proceed with an European patent application an much more.”

“They’re conspiring to violate the EPC and push the UPC.”Judging by the program (London), it is — as usual from Research and Markets — patent maximalism, complete with the UPC nonsense. Suffice to say, that’s very bad for SMEs. Later this week the EPO will be in London alongside CIPA, which is a front group for patent zealots and trolls. They’re worse than hedge funds. The EPO retweeted this yesterday: “Come and join us and the @EPOorg at @TheCIPA in #London on 5 or 6 Dec. We will be providing an update on our latest and upcoming online service developments.”

At the cost of what? It does not say. So I filled in a mock registration (to see what SMEs would need in order to participate). There’s a special relationship between CIPA (major component of Team UPC) and Team Battistelli. Remember this photo op:

CIPA meeting with Stephen Jones
Stephen Jones (former IP Kat chief, after the founder’s retirement) standing next to Battistelli while lobbying for UPC

The above photo op is especially damning considering the context of it. They’re conspiring to violate the EPC and push the UPC. As “Proof of the pudding” put it in IP Kat comments yesterday (in relation to this):

An interesting question.

Article 2(2) EPC provides that “The European patent shall, in each of the Contracting States for which it is granted, have the effect of and be subject to the same conditions as a national patent granted by that State, unless this Convention provides otherwise”.

It seems to me that most EPC Contracting States, including the UK, view “subject to the same conditions” as meaning that the substantive conditions of patentability for an EP patent must be the same as those for a national patent.

There are clearly examples of EPC Contracting States taking different views on the level of harmonisation mandated by the EPC … and not just in connection with the definition of the relevant prior art (ie the grace period). But does that justify the UK ignoring its obligations under the EPC in connection with such a crucial provision as novelty?

I guess that how one answers that question will depend upon how comfortable one is with the EPC becoming a Convention that is honoured more in the breach than the observation… of course bearing in mind that the EPC provides the foundations for the UPC Agreement.

Well, the UPC Agreement (UPCA) is failing because the EPC is routinely being violated. The EPO has become totally shameless about it. As recently as yesterday the EPO bragged about giving illegal patents using “latest trends”. It’s like this almost every day.

“Well, the UPC Agreement (UPCA) is failing because the EPC is routinely being violated.”“Millions of people use Espacenet,” said the EPO in yesterday’s tweet. “How come less than a handful use the forums? They probably just exaggerate/make up the figures,” I responded. These forums are truly pathetic. “Now it’s got new features and functions,” the EPO said, “Haven’t seen them yet?”

We very much doubt MILLIONS of people browse such documents. There aren’t even that many patent lawyers in the whole world. Then again, the EPO regularly lies to everyone. It’s 10:30 here already, so the EPO must have posted some more lying tweets about “SMEs” by now. Gotta run!

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