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04.25.20

Greenwashing and Peace-washing Patents We Can Never Coexist With (and the Law Forbids Anyway)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO, 10 July 1977; EPO in 2020

Summary: The increasingly-embarrassing (to Europe) EPO is far too busy openwashing its data, greenwashing its patents and whitewashing its abuses; in the meantime it continues granting far too many ruinous and often illegal patents, causing Europe a lot more harm than the general media cares to recognise (because the EPO also bribes/threatens it)

WE HAVE already published about half a dozen articles about greenwashing tactics of the European Patent Office (EPO), both in the Benoît Battistelli years and the António Campinos years. As far as we’re aware and are able to see, the US patent system hardly does anything like it. We haven’t seen the British (another English-speaking country) doing it. Same for Australia, Canada, South Africa and so on. It’s almost a uniquely EPO thing…

“Heck, how many EPO managers came from the military? How many of them have killed people (but won’t speak about it)?”A lot more can be said about the EPO’s exploitation of disasters (earthquakes, terror attacks) as if they have anything whatsoever to do with patents. But let’s face it, today’s EPO is run by dishonest politicians and their mates, who are blindly loyal (and indebted) to them, as opposed to truly qualified managers with scientific background. Heck, how many EPO managers came from the military? How many of them have killed people (but won’t speak about it)?

Don’t laugh, this is serious stuff! These people sent yours truly threats!

Today’s EPO is very happy to support patent trolls (extortion artists) and even bring the world’s most notorious ones to EPO panels. Just like that!

A European Parliament question, as Benjamin Henrion has just noted, brought up issues “about Patent trolls here [and to quote] “they buy up patents with the aim of litigating against innovative companies, including SMEs, in order to obtain high settlement fees. This upward trend was particularly marked in ICT” (buzzword).

“ICT means software patents,” Henrion added. He’s correct. The thugs whom the EPO hired from the British Army call software patents “ICT”; they don’t even have much (or any) experience in that discipline. They only know how to discipline (read: bully) people and threaten critics. They name-drop buzzwords like “ICT” in their shallow talks — speeches that focus on “posh accent” over actual substance.

This is today’s EPO. It has become a total embarrassment to Europe and its status in the world. It’s also a threat to each and every software developer in Europe, Henrion and myself included.

Just before the weekend Henrion took note of this newly-uploaded (days ago) English presentation from LibrePlanet 2020 [PDF]. It mentions EPO guidelines and is summarised as follows: [via]

For many years, the existence of software patents, and the threat that certain entities would use them against free software, was an issue of significant concern to the free software community. Since then, there have been many court decisions that have altered the landscape of what may be patented, procedures allowing challenges to patents outside of the court system, industry initiatives to create “patent peace” around parts of the free software world, and changes in the behaviors of certain patent holders once thought to present the greatest threat to free software. This presentation will give an overview, designed for a non-legal audience, of the latest developments, and suggest where the future of patents and free software may be headed.

This whole “patent peace” part is IBM- and Microsoft-backed PR; there cannot be software patent peace and all they mean to say is that they’ll carry on pursuing — something also suing with — abstract patents. And somehow we’re supposed to tolerate all that and quit pushing for abolition of such patents. This is what LOT and OIN are all about (and for).

The “European Patent Office, Guidelines for Examination,” as noted here, are very problematic. These guidelines are clearly illicit (November 2019 revisions made those yet worse) and they compel examiners to violate the EPC, leveraging buzzwords such as “HEY HI!” (AI) to undermine the law and let through fake patents such on patents on algorithms.

“Given enough free software, prior art is shallow,” says the talk, but Henrion correctly notes that “developers cannot enjoy freedom of programming” if/when these patents prevail (even outside the court system).

As we noted several times this month, the EPO keeps marketing software patents with newer buzzwords and deliberate misnomers, designed to hide the fact they violate the EPC and therefore break the law. The EPO has just tweeted: “In 2019, #digitalcommunication became the new leading field for #patent applications at the EPO, while computer technology was the 2nd fastest-growing. What development trends are behind the surge? Who are the key players?”

For those who missed our prior articles, Campinos made it rather clear that these patents are on software. He spoke about it with IAM about a month ago. They’ve move from “ICT” to “digital” or “digitalisation” (sometimes “videogames” or just “games”).

And if all that nonsense wasn’t already bad enough, watch these two greenwashing tweets the EPO posted yesterday. One said: “The world currently faces tremendous challenges, but #innovation enables us to look forward to a prosperous, healthy and safe future for our planet. https://bit.ly/2KwNQws Celebrate #WorldIPDay with us on 26 April! Stay tuned!”

The second said: “We were honoured to make a pledge for a green future on the occasion of #WorldIPDay! Have a look at what we commit to achieve in the near future: https://worldipday.wipo.int/map/public?year=2020&id=63 …”

There’s even a ridiculous stock photograph to accompany this shallow greenwash.

Notice how they are exploiting a pandemic to promote monopoly… “for our planet.”

“If anything,” I’ve told them, “this #WorldIPDay mindset poses a threat to this planet and human civilisation.”

One could bring up patents on ventilators, medication and the ridiculousness of the term “IP” — a propaganda term that ascribes to patents properties they legally and practically lack. Patents are not properly, they’re a time-limited monopoly.

The EPO is greenwashing monopoly with this #WorldIPDay nonsense, celebrating for the monopolists with their law firms. No wonder the EPO can no longer attract any talent (if they look for any; hiring procedures nowadays seem to be based on connections and kickbacks rather than merit).

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