EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.25.20

Working From Home on Patent Monopolies Would Lower Their Quality and Perceived Legitimacy

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Working from home
Myself working from home (photo from this morning)

Summary: The patent system wherein people grant monopolies from their sofas and bedrooms isn’t helping the already-eroded perception/image of patent offices that mostly grant patents to massive multinationals (and far too many patents overall)

AS every honest patent examiner is aware, there’s a socio-economic/political element to patents. There’s a reason why the EPO has been run by politicians for about a decade (António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli are neither jurists nor scientists). We end up with stuff like software patents in Europe not because actual coders/developers/programmers want these; there’s just a lot of lobbying from law firms and monopolists, looking for help from the European Patent Office to create/enforce additional monopolies. The USPTO is the same and there may be rare exceptions like India, where policy sometimes leans towards the public interest. Sometimes at least…

“Bear in mind that Amazon and Facebook pursue lots of European Patents, many of which on software.”This post isn’t a rant about the patent system in general; I never called for all patents to be abolished, but it seems clear that millions of patents per year are far too much to keep abreast of. They’re not indicative of greater innovation pace; they’re just a symptom of “patentism” (patent law going completely out of order; patents are being granted just for the sake of more patents being granted, causing more litigation and preventing broad market access).

A few days ago Robert Frank published in CNBC the article American billionaires got $434 billion richer during the pandemic and as examples he said: “Bezos added $34.6 billion to his wealth and Zuckerberg picked up $25 billion.” (Also in the news right now: “Inside the Latest Plan to “Bankrupt” and Privatize Social Security”)

Bear in mind that Amazon and Facebook pursue lots of European Patents, many of which on software. What does the EPO’s staff get in return? Well, Office management is lowering salaries and rewards/pensions/benefits to EPO staff. Think working from home is an indulgence?!?! Ask EPO staff how they feel about it. Many friends and relatives of theirs, both in the private and public sector, are on paid leave. Besides, the EPO is sitting on billions of euros it’s not supposed to have, so why not give staff a break — a chance to calm down amid public panic and stress? Instead, the Office management forces these people to work until midnight if not later.

What would be the quality of work at times like these? Think about it.

“The quality of EPO output has been low for quite a few years. Forcing staff to work from home would only add to erosion in quality.”I myself have worked from home since around 2007. I sleep early and wake up early. My ‘daytime’ job is actually a nighttime job (to help pay the bills), but I never write articles at particular times of the day. How are EPO workers expected to write search reports and properly research prior art etc. from their living rooms at 11PM at night? With family members asleep nearby or watching TV with the volume up…

The quality of EPO output has been low for quite a few years. Forcing staff to work from home would only add to erosion in quality. They cannot even seek help/consultation from nearby staff at a desk close to them.

Is the purpose of this patent system just to build fences to protect the likes of Zuckerberg and Bezos or to actually promote and defend innovation? Whose service are those patent workers assigned to? Are they helping the European public or a bunch of foreign oligarchs who exploit this pandemic to add trillions in personal wealth (without even paying tax on it)?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

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

A Single Comment

  1. Canta said,

    May 25, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Gravatar

    You know, I showed my wife your pic a few minutes ago, with a “look at this cool setup” intention in mind.

    She took a look at it, then smiled, and told me this: “that’s some AWESOME template for some old-school meme! Something in the lines of ‘controlling internet’, or ‘so, you’re new on the internet, are you? I’ll be your guide’”.

    Sorry for the offtopic, I just HAD TO comment it here.

What Else is New


  1. Red Hat Betrayed the Free Software Community With Its Software Patents' Stockpiling Drive and Then a Sale to the Biggest Software Patents Lobbyist

    In 2020 Red Hat is little but a shadow of IBM, whose patent policy continues to threaten software freedom and whose lobbying for software patents (under the guise of "HEY HI") persists uninterrupted; this growing problem oughtn't be unspeakable



  2. Politically Correct Tech

    This new video entitled “Politically Correct Tech” covers a topic we’ve spoken a great deal about



  3. [Humour/Meme] High on Production, Stoned on Pseudoscience

    All-time high ‘production’ levels at the European Patent Office (EPO) do not mean what they want people to think and what they try hard to hide



  4. Missing From EPO Management: Actual Scientists

    Political figures and opportunists with connections occupy top positions at top European agencies; this assures self-destructive policies that diminish progress and cushion corruption



  5. All Software Should Come With a Cheat Mode

    Cheat modes are useful for developers because they enable debugging, and are sometimes called "Debug mode"



  6. Linus Torvalds Checks If It's Still Inclusive Enough to 'Bash' Bad Technology (of the Company Whose TPM Pusher Has Just Successfully Pushed to Remove Many Words)

    In the age of endless control of language (e.g. large corporations pushing for "inclusive" language whilst earning billions from bombing of 'inferior' countries) we see that it is still possible to condemn corporations on technical grounds (at least if you’re Linus Torvalds)



  7. Even Before Microsoft Paid ('Joined') the Linux Foundation Jim Zemlin Had a Preference for Microsofters

    Even years before the Linux Foundation was receiving money from Microsoft it had a tendency to hire Microsoft’s people for key positions (a lot of people no longer remember that, but it’s still in the public record; it was Jim Zemlin who approached if not chased Mr. Ramji to offer him the job and the colleagues saw no problem with that)



  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 11, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 11, 2020



  9. Links 12/7/2020: KDE Plasma 5.20 Preview and Elive 3.8.14 Beta

    Links for the day



  10. [Humour] The 'Orange One' Does Not Respect Judges Either

    More than two years after taking over the European Patent Office (EPO) António Campinos has done absolutely nothing to restore judicial independence of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO



  11. The Systemd Song

    Speak out about IBM's strategy before we're all using GNU/Linux distros 'barcoded' with systemd



  12. Monopoly (or Vendor Lock-in) is Not Modularity

    IBM cannot totally control the kernel, Linux; IBM's control over GNU/Linux may be worth even more than what it paid for Red Hat as that's the key to overpriced support contracts and the general direction of development (important trends such as file systems and various low-level stacks)



  13. The Internet Archive Doesn't Forget, Whereas the Internet and the Web Forget Very Fast

    World Wide Web history is grossly undervalued and preservation of such history (e.g. by the Wayback Machine) is taken for granted by far too many people; the robber barons of today benefit the most from erosion of collective memory as they get to rewrite the past to suit their present and future interests



  14. Environmentalism and Free Software Can be Viewed as Closely Connected and Help One Another

    Modest lifestyles are an overlapping pattern in the Free software community and green activists; there's room for alliances and collaboration, bettering society by reducing consumption and discouraging voyeurism



  15. Free (as in Freedom) Software + Social Control Media ≠ Free Speech

    Speaking through middlemen and private platforms is bad enough (that gives others unjust power over speech); to claim that because the underlying platform is free/libre software it therefore becomes a non-issue is also dishonest



  16. António Campinos: President or Quasi-Autocratic Corporate Puppet?

    The culture of oppression — and censorship of evidence of oppression — is what today’s EPO is all about; the EPO learned how to better avoid (or block) negative publicity without actually changing its ways; and due to unprecedented speech restrictions you won’t hear that from SUEPO



  17. The Media Continues to Ignore Corruption of António Campinos

    António Campinos has Croatian scandals on his lap; the obedient media, however, refuses to even talk about it (or uses COVID as an excuse to write nothing on the subject, as some journalists have told us)



  18. A Call for Patent Sanity

    The public's call for reform is motivated by improved understanding of today's debased patent system and how out-of-order (detached from its original mission statement) it has gotten; patent maximalism, if it does not completely unravel this whole system, severely discredits it



  19. Declassified US Army Field Manuals Explain Microsoft's Public Relations Strategy (Similar to Selling Imperialism to the Occupied)

    The misuse of public broadcast to brainwash the public is well understood and thoroughly exploited by both Microsoft and the Gates Foundation (which sells this ridiculous lie that the world’s richest people speak for and fight for the poorest, i.e. those impoverished by endless greed)



  20. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 10, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, July 10, 2020



  21. Links 11/7/2020: Slackel 7.3 Openbox, Kiwi TCMS 8.5, Librem 5 Dogwood Update 3

    Links for the day



  22. Education Without Free Software is Training or Indoctrination

    Kids need to decide for themselves what they want to do and what they wish to use when they grow up; schools need to provide general tools and the mental capacity to make good decisions (rather than make these decisions for the kids, sometimes at the behest of foreign monopolists)



  23. Links 10/7/2020: Wayland-Info, diffoscope 151 and Tor 0.4.4.2-alpha

    Links for the day



  24. European FRAND (Related to SEP) Proponent and Famed Programmer Comes to Realise That It's Actually a “Scam”

    Even people who have long promoted the practice of mandatory "licensing" (in effect patent tax one is unable to work around) are apparently changing their minds and their tune



  25. Not Even a Single Corporate Journalist Has Written Anything About These Very Important Bits of News (Updated)

    Constant propaganda from patent maximalists has long infested the media, which is sometimes controlled and even bribed to set the tone and the agenda; important developments are being tucked away and require very deep digging for ordinary citizens to find



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 09, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, July 09, 2020



  27. Racism in Technology (and Who Typically Lectures Us About the Subject)

    Racism is a real problem; some approaches to tackling racism, however, can also be problematic and those who take the lead 'on behalf' of victims tend to be opportunistic and privileged few (piggybacking others' grievances to further advance their financial agenda)



  28. Links 10/7/2020: Debian 8 Long Term Support EOL, Mobian Project, Mesa 20.1.3

    Links for the day



  29. [Humour] COVID-19 is Very, Very Afraid of Human Beings Making More Monopolies Instead of Fighting Together

    The European Patent Office (EPO) to the rescue! Fighting a dangerous pandemic one profitable monopoly at a time!



  30. The News is Never 'Slow', It's Just Journalism That's Slowing Down (and Investigative Journalism Coming Under Attack)

    A mix of censorship and subtle mind control contribute to misinformed societies that shape their perception or misunderstanding of the world based on false measures of authority (where money can determine what is true and what is untrue); many topics remain completely untouched, leading to apathy in a vacuum; it's very much applicable to international organisations, which are presumed benign by virtue of being multi-national or supranational


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