07.04.20

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‘Managing Intellectual Property’ Managing to Become Uncritical Parrot of EPO Management

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Talking points, but nothing to the point

Managing IP lying

Summary: Managing to amplify the EPO’s lies isn’t hard; one just needs to copy, paste, edit a little; then they call it ‘journalism’, irrespective of the proven track record of EPO management lying to staff and to the media

THE ‘news’ site Managing Intellectual Property (Managing IP for short), funded by litigation firms and patent trolls, is currently parroting tall tales and incredible claims from a chronically-lying and deeply corrupt EPO management. Says a lot about Managing IP and its ‘journalism’ (public relations) standpoint, so let’s tackle it. We mentioned that so-called 'report' the other day and complained about media complicity for two years under António Campinos (they still push the lie/fiction that he resolved the issue which was Benoît Battistelli).

Well, under a mishmash of items they put “EPO report” and basically parroted talking points from chronic liars and spinners; no scepticism, no scrutiny, no fact-checking; it’s just droning on and on in ‘parrot mode’, noting what “BoA president Carl Josefsson told Managing IP” (Josefsson knows his ‘true masters’, who gave him this job). Here’s a quick paragraph-by-paragraph rebuttal:

EPO and BoA target speed and efficiency

Notice the loaded title and wording (or framing). Slowness and inefficiency wouldn’t have sounded too good. The goal of the patent system is neither of those two things. Accuracy is a lot more important.

Settled cases at the EPO’s Boards of Appeal have increased by nearly 50% in the last three years, according to the organisation’s annual report published this week.

Settlement and justice are not the same thing; there are many ways to “settle” things, with neither party being necessarily satisfied.

Procedural slowness can lead to unwanted settlements at times, potentially out of sheer desperation or sense of dead end ahead, such as in the case of people defaulting on a mortgage. We’ll come to that in a moment (below).

“Settled cases” aren’t a surrogate or a measure of access to justice or legal recourse. Fee changes may also have played a role (considerable cost hikes).

In 2019, the BoA received 3,292 technical appeal cases, 8.6% more than in 2018. In total, 3,254 of these were settled, a 19.1% increase compared with 2018. This amounts to a total increase of 46% since January 2017.

Increase in appeals isn’t a good thing, is it? One might say that this implies growing injustice and more disputed decisions.

The above numbers may sound big, but are they really? Against a backdrop or backlog of about 10,000 cases last year

So they’re just playing fast and loose with statistics to give some misleading impression of “growth”…

A growth in what exactly?

Don’t ask.

The BoA has also increased its capacity, recruiting 17 additional technically qualified members over the course of last year.

17 more people who lack independence from the Office and whose hiring standards were significantly lowered.

Hurray to racing to the bottom. How many have meanwhile left? It does not say.

In its report the BoA said it is “well on track” to meet its five-year objective to settle 90% of cases within 30 months.

Speed. Is that the sole measure of performance? Ask patent examiners how they feel about it…

Last year also marked the finalisation of the BoA’s Rules of Procedure. The new rules entered into force in January this year and are targeted at increasing efficiency, predictability for parties, and harmonisation.

Fluff and marketing nonsense. The BoA’s Rules of Procedure have done nothing to tackle the lack of autonomy and further introduced negative changes — except perhaps for litigation firms. Notice that word “harmonisation” again; they told us that UPC would bring about “harmonisation” — by which they meant abolishing the BoA (all of them).

Last year, BoA president Carl Josefsson told Managing IP that the revised rules will reduce a party’s options to amend its case as appeal proceedings progress, and make it more difficult to withhold submissions for tactical reasons.

The same Josefsson who was put there by Battistelli and his mates.

Meanwhile, the EPO annual review for 2019 , also published this week, showed that the office dealt with a record number of patent applications. It received 181,406 European patent applications, up 4% on 2018’s figure.

When you lower the standards people race to get lousy patents. And they get them! They can pass these to trolls. As they do. And never mind if almost two-thirds of these don’t come from Europe. It’s a siege.

The EPO has also provided an update to its Strategic Plan 2023, which was published last year. The EPO wanted core focus areas to include building an engaged organisation; modernising the IT systems; and delivering high-quality products efficiently.

Again it’s a bunch of marketing nonsense from the nontechnical people who run the EPO. Notice words like “products”; maybe they think they’re running a store or a factory floor.

By the way, they’re not “engaged” (ask SUEPO!) and they’re not “modernising the IT systems” but outsourcing it to companies like Google and Microsoft (from another continent).

According to the annual review, 2019 brought IT modernisations as well as a paperless search pilot. The EPO also expanded its geographical coverage, including by signing validation agreements with Georgia and reinforcing partnership agreements with Ethiopia, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil and ARIPO.

How many European Patents come from these nations? Better not ask. But they thought it would sound good. Maybe add Cambodia again, with its zero European Patents…

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