07.22.20

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Very Strong Consensus That the UPC is Dead for Good (The UPC Hopefuls Might Try Another Thing, But It Can Take Almost a Decade)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UPC has sailed away

Don't slip

Summary: Team UPC is still trying to spread a bunch of lies about UPC; but judging by comments (and their responses), they’re convincing nobody anymore

SO AFTER 6 comments here, 8 comments here, 11 comments here, 7 comments here, and some more in “tweets” and in IP Kat (we’re reading these things patiently and carefully) we can say with confidence that just about nobody — not a single person — still believes that the UPC stands a chance. Team UPC may be lying to itself; deep inside it knows the truth. As covered before, the latest setback comes from the UK. Bristows took a day or two to put some spin together about it (which is unusual). Gregory Bacon eventually wrote:

The Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) published yesterday UK Withdrawal from the UPCA, reporting that “A deposit of the withdrawal notification of ratification has been deposited with the Council Secretariat” and that Amanda Solloway, the UK IP Minister, had made a parliamentary written statement in the House of Commons. Ms Solloway reported that, “by means of a Note Verbale”, the UK has withdrawn its ratification of the UPC Agreement and the UPC’s Protocol on Privileges and Immunities, and its consent to be bound by the UPC Agreement’s Protocol on Provisional Application (PPA). She explained (as she did in March to the House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee’s Chair, see here) that, in view of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the UK no longer wishes to be a party to the UPC system; participating in a court that applies EU law and is bound by the CJEU would be inconsistent with the government’s aims of becoming an independent self-governing nation. She stated that the UK had decided to withdraw its ratification now to ensure clarity regarding the UK’s status in respect of the Agreements and to facilitate their orderly entry into force for other states without the UK’s participation. The UPC Preparatory Committee stated that it will now convene to discuss the consequences of the UK withdrawal and agree a way forward.

What “way forward”? There’s none.

“Campinos has no clue about code; he never wrote any.”The good news is, the demise of the UPC will further curtail toxic EPO agenda. António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli, for instance, have been trying to promote software patents in Europe, but the courts aren’t having any of that. As we’ll include this new link in our next Daily Links, why not highlight again what’s happening at the EPO? Our comments below in yellow:

On 15 July 2020, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO met to discuss the criteria used to determine whether computer simulations can be patented in Europe. Patent attorney Parminder Lally summarises the hearing and provides her thoughts on the case, which could have a significant impact on how the EPO determines whether any software inventions such as computer simulations are patentable, particularly when the software inventions do not have a direct link to the physical world.

We live in an increasingly digital world – not only do more of us communicate with each other and access information or content using ‘apps’ and the internet, but some of the work we may have previously conducted in the ‘real’ or physical world is now being performed using computer simulations or digital twins. For example, it is much more time- and cost-effective to simulate the behavior and performance of a new design of wind turbine blade, than to construct the wind turbine blade and test it in a real wind tunnel. Similarly, it is safer for the public to simulate how an autonomous vehicle performs in a virtual street and use data collected from the simulation to train the artificial intelligence that controls the vehicle, than to let an autonomous vehicle loose in our cities to collect that data.

Many innovative companies in diverse technology areas use computer simulations, from those using software to design new cities, to those using digital twins to model the impact of changes to systems before implementing them in the real world, to those using software to identify and narrow-down potential new drugs for testing. In many cases, the simulations and software may help scientists and engineers to identify what not to do – in such cases, the output of the computer model may never be linked to a real-world product or method. [That in itself is a very weak argument for patents; just because something is ubiquitous doesn’t mean monopolies become necessary]

It is, therefore, unsurprising that companies want to protect their computer simulation inventions [you mean, algorithms and other abstract things they wish to monopolise], as these are useful and important tools that can help them to design, test, and implement or manufacture [but this is not an argument for patents]. However, whether computer-implemented simulations are patentable at the European Patent Office (EPO) has, to date, depended on whether the claimed invention has any technical features that prevent the claim as a whole from being excluded from patentability. Generally speaking, methods of simulation, design or modelling may comprise some features that fall under the category of mathematical methods or methods for performing mental acts (which are excluded from patentability), but if all of the features of the claimed subject matter relate to these categories, the claimed subject matter is excluded from patentability [and this is where the debate ought to end; stop patenting maths]. Thus, the EPO looks to see if the claimed subject matter contains any functional technical features, or whether the claimed subject matter has a specific and defined technical purpose. [“Technical” is just broad and vague mumbo-jumbo]

However, last year, the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the EPO was asked to consider whether a method of testing, by simulation, a modelled environment was a functional technical feature when there is no link in the claimed method to a physical entity or physical parameters (see here for a summary of the questions referred to the EBA; see here for the case itself). As noted above, this may be the case for many computer simulations or digital twin models, as well as in the field of training autonomous vehicles, finding and testing new drugs, designing and testing computer games, and so on. [So it’s basically about patents on algorithms, in this case simulation or reverse-engineering a real-world scenario]

Since Campinos has already openly meddled in the affairs of the judges — repeatedly in fact — it may taint the outcome. We already know that the judges received some ‘bollocking’ in the past and UPC is being used as a threat against them. Whatever the outcome, the meddling by Campinos must be considered as a factor. Campinos has no clue about code; he never wrote any.

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