07.26.20

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The EPO is Still a Sordid Mess and the Media Doesn’t Talk About That, So Where Do We Go From Here?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When Europe’s second-largest institution is both corrupt and a subject of implicit media taboo

Prague

Summary: We take stock of shallow non-journalism (reprinting EPO lies), discuss what the EPO has generally become and reflect upon the death of the UPC (very few are still in denial about it)

An insider from the European Patent Office (EPO) recently told me EPO was in ICU. Many examiners feel that way; an EU politician from EUIPO, António Campinos, is their boss now, lying to them like a typical politician. Does he expect to earn respect by lying to staff representatives and staff?

A few days ago WTR recalled: “Two years later, and mere months after the office was entrusted with the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property [sic] Rights [sic], de Boer’s successor Antonio Campinos outlined his goals for the agency.”

WTR opens up its archives, reminding us that Campinos came out of nowhere to spearhead an EU agency that months before his departure he outsourced the India (parts of IT at least). Like Benoît Battistelli at the EPO, over at EUIPO he enjoyed almost no oversight and there was no accountability for the above and more things that he now replicates, piecewise, at the EPO. Do these people even care about the people whom they supposedly represent in Europe? See, this is why things like ‘Brexit’ got momentum; institutional failures cause people to lose trust and even if ‘Brexit’ makes no economic sense, many people still cheer for it.

“WTR opens up its archives, reminding us that Campinos came out of nowhere to spearhead an EU agency that months before his departure he outsourced the India (parts of IT at least).”“The UK Government has confirmed that it will not seek participation in the proposed EU Unified Patents Court (UPC) or Unitary Patent if these are introduced,” wrote one law firm some days ago in its Web site (under “Intellectual Property [sic] – managing the Brexit transition”) and then in Lexology. They’re coming to accept this reality.

“Most – but not all – IP [sic] lawyers say that allowing only the Supreme Court to depart from retained EU law after Brexit will be best for the industry,” said another new article from Managing IP, which spent years advocating the UPC on behalf of litigation firms. Managing IP is a really bad site (almost as bad as IAM), as it’s more like a lobbying front disguised as “journalism”; days ago it wrote about EQE going online and the simple fact that “UK leaves UPC”; this, for a change, was mostly OK coverage, but it quoted Bristows to seed doubt about the impact of the move; to be fair to him (he is really irritated by Techrights, constantly moaning about us in Twitter), this one piece is not as misleading as some prior coverage from that same author, a UPC booster in ‘reporter’ clothing. His colleague, however, is still pushing UPC agenda, as he has done for years in sites owned and controlled directly by litigation firms (with misleading publication names). “Klaus Grabinski,” he wrote, “of the Federal Court of Justice, explains why virtual patent litigation is like opera and why endurance is key for the UPC…”

The word “endurance” is suggestive of constantly coming back with unconstitutional agenda. As if mere perseverance can turn illegality into law. Better coverage came from The Register — coverage which was yesterday picked up by Soylent News, quoting:

The UK has formally ditched the Unified Patent Court (UPC), a project to create a single pan-European patent system that would fix the confusing mess of contradictory laws currently in place.

In a written statement in the House of Commons on Monday, the British undersecretary for science, research and innovation Amanda Solloway noted that: “Today, by means of a Note Verbale, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has withdrawn its ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court.”

The reason is, of course Brexit. “In view of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, the United Kingdom no longer wishes to be a party to the Unified Patent Court 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 said.

[...] The whole idea of the UPC has been fought for over a decade now, making many its adherents borderline fanatical in making it a reality, even more so given frequent setbacks. In their unerring support, however, many seem willing to overlook or turn a blind eye to serious problems, not least of which is the mess that is the European Patent Office (EPO).

[...] The EPO is, of course, a big fan of the UPC and insists the UK leaving is a mere trifle to the larger European dream of a single patent system; a system that would give it significantly more power:

“These economic benefits for European companies and especially SMEs will not be affected by the announcement of the United Kingdom,” it insisted in its submission to the German government.

“Even without the UK, the UP package will lead to significant simplification and cost reduction for the companies of the participating EU member states, which is also largely recognized by European companies.”

“Better if we break it up further then. The last thing we need is to give patents and copyright more power,” said the top comment. The reply mentions us:

The death of the UPC [techrights.org] through the loss of the UK from Europe was confirmed this way at the beginning of the year. That was one small benefit of Brexit, perhaps the only one. It may be a few years before the crooks pushing for it can regroup and try some other way to sneak software patents into Europe. The UPC was mainly intended as a way of doing an end run around European laws in order to impose software patents. The 1973 European Patent Convention specifically excludes software from patent law, leaving copyright for that.

Now that Groklaw is in archive mode and the other sites have either shut down or changed topics, Roy at Techrights has really been the last one to cover the UPC [techrights.org] or, for that matter, the profoundly corrupt EPO [techrights.org] which has been pushing for the UPC.

The UPC is dead, but the crowd pushing for it has not been jailed yet. So keep your eyes open for further developments and possible need to defend software use (and development) in the EU.

This speaks of the “profoundly corrupt EPO” — a term we’ve used over the years. Is there still any hope of a turnaround? Well, it’s difficult to see it. The way we put it last week, UPC collapsed and EPO might be next as both relied on infringing basic and fundamental laws. They’re trying to force-feed us illegal agenda. They insist that this is good for Europe and, as of late, they pretend to be saving lives.

Back street Prague

Days ago ENDRA trotted out a puff piece to illustrate what we mean. Using the misleading propaganda term “Life Sciences” they seem to be pursuing bogus software patents in Europe, covering some aspect/s of image processing. At around the same time, also in relation to the EPO, “BioWorld MedTech present[ed] Patent Highlights, an excerpt of the most important med-tech patents from this week’s Cortellis Patents Gazette.”

MedTech is a fairly new propaganda term that’s used by patent zealots to rationalise patents (monopolies) on everything that can save a life, hence limiting who can save a life and whose lives will be saved.

These patents do not save lives; one can argue they accomplish the very opposite with legal barbwire.

The people in suits who do no research whatsoever will not “tackle global challenges” like COVID-19. The likes at EPO, USPTO, KIPO and JPO…

The day before yesterday the EPO published (yes, on Friday) “IP5 agree to strengthen co-operation to tackle global challenges (warning: epo.org link) and there are even photo ops for a bunch of people watching a screen! The EPO is once again using COVID-19 for shameless patent propaganda even where patents often stand in the way of research and access to medicines. COVID-19 is mentioned about four times (politicians know no other method other than exploiting a crisis, not only for spying but also joint puff pieces with KIPO and JPO).

The opening paragraph states:

The heads of the world’s five largest intellectual property offices (IP5) convened for their 13th annual meeting, the first to be conducted by video conference, to take stock of major achievements in their co-operation initiatives over the past year, and address the priorities for IP5 co-operation in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here they go again talking about “pandemic”…

All they do is grant lots of monopolies; they do nothing whatsoever about the pandemic; heck, EPO management isn't even providing masks to staff. So much for ‘leadership’…

Of course the media has covered none of these issues; none at all. Ask them why and they’ll use the pandemic as an excuse. It’s a catch-all excuse these days. There’s no “lack of time”; if anything, there’s even more time to research these issues nowadays (we’ve published an average of 10 posts per day since the start of June). In fact, it’s easy to see they’re obsessed with just relaying EPO lies instead. Search for EPO news and what do you get? Well, the Seattle Times, a Bill Gates-bribed ‘news’ site, is publishing propaganda for the EPO (they would just print any nonsense for a fee) and so does City A.M., which wrote: “The USA made 34.8% of 3D printing patent applications with the Munich-headquartered EPO between 2010-2018; Germany made 19%…”

UK’s Machinery said “Report reveals UK at the ‘forefront’ of 3D printing” (because of patents alone?) and Managing IP played along with this at the start of this month, as did Powder Injection Moulding International, Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine, TCT Magazine, 3D Printing Industry, based on the mindless press releases. So the the ‘fog’ of fluff, culminating in so-called ‘reports’ from Managing IP (just megaphone for law firms, as always), may contribute to this false notion that things are well at the EPO; but it is rotting from the inside. Its rogue management capitalises on the total lack of real journalism; whatever was left of it died in 2020 and IP Pro Patent/IPPro Magazine, once a news site where Barney Dixon covered key issues and gave SUEPO a voice, has since been emptied (top-level page is just this listing of no files, shown below); not yet hijacked by a law firm (a similar domain was (re-)registered by “ProIP Patent is a premier IP law firm in Turkey”). This is so saddening. History too is vanishing.

IPPro-Magazine-front-page

IPPro-Magazine

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