11.09.20

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Inside the EPO During Corona: A New Series About the European Patent Office During European Lock-downs

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:50 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Examiners are human beings and scientists; they’re not cogwheels!

Several businessmen

Summary: European lock-downs have profoundly affected the lives of European Patent Office examiners (who are in effect scientists, unlike their managers); in an act of solidarity and transparency (for accountability, which EPO management truly lacks) we publish a series of documents and letters

“Desperately nothing new from the EPO,” one EPO insider noted. “There is very little life left in the office. But the silence may be broken when Mediapart publishes a series of articles about l’OEB.” (Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are both French speakers)

One way to break the silence somewhat is to assess the happenings at the Office during Coronavirus lock-downs, based on documents circulated internally among staff and staff representatives (CSC and SUEPO). We aren’t just blindly publishing these; we carefully study what’s published and whether it’s safe to put it in the public domain (once the time is right).

“We aren’t just blindly publishing these; we carefully study what’s published and whether it’s safe to put it in the public domain (once the time is right).”In the coming days if not weeks we intend to publish many documents; the rest of November we’ll be locked down here in England anyway (until December 2nd if not longer).

For readers who think this has nothing to do with software freedom we kindly remind that 1) the EPO’s policy is being extended to other continents (the EPO is bragging about it) and 2) the EPO is illegally granting software patents in Europe and these hurt software development in general (Free software more so because of limited financial means for legal defence).

Q1 South ViewFeedback about the series can, as always, be sent to us securely (a number of insiders are already familiar with communication channels). One quick way to supply us with information is the IRC applet below (or here), albeit we suggest accessing it with an IP address other than one’s home and a very generic nickname (makes it difficult enough to pinpoint sources). As we’re dealing with the EPO here — not the US military — public terminal access should be safe enough.

Without further ado, let’s study what goes on “Inside the EPO During Corona…

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