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The Case of UPC Misinformation and Propaganda Campaigns: The Web (and Google News) as a Noise and Disinformation Machine of Lobbyists and Oligarchy

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: This morning we’re seeing lots of misleading and misinforming ‘news’ coverage regarding the Unified Patent Court (UPC), including many paid-for or financially-motivated puff pieces that drown out the signal (actual information that is accurate and up to date)

THIS morning I stumbled upon some truly ridiculous flood of misinformation from Team UPC, perhaps as should be expected based on past events. They totally dominate the media (or all media coverage regarding the UPC). The video above gives one notable example of this, but we’ll have more in the next batch of Daily Links.

“Is it merely a political apparatus used for financial gain by few Eurocrats?”In the meantime we’ve also taken note of the latest spammy ‘news’ from the EPO’s site (EPO.org), which apparently acts like EPO is a corporation now and merits an EPO.COM domain. They posted a ‘news’ item on the 23rd of the month, prefaced with text and containing many new links about ‘ViCo’ (we’ll spare the link/s).

EPO customersThe image on the right shows what the reader is presented with when clicking on at least one of those links. Other than the unnecessary personification (making António Campinos, who is very new at the EPO, seem like a patent guru), pay careful attention to the choice of words, which we’ve highlighted. Benoît Battistelli did not know patents until he was in his fifties and as far as we can tell Campinos too barely has any experience with them. Why does the EPO make such people ‘flag bearers’ for the Office? Is it merely a political apparatus used for financial gain by few Eurocrats? Or is that a scientific institution?

As side notes to the above issues, as we’ll note in Daily Links, this page says that the “European Patent Office (EPO) has released updated information on conducting remote oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal,” never mind if they’re legal or not (based on the EPC). As the ‘news’ from EPO.org makes clear (posted a day before Christmas Eve), they’ve quit caring about legality. They think they can just do everything over webchats (they cannot, at least not legally) and patent scope no longer seems to exist or matter to the Office.

Marks & Clerk LLP, a patent litigation firm, is (as usual) promoting illegal software patents at the EPO using a bunch of buzzwords and meaningless hype waves (“on a computer” or “tech” as ‘novelty’ in its own right — akin to “over the Internet” or “in a car”). This one marketing piece uses two propaganda terms from the EPO, “Digitisation” and “MedTech”… (both seem to increasingly exploit the pandemic to make patents on software seem like a “public good”).

It has also been noted that the “European Patent Office has announced that its offices in Berlin, Munich and The Hague will remain closed atleast until the 10th of January 2021 from December 24th, 2020 due the COVID situation across most of Europe. Most countries in Europe such as Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece to name a few have already announced a lockdown between now and the 7th of January 2021.”

“Lobbying for the UPC is rapidly becoming an awful public relations strategy.”That does not say that they force everyone to work from home regardless. Here in the UK many receive pay leave if there are severe closures. The EPO doesn’t offer anything like that…

Speaking of the UK, with the expiry of the Brexit transition period one law firm has just noted that the “European Patent Office (EPO) is not an EU institution and hence European patents will be unaffected by Brexit. European patent applications will continue to designate the UK, and we will remain European Patent Attorneys able to represent clients at the EPO.”

They don’t mention the UPC (EU), do they? Well, why would they? They too realise that it’s dead and buried; even the article shown above (link here) was changed as soon as the constitutional complaints became publicly known. They’re trying to save face now, as did many other boosters of the UPC. Lobbying for the UPC is rapidly becoming an awful public relations strategy.

As for Google News, it’s gamed by lobbyists and law firms. It’s not news. For many topics it is marketing noise.

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