03.11.22

Gemini version available ♊︎

The EPO in Violation of the EPC and Nobody Holds Anyone Accountable for Such Violations

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum b8da83957e1ea46ad2b8acf1ec3f439f
EPC Assassinated
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Violations of the foundational document of the EPO have become so prevalent that one has to gasp and wonder if EPOnia is basically the EU’s Kremlin (the dictators do anything they want, even in clear violation of the constitutions, with post hoc justifications and cover-up)

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO has just circulated a latter dated yesterday, coming about 24 hours after the greenwashing of a likely illegal practice from Team Campinos. They bragged about not giving anything physical for a patent, as if this was about saving the planet or something, ignoring all sorts of laws as well as common sense.

Benoît Battistelli made violations of the EPC very routine (he also promoted European software patents using all sorts of lies, just as he did with the UPC), so why can’t Team Campinos continue this tradition? Breton doesn't mind, so the EU is basically in their pockets. Illegality is being declared “legal” with no actual explanation or rationalisation.

To quote the CSC’s message to EPO staff: “With the current implementation of the Patent Work Bench it is for instance possible that an action (such as a decision to refuse an application under Article 97(2) EPC) sent by the first examiner and approved by all members of the division is later amended by the first examiner without the amendment having to be approved by any other member of the division. Comparing this to the paper file flow, this is equivalent to the first examiner changing the text of the decision after all three members of the division have signed, without informing the other members of the division of the change.

“It may become a serious issue for the reputation of the Office and the perceived integrity of its decisions in the Patent Granting Process. It is easily possible – making use of proper digital signatures for all actions requiring the signatures of the members of the examining division – to provide legally sound proof of both the authenticity of the content of the signed documents as well as the identity of the undersigned.

“In this open letter, we therefore request the Office to swiftly develop a working solution for a truly electronic file flow that meets the requirements of the EPC.”

As promised when I recorded the above video (I always do the videos before any of the articles), we’re converting the full text of the letter into simple HTML, which will be archived as text, then become richer plain text and GemText:

centralSTCOM@epo.org
Reference: sc22025cl
Date: 10.03.2022

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY
Mr Steve Rowan
Vice-President DG 1

By email

OPEN LETTER

Formal deficiencies in the fully electronic Patent Granting Process

Dear Mr Rowan,

Since 2020 the Office has developed, with impressive speed, tools to implement a fully electronic Patent Granting Process (PGP). One of the core tools to achieve this goal is the Patent Work Bench (PWB). The conversion to a fully electronic PGP must meet certain standards to be acceptable to both public and staff. We have concerns that the PWB currently fails to meet such standards, in particular as regards its compliance with the EPC.

Among other processes, PWB replaces the paper file flow within the Examining Division to authorise decisions to refuse an application, intentions to grant a patent, or summons to oral proceedings. The EPC requires that each of these actions be signed by all members of the division (Article 97(1) and (2) EPC, Rules 111 and 113 EPC).

However, the PWB is inadequate to meet the requirements of the EPC.

With the current implementation of the PWB it is for instance possible that an action (such as a decision to refuse an application under Article 97(2) EPC) sent by the first examiner of the division and approved by the second member and the chair is later amended by the first examiner without the amendment having to be approved by any other member of the division. Comparing this to the paper file flow, this is equivalent to the first examiner changing the text of the decision after all three members of the division have signed, without informing the other members of the division of the change.


It may become a serious issue for the reputation of the Office and the perceived integrity of its decisions in the PGP, should the public become aware of the unsatisfactory authorisation of electronic actions by the Examining Division. This situation is regrettable because it is easily possible – making use of proper digital signatures for all actions requiring the signatures of the members of the examining division – to provide legally sound proof of both the authenticity of the content of the signed documents as well as the identity of the undersigned, and to avoid embarrassing decisions and judgments (as, e.g., decision J16/17 or AT-ILO Judgments Nos. 1344 and 2417).

We therefore request the Office to swiftly develop a working solution for a truly electronic file flow that meets the requirements of the EPC.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

It’s too easy to lose count of the number of times (and ways) the EPO violates then EPC. Who will be held accountable for it? If nobody ever gets punished for it, why will that ever stop? Why does the world not sanction the EPO? Carte blanche for dictators and narcissists encourages them to do more of the same.

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