Microsoft is the sole leading sponsor this year (same as last year)
Summary: In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions
THE EPO is not interested in patent quality. Everyone knows it by now, both inside and outside the Office.
According to patent maximalists’ tweets from Fordham, “[i]n the EPO it is easier to get a method for diagnosis patent than in the US.”
“Bristows staff — the one who ‘took over’ IP Kat — was attending this echo chamber of the patent microcosm recently.”Well, CPIP treats patent quality as a nuisance (they ask for Alice to be undermined and software patents to be back to old glory). They do not treat quality as a desirable feature; they profit not from quality. The same goes for some firms that say the EPO more easily grants software patents than the USPTO these days. Bristows staff — the one who 'took over' IP Kat — was attending this echo chamber of the patent microcosm recently. She professed admiration for Microsoft’s chief patent bully and quoted (or paraphrased) a judge as saying that “everyone is equipped to deal with science.”
“Sorry to disappoint the Honorable judge,” said one of the comments, “but that is an absurd comment, demonstrating ignorance and delusion.” An earlier comment said: “No judges from the EPO Boards of appeal present?”
“At two levels, both technical and juridical, the EPO has been unhinged and is not totally out of control.”Of course not! That would be disruptive to the echo chamber.
The attack on the appeal boards has been (in our humble assessment) intended to help mask the sharp decline in patent quality and/or suppress criticism related to that. At two levels, both technical and juridical, the EPO has been unhinged and is not totally out of control. █
“A stacked panel, on the other hand, is like a stacked deck: it is packed with people who, on the face of things, should be neutral, but who are in fact strong supporters of our technology. The key to stacking a panel is being able to choose the moderator. Most conference organizers allow the moderator to select die panel, so if you can pick the moderator, you win. Since you can’t expect representatives of our competitors to speak on your behalf, you have to get the moderator to agree to having only “independent ISVs” on the panel. No one from Microsoft or any other formal backer of the competing technologies would be allowed -just ISVs who have to use this stuff in the “real world.” Sounds marvellously independent doesn’t it? In feet, it allows us to stack the panel with ISVs that back our cause. Thus, the “independent” panel ends up telling the audience that our technology beats the others hands down. Get the press to cover this panel, and you’ve got a major win on your hands.”
–Microsoft, internal document
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IP Kat, which historically gave a voice to EPO workers and whistleblowers, has never been the same since the EPO's sanctions
Context (in the news this weekend and on Friday):
Summary: The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press
THE EPO‘s thuggery managed not only to silence IP Kat‘s criticisms but also, apparently, to turn it into a UPC propaganda mill, headed not by one but several firms that stand to benefit financially from excess in litigation. The EPO accomplished something similar with IAM and dividends continue to be paid. What gives?
“We are quite justified with our assertion that the blog is Bristows-run these days.”Sometimes we joke that IP Kat has become AmeriKat i.e. Bristows with its UPC agenda. Just look at the blog’s activity in the past week. The 8th post in a row yesterday was from Bristows and later came a ninth. We are quite justified with our assertion that the blog is Bristows-run these days. The Bristows worker says her “new IP idol [is] Brad Smith (Microsoft),” the man who engages in patent blackmail against Linux (we have written about his nefarious activities for over a decade). Need we remind readers that Microsoft bankrolled the event?
The only short break from the Bristows marketing was this EPO puff piece. Vardy offered a little break from the Bristows marathon and accomplished nothing but embellishment of the EPO’s image.
“Vardy offered a little break from the Bristows marathon and accomplished nothing but embellishment of the EPO’s image.”Is this the same IP Kat that wrote about the EPO last year? It has come to our attention that there is a little more going on behind the scenes. Vardy says nothing about the existential threat to the EPO and violations of the law, pretending there’s smooth sailing. So does FRKelly, which in this new piece (“Changes in European Patent Office practice following findings of lack of unity”) completely overlooks the crucial point that EPO search quality is nowadays terrible, as reaffirmed by internal leaks.
“Is this the same IP Kat that wrote about the EPO last year?”FRKelly says that “from 1 April 2017, the EPO now provides applicants with a provisional opinion on the patentability of the invention (or unitary group of inventions) first appearing in the claims together with the Partial Search Report – see notice in the Official Journal of the EPO here.”
But what good are such reports if they are prepared in a rush? Stakeholders have already publicly complained about this. One of them said that even the Spanish patent office (not particularly renowned for leadership in this area) does a better job than the EPO and at a much lower cost.
Where are those anonymous writers at IP Kat who used to write about those things? The founder has retired and the pseudonym shared by multiple people (“Merpel”) is no longer even mentioned in the blog (it used to be habitually thrown into the mix). Where are the Joe Hills and the Rosa Parks? Why do we feel like it’s mostly us, The Register and sometimes Juve that really still care about the EPO? Caring about the integrity of the Office is the opposite of caring about Battistelli’s reputation.
“Stakeholders have already publicly complained about this. One of them said that even the Spanish patent office (not particularly renowned for leadership in this area) does a better job than the EPO and at a much lower cost.”Just look what Bristows has turned IP Kat into! It’s shocking! It’s a disgrace. Even EPO workers tell us that. They are definitely not happy. The most signal that can be derived from IP Kat these days is in the comments. Responding to the EPO’s Margot and Bristows (which carried Margot’s message about the UPC), this one person wrote: “It is amazing to see what is coming out now in order to save the UPC.”
Truth does not matter at IP Kat when the chronic liars of Bristows run the show. Here is the comment in full:
It is amazing to see what is coming out now in order to save the UPC.
UPC is an agreement reserved to EU member states. This is a fact which seems conveniently forgotten.
As long as UK is member of the EU it might ratify. Once out of the EU it cannot any longer be part of the UPC, at least in the present form.
This means that:
1) the participation of UK in the UPC post Brexit will be part of the bargaining under Art 50. Any more enchanting perspective?
2) provisions have to be found how to transfer pre-Brexit judgements of the UPC into the UK legal system. This might be the easiest part, although it does not appear as simple as it may look at a glance.
3) provisions about enforcement post-Brexit of UPC judgements in the UK have to be devised. This is a point which has been conveniently dodged up to now by all proponents of the post-Brexit participation of UK.
I see here three reasons of great uncertainty. Can, in all honesty and in view of this uncertainty, any representative suggest to his client not to opt-out until any of those points are cleared?
That US industry and PAEs are interested in the UPC is pretty obvious, but should not be taken as a push to satisfy this need.
Here the Commission oversees a great danger and belittles the point of view expressed for instance by IP2P(?) about the danger of trolling. I am not convinced that the harmonisation effect heralded by the Commission will eventually be a benefit for European industry in general and SMEs in particular. In the case of patents subsidiarity might be better.
And now CH and NO should come into the UPC! Ever heard of Opinion 1/09? One should not forget that it was the death knell of EPLA!
As a commenter wrote: is this “knowledge, blind optimism or desperation”? A nice summary!
Responding in another thread — the one in which Bristows tackled those who warn about the UPC and trolls — one person wrote:
Kindly note that the UPC fee for a COUNTERclaim for revocation is between EUR 11k and EUR 20k, depending on the value of the case. Especially if the defendant in the infringement case is an SME, it is unlikely that the maximum revocation fee of EUR 20k will have to be paid, because this only occurs if the value of the case exceeds EUR 2 million.
So a business would need at least 11,000 Euros (at least!) to drive trolls away. And how many trolls would there be under a UPC-like regime? Some patent law firms earn this much in a month, sometimes per person, but for SMEs in Europe that’s a lot of money. It can cost a lot of jobs. And who benefits? Firms like Bristows and trolls. Firms that give bad advice to clients, possibly even an intentionally bad advice…
And back to the propaganda from Battistelli’s right-hand UPC woman (Margot), here is a quoteworthy new comment:
Any idea what I tell my client about UPC cases that are ongoing on Brexit day? For example, if on Brexit day there is an ongoing UPC case where infringement is exclusively in the UK, what happens?
Quite frankly, the statement that “uncertainty is unlikely because legal provision will inevitably be made to deal with the treatment of, for example, pending UPC cases on Brexit day” is ridiculous. That uncertainty already exists and will continue to exist unless and until the specifics of the assumed provision are finally decided on.
Here is another comment:
Uncertainty is not unlikely it is likely! The statement should be read correctly.
That an ongoing case in UK on Brexit day will continue is not at stake here. The uncertainty lies in the how it will happen in the UK. This might be solved if only UK is at stake.
There is however also an uncertainty, but much larger then, on what will happen if it affects not only UK but other contracting states on Brexit day, whether or not it is taken by a UPC court having its seat in UK.
This leads inevitably to the post Brexit enforcement problem.
Not everything revolves around an island bordering the North Sea. After all ridiculous for ridiculous, who is the more ridiculous??
“The UPC may have already been derailed for good, but Team UPC just won’t want to admit it…”It’s quite sad when all that’s left of value in IP Kat are anonymous comments. The blog is otherwise an utter disgrace of no value to anyone, except those in the echo chamber who love being deceived (patent maximalism is music to their ears).
The UPC may have already been derailed for good, but Team UPC just won’t want to admit it (it profits from lying to clients about it) and Luke McDonagh, a scholar from London, said that the General Election this year “will certainly delay Unified Patent Court, may even derail it…”
“Bristows staff (in various different platforms) just lies to everyone, as we have repeatedly demonstrated here over the years.”He was linking to Team UPC’s analysis, which quotes the article by Max Walters, who in turn serves as Bristows’ megaphone. Team UPC said: “In an article in the Law Gazette, Robert Burrows, partner at Bristows, says a start date of early 2018 for the Unitary Patent system could be a more realistic possibility.”
No, it can be altogether called off and it’s the most likely thing given the inherent incompatibility of UPC and Brexit. To quote the more independent view:
In the same article, Luke McDonagh of the Law School at City University London is more pessimistic: ‘It is clear there will be a delay now. Everything is likely to cease pending the election. The decision to ratify may even be up in the air.’
Be careful of anything IP Kat will say in the coming days about UPC (in light of the General Election). Bristows staff (in various different platforms) just lies to everyone, as we have repeatedly demonstrated here over the years. “Nobody said the creation of a new patent system covering all EU member states was going to be easy,” Team UPC added (after the failure). Actually, Team UPC did insinuate this, repeatedly even. Now that they’re losing all their marbles they start engaging in a bit of revisionism, too. It’s an attempt to recover some credibility and save face. █
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IP Kat truly seems to have been ‘taken over’ by patent maximalists who disregard balance and just try to attract business, even if that means helping Battistelli
Summary: An eclectic response to some of the misleading if not villainous responses to the UPC’s death knell in the UK, as well as other noteworthy observations about think tanks and misinformation whose purpose is to warp the patent system so that it serves law firms, for the most part at the expense of science and technology
AS EXPECTED and predicted by us (among others) yesterday, Team UPC is attempting to distract from the latest news (final nail in the UPC coffin) or spin it somehow. IAM, for example, has not yet said anything about it in its blog; instead, it is trying to discredit the analysis from IP2I about UPC and trolls, completely denying that the problem even exists (even though IAM itself mentioned it before!).
Watch Bristows’ distraction tactics this afternoon/evening, shifting attention elsewhere with “German parliament to vote on UPC privileges and immunities legislation,” having repeatedly lied about it before. No matter how much/often/many times Bristows gets caught lying (possibly even falsifying quotes), there are still fools who quote them as a source. Maybe they just “want to believe”, like alien enthusiasts…
A reader sent us a link to this new article titled “Is the UPC going to be ‘quietly dropped?’” (behind paywall). “Don’t know if you saw that,” our reader said, but it’s “quite a nice summary.”
It might help if we could actually get past the paywall, but the headline alone is quite revealing.
This post will focus on — but not be limited to — the sham that IP Kat has become more recently (past few months). A lot of our readers seem to agree with us about that. Watch how, for example, all of today’s articles (3 articles) came from Bristows. Their worker writes about her beloved patent maximalists’ event (we recently mentioned just what kind of extremist agenda it has and whose), complete with patent aggression from Microsoft, UPC propaganda from the EPO’s Margot Fröhlinger, and then some more in part 3. It’s about Fordham; it became somewhat of a pro-UPC think tank, as we showed here last year. It promotes software patents, trolls, UPC, and just about anything that the most ruthless elements out there are endorsing (and profiting from).
Not only Bristows helped amplify that toxic agenda (in Kat ‘clothing’). One can easily guess who else did this.
One person wrote from the event: “General Counsel Roundtable: IP is the lifeblood of any tech company…”
See the response from Benjamin Henrion. So a bunch of people whose business is just attacking and taxing companies compare this to a life-and-death situation (maybe to their own careers). Just look at this panel. Look who’s in it. It’s a classic example of stuffed panels (fake debates with stakeholders on one side totally absent). The poster of this is unable to recognise that, which says quite a lot about the poster. Henrion said, “an echo chamber it is called.”
The whole event is one giant echo chamber. And wait till it gets to the UPC… courtesy of… the EPO!
Here comes the drinker of Kool-Aid, stating: “Long shot or likely? Will Brexit mean that UPCA may be renegotiated so that non-EU states can join? (Per Justice Arnold again) #fordhamip”
And the above person said: “Diverse and distinguished panel to discuss #brexit effect on IP #fordhamip pic.twitter.com/I33C1T8lHB”
These people must be on some truly strong Kool-Aid, maybe an overdose.
As Dr. Birgit Clarke (former Kat) put it: “The UK’s future relationship with the European Union Intellectual Property Office is a matter for negotiations with the EU” (something with which Luke McDonagh agreed, stating “Repeat ad infinitum”).
The matter of fact is, the UPC is on the rocks. It will never happen in the UK. It’s almost impossible for all sorts of reasons. Yet the UPC boosters from Managing IP say: “Inevitable that decisions of #CJEU will have persuasive value post-Brexit. Question is persuasive weight” – Mr Justice Arnold at #fordhamip”
Managing IP could argue that it’s just quoting people (in an echo chamber), but it’s actually going as far as becoming a megaphone of Battistelli’s liar (for UPC purposes), Margot Fröhlinger. She literally makes a living by lying about the UPC. That’s her job at the EPO. She recently got herself embedded in the Korean press, spreading lies in English and possibly Hangul too. To quote: “”Updates to #upca can easily be done if there is political will… We will find out in next 2 years” – Margot Fröhlinger @EPOorg #fordhamip”
So it sounds like the EPO is already scheming to change national laws. Battistelli has done even worse things.
Here is another person from the echo chamber stating: “UK election likely to cause 2 month delay to #UPC #unitarypatent – Nicholas Saunders @brickcourt #fordhamip”
No, it can definitely kill it (only a wishful thinker says “delay” at this stage).
Going back to IP Kat, this is where it gets even more disturbing.
“So it sounds like the EPO is already scheming to change national laws. Battistelli has done even worse things.”Today, we’ve finally taken stock of the latest rubbish from Bristows. There is no UPC lobbying opportunity, so yesterday there were three Bristows posts (in a single day, all of Monday’s posts) in IP Kat, as if Bristows now runs the site (it’s Annsley Merelle Ward, who used to do a lot of promotion of software patents, even though she never ever wrote any software herself). The first was relatively innocent but then came grooming of a patent troll that operates in London. Just like IAM (which did this almost every day and sometimes more than once per day), Annsley Merelle Ward from Bristows did a FRAND puff piece, neglecting to tell readers that what we have here is a troll, not FRAND. It’s about trolls coming to Europe. And later in the day this UPC propagandist proceeded to spreading the lie that the Unitary Patent would not be cause for trolls, in spite of many people in the field repeatedly acknowledging that it would. It’s like those old lies about SMEs benefiting from the UPC; the reality is exactly the opposite. Here is the opening part, alluding to some think tank called “UPC Industry Coalition”: “Two years ago, the AmeriKat reported on the UPC Industry Coalition’s website launch and the continued concern that the injunction gap in the UPC would be used as potential sword with which patent trolls would hold to a company’s throat to achieve early (and potentially unjust) settlement. However, irrespective of the ultimate fate of the UPC (especially after yesterday’s UK snap election announcement), patent trolls, NPEs, PAEs (or whatever it is we are calling them now) are already prowling around Europe, especially given that their original hunting grounds in the US have recently become less hospitable (see Kyle Bass’s recent losses, e.g.).”
She is already attracting pro-UPC and pro-trolls anonymous comments like this one, but they are quickly corrected as follows:
The UPC has an extremely important pro-troll feature: the court fee for a counterclaim for revocation of a patent is €20,000. This ridiculously high fee to defend yourself against infringement of a clearly invalid patent does nothing other than facilitate the classic troll behaviour of threatening (UPC) infringement action if a relatively small settlement (perhaps €10,000) isn’t paid.
This court fee alone will make the UPC a troll’s paradise for extorting money from SMEs. All they need to do is get hold of an overly broad patent. Helpfully, the EPO now seems to be issuing more and more of those:
The above link too is from a former Kat. Some of them seem to have left, having seen the blog decaying and becoming just self promotion (for law firms). Nothing academic.
“These people, like Bristows opportunists, try to build their whole career on UPC promotion and French favouritism.”Regarding trolls, the UPC would make thing even a lot worse and it’s no excuse for pushing for the UPC, which would further exacerbate the problem. It’s a reason for stopping the UPC. Merelle Ward does gymnastics in logic here. That’s like saying, this person has flu already, therefore giving that same person cancer wouldn’t be a big deal. Merelle Ward (“AmeriKat”) then cites the UPC booster Michel Barnier (a zealous proponent of it for a long time, since before it was known as “UPC”), noting that “we have seen these reasons before. Readers may recall this (pretty grumpy) AmeriKat post back in 2014 reporting on the response from then Commissioner Barnier (now European chief negotiator for Brexit) to a question from Marc Tarabella, a Belgian MEP, about the problem and the risk of further abuse in the UPC. Two months later Commissioner Barnier responded that they failed to see how the UPC’s Union legislation – and therefore not the UPC Agreement which creates the injunction gap problem – “could increase activity of so called ‘patent trolls’ in Europe.””
Barnier is your source? Seriously? Who next? Battistelli? These people, like Bristows opportunists, try to build their whole career on UPC promotion and French favouritism.
Thankfully, the UPC is collapsing, so Bristows and other players from Team UPC are grasping at straws. As someone pointed out in this new comment: “Odd decision by Mrs May. I mean, what changed between triggering Article 50 (on 29 March) and yesterday? Certainly nothing relating to any of the “excuses” that she provided yesterday. Perhaps she just hadn’t thought things through before now. If so, that hardly inspires confidence! On a more IP-related note, has the IPO revealed any details on when they now expect the UPC Agreement to be ratified? Seems that a delay of several months (at least) is inevitable.”
The UPC is deadlocked. It will altogether be called off. Unless they call off Brexit or something along those lines…
“The UPC is deadlocked.”An unnamed Partner at the seemingly UPC-sympathetic firm Kather Augenstein (where Christopher Weber is from) wrote about this some days ago. Weber revealed the author’s name as he promoted this by saying: “My Partner Dr. Christof Augenstein commenting on the future of the UPC in today`s FAZ.”
It’s German media (translation would be appreciated), so we don’t know for sure how to best interpret it (Birgit Clarke who is German spotted it first). Apparently they had researched this further to find major barriers to the UPC, even before the General Election barrier crept in. They cite Jo Johnson on Brexit-related barriers and as Benjamin Henrion put it, “FAZ cites Jo Johnson in its last line of UPC article that UPC will be part of Brexit talks…”
Separately he asked: “”Anyone could buy the paper version of Frankfurter Allgemeine of today? There is some article about UPC in Brexit talks…”
As LukeMcDonagh has just put it:
Jo Johnson: Unified Patent Court is an international court not an EU one
Everyone: But it is bound by CJEU
Jo Johnson: We will negotiate…
With who? Battistelli?
Max Walters, who is pretty honest on these matters (and recognises the problems with UPC), wrote in the Law Gazette (UK) about the UPC “delay” (it will be called off even) and McDonagh added that the “Unified Patent Court likely to be delayed further by #GE17 – indeed, will new govt continue ratification process?”
Probably not. It’s an assumption that’s made only by those who drank too much Kool-Aid and spoke to other people who drank Kool-Aid at echo chamber-like events.
“The British software industry does not want the UPC, which is — among many other things — a Trojan horse for software patents and trolls in the UK.”Team UPC’s optimism in Germany is impossible to ignore. “If UK ratification of the UPC Agreement is still on the agenda after UK general election,” one of the boosters wrote. “it is unlikely to take place before July or August…”
Or ever. the UPC has an inherent incompatibility with Brexit. Delaying the inevitable failure won’t help much; they’re misleading clients in the meantime and probably profiting from that. Bad advice too can be profitable!
The FFII wrote back in March (probably about the EPO) that we have “[p]atentability of software thanks to rogue action of patent offices of course,” taking into account the ban on software patents that Battistelli flagrantly disregards while UPC proponents use it as a Trojan horse to normalise the practice EU-wide.
We are not insulted but flattered to see ourselves mentioned in this new comment that says: “Maybe like Brexit for Cameron this is all about internal Tory politics? Re UPC, techrights made me chuckle with his happy cheer for Another Final Nail in the Coffin. How many final nails can there be?”
Sometimes a coffin needs more nails than initially estimated because Team UPC keeps trying hard to escape the coffin, even if by misquoting people, intentionally lying, and manipulating politicians. If we need to knock some more nails on this coffin, we will. The British software industry does not want the UPC, which is — among many other things — a Trojan horse for software patents and trolls in the UK. █
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Cheerleading for patent trolls (and their facilitators) while attacking/smearing those who stand in their way
Summary: IAM Media (the EPO’s and trolls’ mouthpiece) continues a rather disturbing pattern of propaganda dressed up as “news”, promoting the agenda of parasites who drain the economy by extortion of legitimate (producing) companies
THE site/’magazine’ known as IAM is quite a riddle. Actually, it’s not much of a riddle; it’s more like a think tank and it no longer does a good job hiding it. Just watch what it covers almost every day this year.
“So a Korean patent troll, having a go in the US, loses.”Alluding to a case of a Korean troll-like entity, ETRI, and Huawei (China), a reasonably OK site said: “A Korean patent company behind a slew of infringement suits is actually just a litigation agent for the true patent holder and therefore doesn’t have standing in court, a California federal judge ruled in a Monday decision dismissing a long-running case against Huawei Technologies Co.”
So a Korean patent troll, having a go in the US, loses. IAM, on the other hand, called this a campaign to “monetise IP”. Note that the plaintiff is actually called “SPH America, LLC” (classic cover for a troll); IAM says it’s dubbed “litigation agent”, but it’s actually a troll — a word that hardly exists in IAM's lexicon because it's a trolls denialist that is funded by some trolls. It denies that companies that are patent trolls actually are trolls! Talk about whitewashing or reputation laundering.
“It denies that companies that are patent trolls actually are trolls! Talk about whitewashing or reputation laundering.”The lobbying site of trolls, IAM, also seems upset this week at claims of troll (re)surgence (challenge to the UPC actually), in this much belated post about IP2Innovate (IP2I). To quote: “Just as important, it seems to me, is that beyond equating trolls with patent assertion entities, IP2I provides no definitions of what it is that it is actually referring to. So, while it is certainly true that some do directly equate PAEs with trolls, it is equally the case that many others do not. That would include IAM, for example.”
IAM is funded by trolls. It’s in bed with them. It’s basically trying to groom them and it challenges those who dare point out that there is a problem. It was actually IAM itself, as we covered before, admitting a surge in NPE (not PAE) activity in Germany. What is this if not trolling? IAM itself admitted, back in late March, that troll litigation in Germany was booming. Suddenly it’s upset that IP2I says the same thing? We guess they’re so desperate for the UPC, so seeing the IP2I antagonising it makes IAM’s paymasters sweat a little. Facts are temporarily suspended, as usual, and IAM tries to delegitimise and discredit IP2I.
“Sites like IAM still deny that trolls exist, so while they do know that there’s a rise in troll activity in Europe they just don’t want it to be called “troll activity”.”Remember that IAM also attacked the FTC’s report on PAEs, i.e. patent trolls. Why even carry on pretending it’s a news site? It’s a think tank for the highest bidder. It keeps attacking every single threat to trolls. Even refuting its own reporting when it suits it! “The evidence was,” as I explained yesterday, “among other places, in IAM itself…”
Sites like IAM still deny that trolls exist, so while they do know that there’s a rise in troll activity in Europe they just don’t want it to be called “troll activity”. They use all sorts of euphemisms (like “monetise IP” above).
“Of the 12 patent suits filed today,” wrote United for Patent Reform a short while ago, “11 were filed by patent trolls — that’s 92%.”
“Right now in Europe the proportion of troll lawsuits is still low, but it is rising sharply. The UPC, if it ever became more than a sordid fantasy, would accelerate this.”Imagine what will happen if this comes to Europe. Right now in Europe the proportion of troll lawsuits is still low, but it is rising sharply. The UPC, if it ever become more than a sordid fantasy, would accelerate this.
The matter of fact is, the world is becoming a tough place for trolls. Some go bankrupt and some try to reinvent themselves. Canada’s most notorious patent troll, for example, is obviously failing and trying to do something else now, as even IAM admits right now. To quote:
Yesterday’s news that WiLAN will purchase an Internet of Things (IoT) business as it looks to diversify away from patent licensing represented another nail in the coffin of the NPE sector as we know it.
WiLAN is acquiring International Road Dynamics, an Industrial IoT business, for $47.7 million and following that deal will change its name to Quarterhill. WiLAN will then become the patent licensing subsidiary of the new business, responsible for monetising the more than 10,000 patent assets that the Canadian NPE has built up in the US alone. The company is not jettisoning patent licensing completely but in an interview this morning CEO Jim Skippen made clear that the business is no longer convinced that investing in patent deals is the right approach. “We will look at patent acquisitions but more and more we’re not sure that investing significant amounts of capital in patents really makes sense for us,” he said.
Recently, IAM promoted trolls in London (Unwired Planet) almost every single day and sometimes more than once a day! One must always remember the raison d’être of IAM if or when reading it. We don’t read it for entertainment value but in order to track and rebut the latest misinformation from Joff Wild and his boys (no women there). █
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‘News’ for sale, even for a couple of bucks!
Summary: The site where you get what you pay for continues to promote highly damaging agenda, which threatens to disrupt operations at a lot of legitimate companies that employ technical people
THERE are two sites that can be characterised as “radical” on the patent agenda. One is Watchtroll, which is run by the patent microcosm, and another is IAM, which is paid by the patent microcosm to appear like a news site (with a magazine too) but actually serve like a classic think tank that disguises its real goals. It’s like a site that pretends to be news about energy but is actually funded by oil companies, or a site about “intelligent design” funded by churches and religious interest groups/think tanks (to make theism look like a science).
“Certainly, given the funding sources of IAM, there will be many more attacks on India’s patent policy.”Recently, IAM has done a lot of advocacy for trolls. Carpmaels & Ransford LLP (UK), together with IAM as a platform, is again cheerleading for a patent troll. IAM has been doing this almost every day recently (for Unwired Planet) and now it gets some ‘outside help’. Remember that there is not even a single criticism of trolls in that site. As long as sites like IAM promote patent thuggery we must expose who drives — and sometimes pays for — their agenda. We already have a rough idea of who’s funding it. Firms like LexOrbis that are lobbying for software patents there continue to fling their stuff into IAM, talking about “the parent application.” [sic] They try hard to make software patents possible in India (they’re banned there) and so far this year they’ve published at least 5 piece to that effect, as we covered in:
Certainly, given the funding sources of IAM, there will be many more attacks on India’s patent policy. It’s essentially a lobbying campaign and Joff Wild together with colleagues are the lobbyists, disguised as journalists. They even do witch-hunts which attempt to reshape the USPTO. It’s quite a Wild PAC. █
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Helping Battistelli market/lobby for patents on life
Summary: The European Commission’s Web site has resorted to publishing puff pieces of Benoît Battistelli, whose input on the subject at hand comes from ignorance and lies, not any substantial scientific understanding of the associated/underlying issues
THE Office which Battistelli undermines is committing institutional suicide, not just driving workers and former workers to suicide.
Some courageous MEPs, such as Marc Tarabella whom we last mentioned yesterday, are trying to do something about it and that’s really appreciated by those affected. To quote a comment from yesterday:
New question of MEP Marc Tarabella (Belgian) about the situation at EPO
Thanks god it exists politicians like Mr Tarabella, Mr Cordery, Mr le Borgn’, Mr Yung, Mr van Nispen, and dozens of others who dare to raise their voice to denounce what needs to be denounced.
But where are the European Commission and Parliament? Why are they so silent/passive/apathetic when such serious abuses and gross violations are committed by Battistelli and his thugs? Why aren’t EU officials doing anything? They, collectively speaking, basically spoil their own reputation and judging by comments we habitually see in The Register, this harms the EU as well (people use this to justify/rationalise Brexit).
Last night we saw this new press release (one among many like it) bragging about truly pathetic patents granted by the EPO. “Intellia Therapeutics Inc.,” it said, “announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) has decided to grant a patent broadly covering the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology.”
“But where are the European Commission and Parliament? Why are they so silent/passive/apathetic when such serious abuses and gross violations are committed by Battistelli and his thugs?”At the same time we saw this new ‘article’ (more like lending the platform and making a puff piece in the form of an ‘interview’ — a PR classic!). This morning we saw it mirrored verbatim in
europa.eu, which seems to have stooped this low on ethical grounds. So the EU publishes puff pieces for Battistelli now? While failing to enforce the law against him, due to supposed immunity? It was posted in the European Commission’s site and its purpose is to help the Liar in Chief justify patents on genome — a subject he clearly does not understand (he is no scientific background at all!).
The ‘article’ by Damon Embling is not really an article but an introduction which goes as follows:
The European Patent Office (EPO) has faced opposition in the past, for instance, over patents relating to processes for re-engineering genes, for use in medical research into cancer treatment. These processes could apply to various animals, including great apes – and that became a magnet for criticism from animal rights campaigners.
The rest is more of less composed by the Liar in Chief (and patently a crook) along with his PR department. This site should know better than to speak to this man, let alone let him print such nonsense. To quote: “Youris.com spoke to Benoit Battistelli, President of the EPO, about the role of patent protection and how it can aid biotechnology innovation and the wider bioeconomy – despite the obstacles faced by some.”
“It was posted in the European Commission’s site and its purpose is to help the Liar in Chief justify patents on genome — a subject he clearly does not understand (he is no scientific background at all!).”Battistelli knows not a damn thing about biotechnology. Heck, it wasn’t until his mid-fifties that he even got involved in anything “IP”. All he knows is autocracy. Look at his career record.
Further down it says this: “This article is part of the communication of the ProBIO project, a support action for KBBE projects which identifies research results to facilitate their uptake into the relevant sector.”
So it’s acting almost like a think tank. And then it gets fed into the European Commission’s Web site. Wonderful!
“EPO workers ought to know that they have somewhat of foe (passive and unsympathetic) in the higher echelons of the EU.”The bizarre relationship between EU officials and the EPO continues to be mystifying. It’s almost as though the top officials are virtually in cahoots. Earlier today the EPO wrote: “The deadline for the PanEuropean Seal Programme is approaching. Recommend it to anyone you think might be interested…”
This is an EU thing. It makes one wonder if the EU will adopt the EPO after its imminent collapse and reinvention for litigation alone (as UPC hopefuls insist).
EPO workers ought to know that they have somewhat of foe (passive and unsympathetic) in the higher echelons of the EU. They have done virtually nothing to help. The same goes for the German government, unlike Bavarian authorities. Who is rubbing whose back? Is this a case of one hand washing the other and both hands washing the face? And if so, whose face? Why is there endless tolerance of sheer abuses (like the Sicilian Mafia) at the very top tier of European authorities? █
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Patent lawyers don’t see it that way
Reference: “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”
Summary: Inability to comprehend the nature of patents as double-edged swords leads to confusion which is actively promoted by those who profit from this confusion and reduce society to an endless cycle of litigation rather than cooperation
THE following thoughts and corresponding articles are about the US, but lessons from these are equally applicable to the EPO, where the quality of patents is totally out of control (number of patents granted allegedly rose 40% in just one year!).
“We have been writing about a vicious war between the interests of law firms and the interests of the industry at large — something which in Europe culminates in the battle over UPC.”In the eye of a patent lawyer, more patents mean more business and more business means more personal wealth (for the lawyer at least). But at whose expense? Where does the capital come from and and where is the value creation, so to speak? We have been writing about a vicious war between the interests of law firms and the interests of the industry at large — something which in Europe culminates in the battle over UPC.
Is overpatenting desirable?
Are many disputes desirable?
“Granting lots of crappy patents does not make one a “powerhouse” but a fool who serves the patent microcosm.”How about lawsuits, injunctions, patent thickets and the monopolies these tend to guard?
Yesterday we found this new article titled “The surprising rise of China as IP powerhouse” — an article which for the most part admires China’s patent bubble. This whole article is a colossal mess and quite bluntly nonsensical. Granting lots of crappy patents does not make one a “powerhouse” but a fool who serves the patent microcosm. The only reason the patent microcosm in the West keeps mentioning China — a retreat or reduction of all arguments to just “China!” [1, 2] (the talking point about China is that it grants a lot of patents and is hence “leading”) — is that it envies the future of Chinese patent lawyers, even if this vision dooms China’a large producing industry.
The notion that companies need to stockpile patents is typically promoted by people whose occupation is just that. They try to justify their own existence and rationalise their never-ending salary (from companies that create dedicated, in-house ‘IP’ departments). Uber, which was recently sued by Google, must be foolish enough (or misinformed) to believe that stockpiling patents by purchasing is a good idea, but watch what IAM wrote yesterday. Incredible! What can they possibly do? Sue Google in retaliation? Nobody would win in such endless litigation battles except law firms, as usual.
“The notion that companies need to stockpile patents is typically promoted by people whose occupation is just that.”Following AIA the United States went from attempting to maximise patents and litigation to trying to reduce them. This means invalidating in bulk a lot of existing (previously granted) patents and discouraging litigation, primarily but not limited to troll litigation. Suffice to say, the patent ‘industry’ is up in arms over it. It spreads malicious (and false) rumours about officials who are responsible for it, it creates “task forces” to lobby, it misleads politicians about it and maybe pays (bribes) some of them too.
Just watch last night’s Patently-O links from Anthony McCain, half of which were about PTAB, which Patently-O is trying to slow down in spite of steady and healthy growth (covered here last night). PTAB is reducing the number of patents by crushing the bad ones and setting an example. Who could possibly object to that?
“The more patents PTAB invalidates, the better. But the way the patent ‘industry’ sees it is warped by its greed (desire for money, not science/advancement), which necessitates more and more patents.”Watchtroll, which habitually attacks PTAB, is cited as saying that the rules need to be changed, making PTAB a lot less effective. It’s being masked as “improvement” (to quote: “By adopting these improvements to the IPR process the system will become fairer, afford patent owners more due process, and protect patent owners from harassment and hardship while still fulfilling the statutory mandate to provide an alternative forum for administrative resolution of validity challenges.”), but it’s actually the very opposite of improvement. The Shire case, a famous PTAB case, is recalled in another blog of the patent microcosm and the USPTO is then accused of misleading about PTAB numbers, as if PTAB’s justice should be measured by the percentage of cases affirmed or reversed (PTAB is usually petitioned to look into already-dubious patents, so reversals, i.e. invalidations, are to be expected). To quote:
Currently, the USPTO measures decision outcomes of ex parte appeals in three different ways: affirmed, affirmed-in-part, or reversed. This is highlighted by the USPTO’s recently released statistics on outcomes of ex parte appeals for FY2017. These stats show that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) very frequently upholds Examiners on appeal, with a 55% affirmance rate. This rate is consistent with previous years’ affirmance rates. These affirmed rates suggest a job “well done” by the USPTO. However, the way the USPTO counts affirmances yields counterintuitive and misleading results, especially with cases involving multiple grounds of rejection. Indeed for accountability purposes, this way of measuring appeals cloaks the USPTO’s Examining Corps failures.
The more patents PTAB invalidates, the better. But the way the patent ‘industry’ sees it is warped by its greed (desire for money, not science/advancement), which necessitates more and more patents. Just like weapons manufacturers always crave for more wars, conflict, instability, and arms races… █
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Back to medieval mentality and censorship of truth about questionable statistics
Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO), desperate to save face while patent applications cease to be properly examined, turns to post-truth “alternative facts” and outright distortion of numbers
THE IMAGE above helps explain the atmosphere among EPO workers, who are unable to grasp why their managers would lie so blatantly and so much. Wasn’t the EPO supposed to be a friend of researchers, as it last proclaimed yesterday? Doesn’t the EPO value proper research and statistics? Well, judging by how it presented the latest ‘results’, Battistelli’s EPO is overtly anti-scientific and hostile towards facts/truth. Recall the following posts from last month (among more):
Not even the USPTO ever resorted to such shameless lies. How does the EPO expect to maintain or earn respect? As testament to the unpopularity of the EPO, recall this Juve survey. How unpopular is the EPO these days? Watch the EPO’s forums, which were last promoted earlier today by the EPO; Not a single forum post/reply in 4 days! Most forums have been entirely untouched since 2016 (if not earlier years). It’s abandoned. It’s a ghost town.
What about EPO news? Nothing. Almost nothing for at least a week, except the occasional brag (usually press releases) about patents that should never have been granted, such as this one from today. It says: “According to the EPO, the patent will formally grant on May 10, 2017. The EPO’s decision to grant this patent follows its March 24, 2017 notice of intent to issue the patent, which was not challenged by any third party. This European patent will be nationalized in, and cover, approximately forty European countries, including Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the Netherlands. As provided by relevant European legislation, third parties will have nine months from the issue date to oppose the patent in the EPO.”
This was bundled together with all sorts of other new articles about CRISPR, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], but none mentioned the EPO. The very fact that the EPO is willing to grant monopolies on genome makes the EPO look worse than ever (even the USPTO denies such patents). Will any staff of DG3 remain at Haar in order to bury this bogus patent as soon as possible? Battistelli has done everything he could to ensure they're paralysed and unable to demonstrate (and thus object to) the chronic decline in patent quality.
The above image contains all the English text.
This “unbelievable statistical manipulation from management,” as someone put it, shows the management “converting 54% into 7.73%.”
The two passages written in German say: “If the renowned legal journal JUVE reports that 54% of industry representatives are no longer happy with the quality of our patent process, then we should be worried” and “at the end of November 2016 JUVE surveyed the patent departments of 168 international technology companies… 24 companies completely answered the survey, a response rate of 14.3 percent” (translation errors may still be possible).
For those who have watched the EPO closely over the past few years and especially the past few months, such lies would not seem too shocking. They’ve lost all credibility. Earlier today the EPO wrote: “The world’s most inventive minds come together for a celebration of their achievements on 15 June.” (link to
One might expect scientists to attend, but even reckless frauds are coming and receiving awards. Not to mention Battistelli, whose awards come from himself…
Fraudsters as “inventors”?
Lies as “statistics” and “research”?
Assembly line as “science”?
This is really characteristic of everything that is wrong with the EPO these days. The boss of the EPO has no scientific background at all and he only started flirting with so-called ‘IP’ 10 years before his retirement age. █
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