Reference: Conflict of interest
Summary: How media has reported (or spun) some of the latest observations regarding patent lawsuits and software patents in the United States
THE world of ‘IP’-centric media is complex. It’s complex because one must track the payments of many entities in order to better understand the bias (some payments are not direct). IAM, an EPO mouthpiece, is probably one of the worst in that regard, with WatchTroll (Gene Quinn) as a close second. MIP (Managing Intellectual Property) is actually pretty okay, as funds appear to be derived from endorsements (of firms) and subscriptions.
Presenting new evidence of patents as bubbles, MIP says that “IPOS has approved the first loan application using a patent as collateral, and is opening its financing scheme up to other IP rights.” There is also this new article about ASEAN (Asia) and it looks informative enough.
Now, compare that to the latest output from IAM (more like agenda/advocacy, not news). Watch how IAM, which is partly funded by patent trolls, spins litigation decline in the US (reported the other day) as no reason for “Asian companies and governments” to lament or deemphasize patents. “This accords with a widely held perception that recent changes to the US system have made this the toughest environment in which to be a patent plaintiff in recent memory,” says the author, whose colleague later groomed the Microsoft- and Nokia-fed patent troll, MOSAID (renamed Conversant). In this article, IAM doesn’t disclosure Conversant’s payments to IAM . These are the predators (the Microsoft-connected anti-Android proxies) that are paying IAM, so IAM cannot really criticise them (without risk to funding or metaphorically biting the hand that feeds).
“When money changes hands and there is agenda to push (or sell), fact-checking isn’t much of a priority.”Does anyone still take IAM seriously? When money changes hands and there is agenda to push (or sell), fact-checking isn’t much of a priority. Even the world’s largest patent troll is habitually being groomed there.
Speaking of patent trolls, they very often use software patents and even heavily rely on those. Patent Progress, which typically bemoans patent trolls, changed its tune this week and proceeded to yet more criticism of software patents (second time in a week). As Matt Levy put it yesterday:
Alice Helps Another Company Stop a Patent Troll
It’s critical to have a way to quickly invalidate bad software patents. Alice and 35 U.S.C. § 101 have been invaluable, as the Capstone case attests. But there are critics who complain about Section 101 and its supposed “incoherence.”
For example, David Kappos, the former head of the USPTO, wants to get rid of Section 101 altogether; but then again, he’s not being sued by patent trolls, is he?
David Kappos is also a lobbyist for large corporations now, putting to shame any remnants of USPTO integrity. The author himself (Levy) is funded by some large corporations (through CCIA), which is how we often explain excessive focus on patent trolls rather than on software patents.
For the record, Techrights never has and never will receive money from corporations. Our only ‘agenda’ or ‘bias’ probably pertains to the interests of software developers (being one myself). █
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How to frame an assault on independence as “greater independence and improved efficiency” [sic]
Summary: Distancing itself even further from reality and from truth-telling, the European Patent Organisation resorts to reality distortion and EPO communications people called their face-saving lies “news”, after they had lied both to staff and to journalists
Greater lies from the EPO were finally promoted in the Organisation’s or Office’s Twitter account today (the account is called EuropeanPatentOffice but the username is “EPOorg”, which is contradictory unless they refer to the domain name). This came out several days after we had offered a translation of this pack of lies. Ironically enough and probably by coincidence this happened on the same day as the US celebrations of independence day. The President of the Boards of Appeal will be controlled by appointment by Battistelli, based on my careful reading of the EPLAW analysis as well as some press articles about it. The above tweet and accompanying/corresponding “news” item isn’t amusing; it’s actually rather disgusting as it grossly misrepresents what Battistelli and his goons did behind closed doors. Words are no longer enough to express the disgust; maybe more caricatures would help. CA/29/16, which we wrote about last night, showed further potential retaliatory tactics. So where is the substance for that “independence” nonsense?
“This is a typical tactic in politics. One puts forth an absolutely horrible proposal/bill and then lets it be slightly improved for initially-sceptical parties to approve under the supposition that the watering down somehow had them accomplish something.”“CA/29/16 Rev1 is certainly an improvement over the original,” wrote one person today. “but it is still far from being acceptable.”
This is a typical tactic in politics. One puts forth an absolutely horrible proposal/bill and then lets it be slightly improved for initially-sceptical parties to approve under the supposition that the watering down somehow had them accomplish something. To quote further from that comment: “It is good that we no longer have a vague reference to the “legitimate interests of the Office”. But what could possibly be meant by “integrity of the EPO’s appeal system”? And why has the option of forbidding a member of the BoA to take up a new position been retained?”
Perhaps more importantly, who will be appointed to run/manage the people whom Battistelli wishes to crush? The President of the Boards of Appeal is appointed in part by Battistelli himself and then there’s the issue of HR and IT (i.e. Bergot and other Battistelli cronies) meddling in Boards of Appeal activities, recruitment and so forth. This is independence???
“The Organisation is a lot more loyal to the Office (Battistelli) than to anybody else, which perpetuates and strengthens the perception that Battistelli has “got them by the balls,” to use a crude slang term.”As the above comment put it, “I struggle to think of any potential conflict of interest that could not be dealt with by instead placing limitations upon the ex-member’s future interactions with the EPO. If those limitations make a new position untenable, then that is a problem for the ex-member to sort out with his or her new employer. But forbidding a member to take up a new position is just an unenforceable restraint of trade (and an infringement of human rights).”
Another person rightly argued that “the amendments are cosmetic. If you check my concerns (and those of CIPA or AMBA) you can see by yourself that they have not been addressed.”
“It’s militarised, it enjoys special treatment (even immunity from law enforcement) and while striving to merely maintain some illusion of independence it actively eliminates the independence as envisioned and codified by the EPC.”“There is not much point in being consulted if no-one listens to you,” wrote another person. What can the public deduce from total apathy towards AMBA? The Organisation is a lot more loyal to the Office (Battistelli) than to anybody else, which perpetuates and strengthens the perception that Battistelli has “got them by the balls,” to use a crude slang term. Given the lack of gender diversity at the Organisation’s management, the term can be almost taken literally. Under Battistelli, the Organisation and Office are almost synonymous (no proper seperation or effective oversight) — to the point where the EPO's lawyers use the words "Organisation" and "Office" interchangeably, and thus wrongly.
One person asked: “What’ll be the free rooms in the Isar building be used for?” More personnel under direct supervision of “him”? More toys (IU, …) he can send out to other buildings? I fear his bodyguards are in “need” of a readyness room. His right hand [Bergot] and her bodyguards too? More luxury apartments?”
Whatever is going on at the EPO, it’s like there’s a presidential palace is not fortress. It’s militarised, it enjoys special treatment (even immunity from law enforcement) and while striving to merely maintain some illusion of independence it actively eliminates the independence as envisioned and codified by the EPC. This is a coup. Battistelli ‘hacked’ the EPC. It’s now a task/duty of everyone conscious and brave enough inside the EPO to restore order and honour the EPC. █
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Article as ODF
Publicado en Decepción, Europa, Patentes at 12:02 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
Sumario: La declaración de la EPO prueba que Eric Blair (George Orwell) a la derecha, cuidadosamene reescribió para explicar mejor lo que Battistelli y sus compadres acaban de hacer para trae la situación de la EPO a un estado lamentablemente bajo
Poniéndo de lado a la nefásta USPTO por el momento, ya que hay algo urgente de responder a la EPO (algo de lo que explicamos en la tarde), considéren esta horrible pieza de propananda del estado parecido a Nor Corea, la EPO (advertencia:
epo.org link y cada oración es una mentira Orweliana, excepto la oración que explica lo que la Sala de Recurso hace).
“Hubo un tiempo en el cualvariosexaminádores analizában todas las aplicaciónes individualmente, pere los examinádores de la EPO reconocen una caída en la calidad de patentes y aparentemente el abandono/eliminación de la participación multipersonal también (así que Battistelli simplemente sigue mintiéndo a los medios acerca de ello).”
Es un paquete desvérgonzado de mentiras, así que decidimos volver a escribir correctamente. Como un poco de fondo, tengamos en cuenta el papel fundamental de control de calidad en cualquier oficina de patentes, especialmente una oficina de patentes, que se esfuerza por tener alta reputación (con el fin de justificar altas tarifas).Hubo un tiempo en el cual varios examinádores analizában todas las aplicaciónes individualmente, pere los examinádores de la EPO reconocen una caída en la calidad de patentes y aparentemente el abandono/eliminación de la participación multipersonal también (así que Battistelli simplemente sigue mintiéndo a los medios acerca de ello).
El día de hoy la EPO escribió: “¿Cómo se puede averiguar si su idea es novedosa? Lo hace mediante la búsqueda de la técnica anterior. “Bueno,” la búsqueda de la técnica “es exactamente lo Battistelli está esforzándose para que los veteranos examinadores trabajen más rápido (es decir, más imprudentemente) y hacer el período de apelación más corto, las salas de recurso con poquísimo personal, haciéndo todo el proceso mucho más costoso para los que retan/desafían las ´patentes´ (es decir, poniéndo fuera del alcance por su costo prohibitivo para las pequeñas empresas en particular). Así que aquí está el anuncio “corregido” de la EPO:
Mayor grado de indulgencia y la reducción de calidad de las patentes gracias a el presidente de la EPO
1 de abril de el año 2016
En una decisión Battistellian, su Consejo de Administración que explota la Organización Europea de Patentes para el cuidado dental gratuita, acordó enviar al exilio las salas de recurso (BoA), a pesar del marco de la Convención Europea de Patentes.
Aprobado con un gasto enorme de dinero de cooperación a los Estados Miembros, la Organización Europea de Patentes aceptó una propuesta de demolición completa de la Oficina para reforzar la percepción de que no hay futuro para la BoA, en particular aumentando el incentivo para buscar otros empleos, y para hacen que sea difícil de recibir la aprobación presidencial para tal empleo alternativo. La BoA es el órgano que toma las decisiones sobre los recursos contra las decisiones de la Oficina Europea de Patentes relativas a las solicitudes y las patentes europeas.
“La decisión tomada ayer por fin logra la destrucción del sistema de apelación de la EPO, que erróneamente se había previsto desde hace muchos años. Después de dos intentos de destrucción que fracasó en 1995 y 2004, esto es un logro histórico “, dijo el presidente de EPO Battistelli. “El aumento tanto de la percepción de mala seguridad en el empleo y el alto costo de la BOA es esencial para asegurar mi propio trabajo y la eliminación de sistema de apelación de la EPO y para mantener su desaprobación a largo plazo”, explicó el presidente de la EPO.
Bajo el plan de demolición de los BoA actual será reestructurado en unas Juntas de Unidad de recurso internas de la EPO manejadas por un Presidente de las Salas de Recurso – una nueva posición -, responasable sólo ante un consejo de administración controlada por Battistelli y no a Battistelli directamente . Un comité auxiliar de nueva creación del Consejo de Administración, las Juntas de Comité de Apelación (BOAC), ayudará a periodistas manosear a políticos. Este enlace entre el Consejo de Administración BoA y estará a merced de un presidente al que evidentemente le importa un comino el estado de derecho.
El presidente de la EPO nombrará a un compinche – probablemente un ex colega de Francia o de alguien que se enfrenta a muchos cargos penales en otro país – al Presidente de las Salas de Recurso y por lo tanto mantener poderes de gestión relativos a las Salas de Recurso Unidad. El Presidente de las Salas de Recurso también servirá como el perro faldero de Battistelli, que actúa como una competencia al Presidente del Consejo de Administración. La reforma, además, tiene como objetivo aumentar el costo de las Salas en los próximos años, por lo que será más fácil de justificar cierre o la reducción perpetua.
La reforma institucional estará acompañado de un sistema de carrera mucho menos atractivo para los miembros y presidentes de las Salas, y la reubicación en Munich por las Juntas de Unidad de apelación ante un edificio separado con el fin de hacer más difícil para ir a trabajar y obligar a muchos al salir de su trabajo. Por otra parte, las nuevas restricciones relativas al empleo posterior al servicio de los miembros de la boa y presidentes tienen en cuenta la necesidad de hacer que sea difícil renunciar (riesgo de desempleo perpetua) con el fin de salvaguardar la integridad [sic] del sistema de apelación de la EPO mediante la prevención de cualquier riesgo de posibles conflictos de intereses, a diferencia de, por ejemplo, el nombramiento de la esposa de un amigo a una posición superior en la EPO de recursos humanos.
“Para hablar claro,” escribió una persona temprano hoy, “simplemente no hay salvaguardas en la EPC contra la corrupción (o para asegurar un apropiado balance de poder).” La amenaza de corrupcim viende no de empleados ordinarios. Al presente toda la corrupción viene del alto nivel gerencial, i.e los ¨Compadres de Battistelli¨. Para citar el comentario en su totalidad:
No, no todos son empleados de EPO. Pero, al parecer con aire acondicionado en el bolsillo de BB, ¿qué podemos hacer?
A la luz de los acontecimientos recientes, temo que sólo los acontecimientos fuera del control de los Estados miembros (por ejemplo, una decisión adversa de la corte constitucional de Alemania) posiblemente podrían pedir al CA a una acción decisiva. Pero, ¿realmente quiere que se llegue a eso?
Alternativamente, si los medios de comunicación tomaron más interés y minuciosamente investigado muy bien por qué es que el aire acondicionado toma las decisiones se hace, podría la OEP como a toda soportar las consecuencias si la evidencia clara de votos por dinero en efectivo (u otro beneficio personal), extorsión o cualquier otra se obtuvieron actividades ilegales? ¿O sería aún peor si nos dimos cuenta de que la razón es que los delegados de la AC realmente están de acuerdo con las opiniones del BB?
Es triste decir que el problema radica en el hecho de que los padres fundadores de la EPC no previeron que el presidente de la EPO podría (mal) uso de los recursos a su disposición para garantizar de manera efectiva que controle sus supervisores. Para hablar claramente, simplemente no hay suficientes garantías en el EPC contra la corrupción (o para garantizar un adecuado equilibrio de poder). (Debo señalar que no estoy alegando que no son definitivamente las prácticas corruptas pasando aquí, sólo que no hay nada en el EPC que podría detenerlos si no lo fueron).
Tiempos tristes para la EPO. Como observar un estado totalitario con sus ciudadanos a la merced del tirano. No pueden escapar debido a las nuevas sanciónes establecidas. Eponia se ha convertido en la nueva Corea del Norte, y el desgraciádo de Battistelli su LIDER SUPREMO.
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Summary: Some of the past week’s patent stories grouped together for easier absorption (sans the patent lawyers’ bias)
IAM ‘magazine’, which glorifies patent stockpiling and litigation (follow the money), basically continued to promote stockpiling of patents earlier this week. It’s about USPTO registration, which IAM uses to reinforce the notion of patents as “ownership” and innovation. Nicola from IP Kat, who is often sceptical of patent maximalists (she’s one of their best writers on such topics), linked to this paper and said: “The key finding is that, “55% of triadic patents are commercialized. We also find that 17% of all triadic patents are not commercialized but are at least partially for preemption, though only 3% of all triadic patents are purely preemptive patents.” Preemption is patenting for strategic purposes, rather than commercial. (You could argue the two are one and the same, but the paper focuses on preemptive non-use, as in strategic patenting with no intention to use the patent.) The paper goes into much more detail, but the punchline is that nearly half of triadic patents are not used, but ‘strategic’ patenting may be less prevalent than popular discourse would have you believe.”
“Patenting without boundaries devalues pertinent patents and harms confidence in patents.”What we appreciate about Nicola is that in spite of backlash in the comments (probably from patent lawyers) she continues to insist that when it comes to patents, more is not necessarily merrier. Patenting without boundaries devalues pertinent patents and harms confidence in patents. That’s just overpatenting. This is particularly true when it comes to software patents, which often correspond to very old ideas being implemented on a computer, on a device, over the Internet and so on. According to this new puff piece, for example, “Viridity Energy secures patent for transport-based energy storage software,” which probably corresponds quite loosely to something like the first software patent ever to be granted in the US (granted to Martin Goetz using the guise of “transport”). Software in general isn’t adequately protectable by patents but by copyright and there is no single patent that covers an entire computer program (there is no one-to-one correspondence and a single program can potentially infringe on thousands of software patents these days). We sure hope that the EPO won’t be gullible enough to believe otherwise.
Moving on a little, GoPro, which Microsoft extorted using patents earlier this year, becomes aggressive with patents of its own. As Digital Trends put it: “After Polaroid manufacturer C&A Marketing Inc. sued GoPro for copying the Cube’s design last year, GoPro is turning the tables, saying that it’s the Cube that is using GoPro’s patented technology. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, GoPro alleges that the Polaroid Cube copies two patents owned by the action-cam giant.”
“…when Apple wants to remotely control your phone, microphone, cameras etc. (or allow others to gain such control) it’s OK “because copyrights!””GoPro may be aggressive with patents, but no company these days is nearly as aggressive as Apple, which sees its empire devoured by Google with Android. Apple is now pursuing patents on censorship, as quite a few sites correctly note. Rick Falkvinge (Pirate Party founder) correctly went with the headline “Apple patents technology enabling police to prevent iPhones from filming police abuse”. One article had the headline “Apple gets patent for remotely disabling iPhone cameras, raising censorship fears”, but many of the other articles about it (literally hundreds if not thousands of them) were so terrible that they repeated Apple’s talking points. Poor reporting took Apple’s word (at face value) on how cameras being hijack would be used; when Apple wants to remotely control your phone, microphone, cameras etc. (or allow others to gain such control) it’s OK “because copyrights!” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72]. How misleading. These lies dominated the media and made Apple’s patent look like “protecting artists” rather than censoring photographers (who are themselves artists). See the article “The New iPhone Might Shut Off Next Time You Try to Film the Police in Public” for better perspective, unlike advocacy sites of Apple patents. This one said: “The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 44 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover an Apple invention that pointed to the coming indoor GPS trend that is about to come to market first with the Lenovo-Google Tango smartphone this fall. In our report covering the Lenovo phone we pointed to a feature that will be introducing augmented reality. To a certain degree this is covered in today’s granted patent. Apple’s technology discusses working with venues like a museum that could provide visitors with guided tours and beyond on a future iPhone. In 2014 we posted a report titled “Apple and Google Headed for an Indoor Location Services War,” and indeed they are with Lenovo-Google taking the first shot. The second aspect of today’s granted invention caused a massive roar from techies who were upset with the camera being able to block smartphone video recording at concerts.”
Speaking of Apple, IAM insinuates that iPhone sales ban in China is a bad thing (suddenly IAM thinks patent assertion is bad, probably because China isn’t paying IAM) and MIP says “Apple’s latest China setback could encourage patent trolls”. “The Beijing IP Court has ruled that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus infringe the design patent of a Chinese-made smartphone, in a case that one IP lawyer believes could provide inspiration to patent trolls,” MIP writes. Well, if they are so supportive of patents, why is this bad when China uses patents? A bit of hypocrisy here, no? On the other hand, IAM published “Fujifilm’s Chinese pharma patent licensing deal marks a milestone in its IP-driven transformation” and “Qualcomm’s licensing model will be “destroyed” if it can’t win key China case, says its ex-Asian patent director” (also about china). So a monopoly abuser wishes to conquer China with patents that China doesn’t care for and IAM takes the side of the monopolist. How predictable. Moving further east to Japan, watch how IAM promotes/grooms Intellectual Ventures, the world’s largest patent troll (which came from Microsoft originally). IAM wrote: “Earlier this month, we learned that Intellectual Ventures (IV) is spinning out its Invention Development Fund (IDF) into a separate entity. The news was confirmed by Paul Levins, who has been head of IV’s Australia and New Zealand operations and is the Asia and Europe programme director for IDF, while speaking on a panel at IPBC Global 2016 in Barcelona. As I understand it, this process has been underway for a few months and is still ongoing – but this has not stopped IDF from doing deals.”
“We see more of the same bias coming from patent lawyers’ (supposedly ‘news’) sites, which prefer to treat all patents as necessary and those that sue companies as “doing the right thing” (irrespective of merit or benefit to science, technology, and society).”The word troll isn’t even mentioned in this article (nor is it mentioned in this new article about the patent troll of Ericsson, which now goes to Asia for some shakedown, extortion, blackmail or whatever). WatchTroll only puts the word troll in scare quotes, reflecting the same kind of bias. We see more of the same bias coming from patent lawyers’ (supposedly ‘news’) sites, which prefer to treat all patents as necessary and those that sue companies as “doing the right thing” (irrespective of merit or benefit to science, technology, and society). “Amicus Briefs Due Soon in Supreme Court Copyright and Patent Cases,” one such site said after it suggested how to destroy small companies using patents. “A tactic sometimes used by a well-established competitor against a startup is to accuse the startup of patent infringement,” the article said. “Unless the startup has deep pockets, it cannot really afford to defend a patent lawsuit…”
This is why patent trolls are particularly problematic for small companies. Sometimes patent trolls are just proxies/satellites of large companies. If only more patent lawyers’ sites cared to cover the subject… █
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Summary: The EPO’s statement which proves Eric Blair (George Orwell) right, carefully rewritten to better explain what Battistelli and his cronies have just done to bring the EPO’s status to an all-time low
PUTTING the USPTO aside for a moment, as there is something rather urgent regarding the EPO to respond to (something we explained in the afternoon), consider this truly ugly piece of North Korean-like state propaganda from the EPO (warning:
epo.org link and every single sentence is an Orwellian lie, except the sentence which explains what the appeal boards do).
“Once upon a time several examiners looked at each and every application, but EPO patent examiners admit a decline in patent quality and apparently decline/elimination of multi-person participation as well (so Battistelli just keeps lying to the media about it).”It is a shameless pack of lies, so we decided to rewrite it correctly. As a little bit of background, consider the vital role of quality control at any patent office, especially a patent office which strives to have high reputation (in order to justify high fees). Once upon a time several examiners looked at each and every application, but EPO patent examiners admit a decline in patent quality and apparently decline/elimination of multi-person participation as well (so Battistelli just keeps lying to the media about it).
Earlier today the EPO wrote: “How do you find out if your idea is novel? You do it by searching for prior art.” Well, “searching for prior art” is exactly what Battistelli is fighting against by compelling examiners to work faster (i.e. more recklessly) and keeping the appeal period shorter, the appeal boards understaffed, and the entire process vastly more expensive to challengers/appellants (i.e. unaffordable/prohibitive to small businesses in particular). So here is the ‘corrected’ announcement from the EPO:
Greater lenience and reduced patent quality for the EPO’s President
1 April 2016
In a Battistellian decision, his Administrative Council that exploits the European Patent Organisation for free dental care, agreed to send to exile the Boards of Appeal (BoA) in spite of the framework of the European Patent Convention.
Approved with an overwhelming spending on cooperation money to member states, the European Patent Organisation accepted a comprehensive demolition proposal of the Office to strengthen the perception that there is no future for the BoA, in particular by increasing the incentive to seek alternative employment, and to make it hard to receive presidential approval for such alternative employment. The BoA is the body that takes decisions on appeals against decisions of the European Patent Office concerning European patent applications and European patents.
“The decision taken yesterday finally achieves destruction of the EPO’s appeal system which wrongly was envisaged for many years. After two attempts of destruction which failed in 1995 and 2004, this is a historic achievement”, EPO President Battistelli said. “Increasing both the perception of poor job security and the high cost of the BOA is essential for securing my own job and elimination of the EPO’s appeal system and for maintaining its long-term deprecation”, the EPO President explained.
Under the demolition plan the current BoA will be restructured into a Boards of Appeal Unit within the EPO managed by a President of the Boards of Appeal – a new position -, who is solely responsible to a Battistelli-controlled Administrative Council and not to Battistelli directly. A newly created subsidiary committee of the Administrative Council, the Boards of Appeal Committee (BoAC), will help bamboozle journalists and politicians. This link between the BoA and the Administrative Council will be at the mercy of a President who blatantly disregards the rule of law.
The EPO President will appoint a crony – probably a former colleague from France or someone who faces many criminal charges in another country – to the President of the Boards of Appeal and therefore maintain managerial powers relating to the Boards of Appeal Unit. The President of the Boards of Appeal will also serve as Battistelli’s lapdog, serving as competition to the Chairman of the Administrative Council. The reform moreover aims to increase the cost of the BoA within the next years so that it will be easier to justify closure or perpetual downsizing.
The institutional reform will be accompanied by a vastly less attractive career system for the members and chairmen of the BoA, and a relocation in Munich for the Boards of Appeal Unit with a separated building so as to make it harder to go to work and compel many to quit their job. Moreover, new restrictions relating to post-service employment of BoA members and chairmen take into account the need to make it harder to quit (risk of perpetual unemployment) in order safeguard the integrity [sic] of the EPO’s appeal system by preventing any risk of potential conflicts of interest, unlike for example appointment of a friend’s wife to a top EPO position in HR.
“To speak plainly,” wrote one person earlier today, “there are simply not enough safeguards in the EPC against corruption (or to ensure an appropriate balance of power).” The threat of corruption comes not from ordinary employees. Currently, all the alleged corruption comes from the top-level management, i.e. Team Battistelli. To quote the whole comment:
No, not all of us are EPO employees. But, with the AC seemingly in BB’s pocket, what can we do?
In the light of recent events, I fear that only developments outside of the control of the Member States (e.g. an adverse decision from the constitutional court in Germany) could possibly prompt the AC into decisive action. But would we really want it to come to that?
Alternatively, if the media took more interest and thoroughly investigated quite why it is that the AC takes the decisions is does, could the EPO as whole withstand the fallout if clear evidence of votes for cash (or other personal benefit), blackmail or any other illegal activities was obtained? Or would it be even worse if we found out that the reason is that the delegates to the AC genuinely agree with BB’s views?
Sad to say that the problem here lies in the fact that the founding fathers of the EPC did not foresee that the president of the EPO might (mis)use the resources at his disposal to effectively ensure that he controls his overseers. To speak plainly, there are simply not enough safeguards in the EPC against corruption (or to ensure an appropriate balance of power). (I should point out that I am not alleging that there definitely are corrupt practices going on here, just that there is nothing in the EPC that could stop them if there were.)
The problem is of course hugely magnified by the fact that the president of the EPO has immunity, and does not believe that he need recognise the jurisdiction (let alone the judgements) of any national courts. So, if the AC will not bring him to heel, who on earth can? I am clinging to the straw that something positive will come out of the court cases in the Netherlands. However, I am not holding my breath on that (as, even in the event of a decision adverse to the Office, no doubt some way will be found to “fudge” the issue and carry on as normal).
Very sad times at the EPO. It’s like watching a rogue state whose citizens are stranded. They cannot even escape due to newly-issued sanctions. Eponia has become the new North Korea and Battistelli is its Supreme Leader. █
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Like asking an umbrellas salesman about the upcoming weather
Reference: Peter Popoff
Summary: How patents-centric sites (some of which are in bed with the EPO) have responded to the ‘Brexit’ vote and why they’re not telling us the truth about the Unitary Patent scam (often created and promoted by the same people who run and/or fund such sites)
THERE’S increasingly strong evidence suggesting that Battistelli’s EPO is in a state of meltdown and lockdown (like an army base). It would be hilarious if this wasn’t so serious an institution (unlike FIFA), on which a lot of Europe’s future rests and where people’s lives are being severely ruined by one reckless manager who has a God complex. Recently, Battistelli’s biggest project caught on fire [1, 2] and the conspirators behind this project now rush to put out the fire (if they can). In this article we intend to show that this is still going on. Rebuttals are necessary if not imperative.
“Recently, Battistelli’s biggest project caught on fire and the conspirators behind this project now rush to put out the fire (if they can).”Putting aside some spammy press releases about newly-granted EPO patents (insiders say that patent quality significantly declined), let’s look at what UPC propagandists who are in the EPO’s (or Battistelli’s or the EPO's PR agency's) pocket say about ‘Brexit’. Their slogan right now is “keep calm and continue”. They are still trying to wish people’s way into the UPC (also in the UK!) even if it’s dead/dying as a whole. IP Kat, which spent years promoting the UPC (not Merpel but mostly her Bristows colleagues), published yesterday “A possible way for a non-EU UK to participate in the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court?”
This wrongly assumes/insinuates that the Unitary Patent can happen (any time soon) without the UK.
Quite a few revealing comments are in there (regarding the bias of the audience on this matter, as a lot would personally benefit from the UPC at the expense of everyone else in Europe). We don’t wish to amplify the UPC promotion by quoting much from there, but to quote just one comment: “Self-serving wishful thinking at best, given that Prof. Tilmann is “member of the UPC Rules of Procedure Drafting Committee and of the Expert Group for the UPC Preparatory Committee” as well as being part of a legal profession eager (to put it mildly) to start work in the UPC.”
We wrote about Tilman Müller-Stoy’s letter two days ago. He has been part of a conspiracy of patent law firms that tried to pass the UPC. To quote another comment:
It is amazing how imaginative some members of the legal profession, starting with Mr Tilmann, try to avoid the consequence of the Brexit when it comes to the UP/UPCA.
I fully support the anon/Charley of 20.39BST when he considers Mr Tillmann’s position as self-serving wishful thinking at best. I have rarely seen such a pro domo statement.
The day Points 4,a) and 4,b) in the “way forward” will be implemented pigs will fly. Amending Art 84UPCA is a no go!
The same applies with point 4,d). Do you really think that the UPC is such a fundamental point that it will find its way in the Brexit agreement as it is wished here? Please come back on Earth.
What is superbly ignored here is Opinion 1/09. The UP and the UPCA is not open to non-member states of the EU. That is the end of any loop-hole for keeping the UK in the system be it before or after the actual Brexit (Art 50 Lisbon Treaty).
Anything else is not only wishful thinking but clear nonsense.
It is difficult to understand why “The IPKat is delighted to receive [such a] paper”. I am disappointed wíth IPKat in view of this statement.
“UPC without the UK might be opening a box of Pandora of new language-based arguments,” this one person explained (there’s plenty more in there) and “English is one of the 3 languages used for EU patents,” Benjamin Henrion argued yesterday. “This gives English-speaking companies competitive advantage” (see the article titled “The EU may drop English as their official language” in light of ‘Brexit’).
“To pretend that ‘Brexit’ has no implications and that the UPC would be just fine in spite of it isn’t just wishful thinking. It’s deliberately misleading and it puts patent law professionals in a bad light.”Don’t believe even for a second that everything is OK for the UPC. The UPC propagandists spent years telling us that it was unstoppable and inevitable, but guess who was realistic all along? We were actually right about their optimism being little more than a self-fulfilling prophecy strategy, which included setting up courts and advertising jobs before there’s any confirmation of UPC in the UK. What a bundle of scandals. What an utter attack on democracy, both European democracy and British democracy (what remains of it).
We are quite frankly fed up with all the UPC propaganda and we hope that people will realise that the UPC circles — those who stand to benefit from it — are not credible or reliable on this matter. They try to mislead the public and induce defeatism among their opposition. Watch FB Rice’s Steve Gledhill stating in his new ‘analysis’ that after ‘Brexit’ it is “Business as usual for IP rights” (to quote the title). The reality is, a lot is about to change, whether those who are in denial care to acknowledge it or not. “Despite the significant political upheaval Brexit has caused, it is business as usual for European IP rights,” Gledhill argues, but he does not deal specifically with UPC (probably because that would completely shatter the whole premise of his ‘analysis’).
“Dishonesty isn’t what people pay $400/hour for.”As a Remain supporter myself, I am not happy to see ‘Brexit’. We may be losing our competitive advantage soon (English going down the languages ladder, Ireland notwithstanding). To pretend that ‘Brexit’ has no implications and that the UPC would be just fine in spite of it isn’t just wishful thinking. It’s deliberately misleading and it puts patent law professionals in a bad light. Dishonesty isn’t what people pay $400/hour for. █
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Rushing examiners, but at what cost? Lots for Battistelli to cherry-pick from…
Reference: Quality (business)
Summary: By lowering the quality of patents granted by the European Patent Office Battistelli hopes to create an illusion of success, where success is not measured properly and is assessed by biased firms which he finances
TECHRIGHTS has expressed deep and genuine concerns about the quality of EPO patents for quite some time (about half a decade, not just in relation to software patents). The growing threat is an irreversible decline in quality that would superficially elevate the number of granted patents (devaluing/diluting their value, especially older ones) just like at the USPTO (which many would agree is in a chaotic state when it comes to patent quality). More is not always merrier, especially when it comes to patent monopoly/protection. It’s not beneficial to innovation (over-patenting) and it often brings with it many false positives, i.e. patents erroneously granted, which leads to spurious demands, court cases, disputes, etc.
The following is a very sad story (also a rather long one) from an EPO patent examiner. This examiner openly (but anonymously, for his/her protection) admits quality has been ruined under Battistelli. Here is the comment in full:
Just to complete the picture since it appears everyone is shocked of how things are run when they become a bit public. My unfortunate reality is these reports do not deviate from the daily life in-house. I am an examiner. Or more accurately, I was an experienced examiner, I am now on the payroll. I was once proud of doing my job diligently. Maybe it is linked to the technical field, I used to examine diligently with a low rate of grants, even when compared to my close colleagues. Most files I examined were withdrawn when explained why they would not satisfy the technical and legal requirements. I refused the large part of the other applications and, amongst the refusals challenged all but one stood before the BoAs.
Following the procedure towards a sound refusal requires serious work and takes time. I was never processing high numbers of applications, average compared to colleagues, had no rapid career but was proud of my work. Sure cutting many corners would have provided me immediate financial advantages in terms of promotions but would have been at the expense of the public, the competitors and my pride. I don’t know which one mattered most. I never gave in anyway.
Things have changed over the last three years. Production targets were raised, colleagues were put in direct competition for steps and promotions. The collaborative work we used to do mostly vanished. I have tried to stay focused on my work and its quality. I was soon put under pressure of my direct boss for having a low “productivity” (some kind of bizarre calculation dividing a weighted sum of the times you pressed a button claiming a search report is out and of the times that an application is granted, refused, withdrawn or that the applicant stopped paying the renewal fees by the available working time. Unrelated to the amount of actual work done but use to promote and punish). Not that my “productivity” had changed but the ones of my colleagues went up dramatically (rat race for grabbing big bonuses) and I am now in the target line. My manager explained me that I needed to do 40% more productivity to stay out of trouble. I told him that it was totally unreasonable and the work could not be done this way. He assured me he knew that but had no margin and had to follow the orders.
I then reflected on the actions of my own government represented in the Administrative Council. They obviously do not care. Neither do most other countries. The very same goes for the public at large and applicants.
I decided to preserve my health, my family and stopped doing my job. This year I will deliver more patents than I have done over the last 10 years at least. I am going back home earlier, have longer coffee breaks and do not elaborate relevant technical and legal arguments anymore. I avoid citing pieces of prior art that are too relevant; citing an approximate document is enough to write a formal objection, wait for the answer and submit it to the colleagues. I do not believe they read anymore what they sign and everyone is happy. Not my pride. But the price is paid. Had I known I would have end up in such a situation, I could have acted this way much earlier to get promoted. It is hardly a secret that most of today’s managers reached their positions either by having extraordinary “productivities” or by escaping towards functions not having any “productivity” calculations. Ask examiners about ridiculous examples of patents granted by their managers!
I am now making most people happy: my manager, Mr. Battistelli, the Member States, the Administrative Council, the applicants, their representatives, my family. I can only be sorry for my lost pride, my lack of courage, the public at large for restricting freedoms, the competitors for the unfair competition, the taxpayers for the extra expenses of the judiciary, the consumers for the extra licensing costs and the reader because I am too verbose. Telling makes my sense of guilt more bearable.
This comment isn’t from some ‘rotten apple’ or an outlier. Judging by reactions to it (thus far), many people at the EPO feel the same way. “The recent slide in examination quality has been very clear to those of us who study cases carefully,” one person wrote. Here is the comment in full:
Thank you for your heartfelt confessional. You are not alone. The recent slide in examination quality has been very clear to those of us who study cases carefully. But not only in the sense of granting applications too easily. We are also seeing negative communications issued with virtually no serious analysis. Cite a few documents, cut and paste the standard paragraph about being routine for the skilled person – job done! The application will be shelved for the next two or three years, while the EPO continues to collect those juicy renewal fees.
Responding to the part which said “This year I will deliver more patents than I have done over the last 10 years at least,” one person writes: “It seems that the effects are starting to see.”
We have been warning about this for a very long time and the cited blog post we already mentioned here the other day. Here is an observation from another thread:
Some further thoughts.
A big jump in grants will lead to a big jump in oppositions, even without any change in “quality” of decisions to grant.
Oppositions, I understand, are priority 1, even more so after the proposed changes to procedure.
And yet I am seeing an increasing number of zombie applications [more than 10 years old] being brought into examination, sometimes with an examiner amendment on a Rule 71(3) notice. How are you finding time to deal with the long tail of old applications?
The response to it uses internal terminology, which suggests these are indeed EPO insiders who speak on the subject:
I too have seen an increase in re-surfacing zombies, generally where there has been an exam report many years ago. Often the exam report just required a response to a PCT Written Opinion, in the days before the present Rule 161.
As I understand it, such zombies would be priority 2 under ECfS, above starting new examinations. Presumably this is why Examiners are able to allocate time to them.
“Indeed,” notes a response to it. “Those examination dossiers where the applicant would not get a refund due to a first communication already having been sent are priority 2. The first action blocking a refund is, IMHO, a trigger for a higher priority I can stand behind. Finish startes [sic] files instead of having as many started as possible, which seemed to be the priority for some of my colleagues. If you ask for accelerated, or when the next comm. can be expected, the file is lifted up to priority 1.”
Meanwhile, in relation to the US system (where patent quality is rather appalling for reasons we have mentioned for a decade), Professor Dennis Crouch now shows that despite the number of patents almost doubling, “Certificates of Correction” remain at a similar number and are seemingly peaking this year. In Crouch’s words: “A substantial percentage of patents continue to pass through the post-issuance correction process that leads to a Certificate of Correction.”
He also wrote: “The number of corrections has remained relatively steady over the past 15 years. Since the number of issued patents issued has risen so dramatically during that time, this steady-state of correction filings means that the average number of corrections per recently issued patent has continued dropped steadily for the past decade with the odd exception of patents issued in 2009. About 14% of patents issued 1990 to 2005 went through the correction process. That percentage is now down under 10%.”
This is one indication of decline of quality control. Now, compare that to the number of appeals at the EPO (a subject previously explored here) and imagine what’s to come with increased appeal fees (reportedly to skyrocket), especially if Battistelli gets his way and altogether eliminates the appeal boards.
Responding to the original rant (from “1984″) about patent quality, one person wrote:
I totally agree with you, 1984 – and also share the same, big regret: I should have started earlier to send out…
Another person wrote:
Thank you, 1984, for expressing so accurately my own feelings! Both so funny and sad to think you may just be in another country or just next door. We will never talk about it, we will never know. If the word were to be spread on the identity of anyone talking, our families would be screwed. Not worth the risk of the institutional retaliation.
Then came a humorous response from “The Investigative Unit” [1, 2] and one person seemed befuddled by IAM (the EPO is still leaning on its IAM propagandists to pretend patent quality and service are fine). To quote:
What I find rather impressive is that the Epo keeps winning each and every patent quality survey. Not only are we the best of the world but in 2015 our quality greatly improved over 2014…
That’s nonsense. It’s IAM nonsense, i.e. the usual.
Here is one response to that:
Do you remember the fate of the Survey organized by the Office about the reform of the BoA?
The results were completely misrepresented by Battistelli to support his agenda – as a post by Merpel detailed.
Do you really expect El Presidentitssimo to report any negative results that do not fit his agenda?
Good luck with that.
“The results were completely misrepresented by Battistelli to support his agenda,” the above says, “as a post by Merpel detailed.” This is what we have come to expect from just about any ‘survey’ by and about the EPO. Follow the money, follow the invoices. We have. Battistelli’s expensive information war [1, 2, 3, 4] is hoping to distract from and discourage (e.g. by spying) messages like that from “1984″. Truth/objectivity is not allowed at today’s EPO and Battistelli runs his Ministry of Truth, just like in the book “1984“. █
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Buying the media and even panels to mislead the public about UPC still not enough?
Like “Unitary patent” or “EU patent” or “Community patent”: Not unitary, not for the EU, not for the community, or whatever euphemism they’re using this year in corruptible (for sale) media
Summary: The corporate coup which Benoît Battistelli is spearheading at the expense of the EPO’s very existence has gone way too far (and become far too expensive), especially now that he publicly admits that it might never actually materialise and his misguided vision might never happen
THE Frenchman Benoît Battistelli is destroying the EPO. It’s no wonder so many people, especially his own employees (including some in management), want to get rid of him but don’t know how. He has become an existential risk to the EPO, for reasons we shall cover in the rest of the weekend (due to lack of time). Some believe that he wants to be the head of the UPC, potentially a replacement of many of the functions which exist presently (but not for much longer) at the EPO. Under Battistelli, for example, patent quality has been severely harmed. He destroys the entire appeals process (to hide this decline in quality) which might be gone soon, unless he’s sacked or steps down. ‘Production’ the ENA way doesn’t take into account quality, just short-term profit, which is being thrown away at propaganda and festivals which glorify Battistelli. This might be expected from sports and celebrities (like FIFA), but not from an inherently scientific institution like the EPO.
“This might be expected from sports and celebrities (like FIFA), but not from an inherently scientific institution like the EPO.”Earlier this month we showed how Battistelli had wasted MILLIONS of Euros* to generate puff pieces such as this new one from India (no research/investigation required, just copy-pasting the PR). James Nurton, who ‘interviewed’ Battistelli several months ago (softball questions), now does a puff piece about the whitewashing/lobbying event, demonstrating yet again that journalism, especially ‘professional’ journalism (i.e. salaried), is driven by high agenda (like interests of subscribers) rather than reality. UPC pushers were given the same platform yesterday, presumably under the assumption that people who would profit from the UPC know it best. In comments at The Register “BREXIT” is alluded to as a possible solution, one day after The Register published a piece chastising the FT (Financial Times) for its UPC puff piece, essentially advancing a gateway to patent trolls, software patents and everything that’s rogue in the megacorporations-leaning USPTO. Battistelli has apparently been paying British media (Financial Times) for UPC propaganda under the guise of events coverage.
The level of disgust at this stage is very high and it’s directed not only at Team Battistelli but also the journalists whom Battistelli essentially passed money to (can we say “bribed”?) in order for them to become his mouthpieces.
“The level of disgust at this stage is very high and it’s directed not only at Team Battistelli but also the journalists whom Battistelli essentially passed money to (can we say “bribed”?) in order for them to become his mouthpieces.”Yesterday we found patent lawyers (i.e. people who can profit from the chaos UPC would generate) offering ‘analysis’ (advocacy) of the UPC [1, 2, 3]. But Europe is more than just “IP [sic] lawyers,” to use the term from WIPR‘s headline. The interests of Europe and of patent examiners (or scientists for that matter) are very different; sometimes they’re direct opposites.
One particular article stood out from the rest yesterday. It’s titled “Brexit would scupper Europe’s unitary patent plans, says EPO president” and it helps confirm that we were all along right about UPC not being a certainty (the same tactics of self-fulfilling prophecies were also used when it was called “EU patent” or “Community patent”). To quote the article:
A Brexit victory would totally ruin the timeline for the long-planned EU unitary patent due to come into force in early 2017, the president of the European Patent Office has told Ars.
“If the ‘out’ vote wins then we have a big question mark—nobody knows what will happen,” Benoît Battistelli said.
The so-called unitary patent is expected to offer dramatic savings over the traditional European patent as there will be no need to approach each country individually. In addition, a single European Union patent court will be established. “The Unitary Patent Court (UPC) is needed because if you have a unitary patent, you need a unified litigation system. It should not be possible that a court in France would decide on a case in the UK, or vice versa,” said Battistelli.
“So the countries involved have decided through a treaty—not an EU regulation—to create a UPC. I think it is not well understood what a step forward this will be, because for the first time there will be an international court that will be competent for litigation between private parties,” he added.
As before, we urge patent examiners and other people who realise Battistelli ‘fronts’ for multinational giants (recipients of special treatment) to antagonise the UPC by all means possible. This can help get Battistelli thrown out of the helm, with or without the Administrative Council doing its job. Contact politicians regarding the UPC and explain to them why their nation must not tolerate (and certainly not ratify) the UPC, just as it oughtn’t touch the TTIP and TPP with a 10-foot bargepole. █
* Batttistelli is estimated to have spent up to 7 MILLION Euros on a few hours of silly festival. Imagine the waste and all the other things that could be done with that money.
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