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09.26.17

EPO Lies About the UPC, Violations of Human Rights, and ‘Green’ European Patents

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“When asked by Ars, the EPO’s spokesperson mentioned the imminent arrival of the unitary patent system as an important reason for revising the EPO’s internal rules…”

Dr. Glyn Moody

Summary: The charm offensives of the EPO’s management have become ever more desperate and detached from reality — to the point where even the EPO’s Chief Economist Yann Ménière is acting like a marketing stooge

THE EPO is lying across the Atlantic today. As we anticipated earlier this autumn, the same old lies of the EPO travel to Canada and CIPO takes pride in it. It just wrote to the EPO: “thank you for coming to the #Gatineau roadshow on the Unitary #Patent & Unified Patent Court!”

“They tell to each other what they want to believe rather than what is true.”The right-hand liar of Battistelli (Margot Fröhlinger) goes to Canada to lie to Canadian people about the prospects of the UPC and she probably won’t face any refutation, mostly because it’s an echo chamber-type event. They tell to each other what they want to believe rather than what is true. A couple of days ago Josep Maria Pujals‏ joked at Bristows by writing: “Sagrada Familia (2022) completed before UPC?”

Josep Maria Pujals‏ is a registered patent agent and he too doesn’t believe what Team UPC is saying. Surveys have shown that most patent professionals generally know that Team UPC is lying, but few are brave enough to say it out loud, in public.

“The UPC ambitions have brought nothing but an assault on patent quality (European Patents are no longer what they used to be) and a disarray which culminated in serious violations of human rights.”In an effort to push the UPC, the EPO is nowadays propagating old lies about SMEs. What the EPO means by “SMEs” is mostly NPEs (patent trolls whose main/sole existence is litigation) and yesterday the EPO did this again. Will it ever stop?

The UPC ambitions have brought nothing but an assault on patent quality (European Patents are no longer what they used to be*) and a disarray which culminated in serious violations of human rights. Yesterday SUEPO published: “Staff representative in Germany – a risky Job?” (courrierinternational.com, 21-09-2017). The .pdf paper version of the article published in French by courrierinternational.com is available here. Original article is in German and published by Süddeutsche Zeitung on 03 July 2017 (paid-subscription article).”

“As if low-quality patents can someone be excused by so-called ‘green’ (supposedly ‘ethical’) patents…”We are waiting and hoping for an English translation of this article, which is in French. This article asserts that in Germany it has become dangerous to stand for labour rights. It never looked as though Merkel cared enough, either. She did not respond to letters regarding the EPO and Battistelli is effectively immune from German law, so there’s probably not much that she can do. Even if she really, genuinely wanted to…

Meanwhile, as of last night, the EPO published this greenwashing “news” item (warning: epo.org domain) which cites Battistelli’s ‘economic’ protégé, Mr. Ménière. Yesterday’s nonsense from the EPO would have us believe that, from an economic perspective, having a monopoly on climate change mitigation techniques would be beneficial. Restricting/limiting competition? How is that saving the planet? To quote:

The EPO’s Chief Economist Yann Ménière highlighted the latest developments in climate change mitigation technologies (CCMTs) in Europe and presented the European Patent Office’s activities in this area. These include the recent publication of a joint policy brief with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which shows that the number and commercial value of CCMT inventions has been increasing globally over the past decade. The EPO has also created a dedicated tagging scheme for patent documents related to low-carbon technologies, enabling users to retrieve these technologies in the Office’s extensive public databases, and making it possible to map sustainable technologies, identify trends, and produce facts and evidence for policy and business decisions.

So the Abu Dhabi-based IRENA now participates in the old strategy of greenwashing (last mentioned two months ago) a violator of human rights. As if low-quality patents can someone be excused by so-called ‘green’ (supposedly ‘ethical’) patents…
_______
* Yesterday the EPO advertised the release of “[t]his year’s third edition for the Patent Information News magazine,” which in page 2 has a section about “quality report”, i.e. dissemination of lies about the EPO’s patent quality (it nosedived, so Battistelli now relies on "alternative facts" and bogus definitions of "quality").

09.24.17

IBM and IPO Continue Working Behind the Scenes to Undermine Alice and Promote Software Patents

Posted in America, Deception, IBM, Patents at 6:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ginni Rometty

Summary: The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), together with IBM (Manny Schecter, Marian Underweiser and others), is still trying to overturn Mayo and Alice

THREE years ago Alice came to change everything. It was the summer of 2014 when the US patent system became more ‘officially’ hostile towards software patents. Much has been written on the subject since then, including literally about a thousand articles here in Techrights (we regret not developing a detailed index page in Wiki form as we went along covering Alice; we had made one for the Bilski case).

“We constantly need to defend and advocate Alice; in absence of opposition to these saboteurs (usually the patent microcosm, which produces nothing but lawsuits) things can quickly change for the worse.”Alice is not a “done deal”, so to speak. Alice and Section 101 are constantly under attack. USPTO examiners often ignore the determination, instead relying on amorphous and dynamic guidelines, which contain loopholes for patenting software (a bunch of loopholes that courts don’t quite fall for).

We constantly need to defend and advocate Alice; in absence of opposition to these saboteurs (usually the patent microcosm, which produces nothing but lawsuits) things can quickly change for the worse. We have already named some of these saboteurs. They don’t quite keep it a secret (at least not effectively).

Yesterday we were reminded of the effect of stacked panels because Juve’s UPC specialist wrote: “Nine panelist @Vossius #UPC Conference to vote on new start date of #UPC. All: at some day in 2019″

“We have already named some of these saboteurs. They don’t quite keep it a secret (at least not effectively).”“I guess none of these panelists was a UPC sceptic,” I wrote. “Just gotta push the lie of Unitary Patent being inevitable.”

UPC is a great example of echo chamber politics. Lots of people with financial stake in the outcome keep misleading one another. It’s like a blind religion.

The same is true for software patents.

Just a short while ago IBM’s patent chief, Manny Schecter, wrote that “99% of respondents to a survey at the IPO Annual Meeting indicated that change is needed to reform patent subject matter eligibility…”

For those who don’t know what IPO is and how IBM is connected to it, see this article from February (we last mentioned it in May). IBM spearheads a propaganda campaign against Alice and it’s too shallow for them to hide. The FFII’s President responded to Schecter with, “this is what happens when you only ask the patent community. An echo chamber.”

“Lots of people with financial stake in the outcome keep misleading one another.”This is also what happens when IBM needs to rely on propaganda to harm software developers (with patent lawsuits).

We also see Steven Lundberg right there in the comments. Lundberg has long been a key part of the software patents lobby.

The EFF’s Vera Ranieri also commented on this instance of IBM pushing for software patents.

She asked: “Is this like asking foxes whether the henhouse should be left wide open?”

“The meddling in patent policy by IBM is rather telling; IBM views its future as never-ending blackmail and extortion using software patents.”IBM used to be “OK” towards Free/Open Source software in the late nineties, but right now it is an evil, aggressive, lying company. It's a patent aggressor. It is perfectly possibly/plausible that technology companies other than IBM (Microsoft for sure) want Alice thwarted and Section 101 changed, but they don’t actively push for it like IBM does. The meddling in patent policy by IBM is rather telling; IBM views its future as never-ending blackmail and extortion using software patents.

Professor Polk Wagner, Intellectual Property [sic] professor at Penn, responded to Schecter by saying: “Only narrowly losing to ‘Is water wet?’ I’m sure!”

In our next post we’ll talk about Alice trends and media spin that relates to it.

09.22.17

The EPO’s Latest Lies About the UPC and SMEs Unraveled, Long-Term Plan Described as Daunting

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 1:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli sets up Europe for patent trolls and abuse

Troll bookSummary: The vision of Battistelli and the latest lies (about SMEs) are being criticised anonymously — for fear of retaliation — as Europe braces for impact with patent trolls from all around the world

THE EPO has sunk to new lows this week, at least as far as lying is concerned. As we said last night, one must now assume that everything the EPO’s management says is a lie. It’s almost always the case (and we’re barely exaggerating).

Look at the EPO’s Twitter account. When they don’t post ‘template’ promotions (e.g. of some upcoming event or section of the site) they just carry on with the usual nonsense. Earlier today the EPO wrote: “The very first guide for obtaining, maintaining and managing Unitary Patents is out: http://bit.ly/2xuHsjV pic.twitter.com/Wl4xuQjUWC

“Remember that EPO examiners are smart people. They are very well educated and they obviously know all the above. They know when they’re being lied to by the management and are conscious when the management lies in their name/on their behalf.”So I responded: “Why put out a guide for a system that does not exist and probably will never exist?”

Later on they wrote: “See if and where a patent has been granted, if it is valid, if there is still time to challenge it, etc. All here: http://bit.ly/2uVaOpR”

They also wrote: “Want to know more about the opposition procedure at the EPO? This course will help…”

I told them that “Battistelli [had] narrowed [the] oppositions window, attacked the appeal board/s, forced examiners to issue many bogus patents” (as leaks serve to reaffirm).

“It’s getting very frustrating to work as a patent examiner, no matter the level of compensation (salary).”Remember that EPO examiners are smart people. They are very well educated and they obviously know all the above. They know when they’re being lied to by the management and are conscious when the management lies in their name/on their behalf. They are not happy about it, they try to join the union (in spite of retaliation risks), and they occasionally reach out to the press (what’s left of it that’s not paid by Battistelli to keep silent or issue PR pieces). It’s getting very frustrating to work as a patent examiner, no matter the level of compensation (salary). It’s not as rewarding as it used to be. “Producing stronger patents (or being able to produce them) is also a matter of professional pride for the examiners,” somebody explained a month ago.

Earlier today in IP Kat we saw two good comments from what might be existing or former examiners. The first comment says almost exactly what we have been warning about for years, alluding to a long message from “Proof of the Pudding” (which had been suppressed, apparently algorithmically, until it was broken into parts).

“It is a frightening thought,” said this comment,” but the more one looks at the situation, one can discover what the hidden agenda of the actual president of the EPO could have been, now was: transform the EPO in an examination-light office, reduce the boards of appeal to nothing, and push the UPC at any rate.”

Yes, this is exactly what we have said over the years. Here is the comment in full (buried down in a comments section that’s weeks old):

Proof of the Pudding’s picture is scary, but it cannot be dismissed.

It is a frightening thought, but the more one looks at the situation, one can discover what the hidden agenda of the actual president of the EPO could have been, now was: transform the EPO in an examination-light office, reduce the boards of appeal to nothing, and push the UPC at any rate.

One does not have been scholar of the ENA (the posh stable where the president comes from) to guess who will benefit from this.

As far as the UPC is concerned, the SMEs have always been used as fig leaf to push the project through for the benefit of any other players than the SMEs. That even the Commission once thought to introduce a litigation insurance says a lot. The stance about SMEs is repeated with the regularity of a Tibetan prayer mill turning in the wind.

As SMEs benefit from a fee reduction when filing European applications, it would be interesting to see if the EPO is prepared to publish statistics about the number of filings by SMEs in member states of the EPC in general, and from SMEs in the EU in particular, and then from the countries having ratified the UPC. I take bets that the number is barely worth mentioning, otherwise those figures would have been already published.

The official filing figures at the EPO are clear in themselves, even abundantly clear: filings coming from EU states are barely above a third of all filings. The first beneficiaries are easy to find: all non EPC member states.

Another figure which would be interesting: how many EP are validated in all EU member states? How many are validated in all EPC member states?

That at the last conference on the UPC in Munich, the organisers managed to find a SME which reaves about the UPC is a good marketing coup. It is certainly not representative of the real situation of SMEs.

The UPC is a perfect example of lobbying at its best, when one sees who will be the beneficiaries of the whole system: litigation lawyers (some of them having written themselves the Rules of Procedure of the UPC) and large companies acting internationally and with deep pockets.

It might be more expensive to litigate in each and every EU or EPC country, but at least it was a barrier for stopping some bullies. And if it was worth it, the litigants had enough money to fight were the market share was worth it. How many cases of this kind?

With the UPC, no reason to refrain, in one go all are caught. In the long run the number of diverging decisions between EPC member states have gone down and will continue to go down, so why do we absolutely need an instance like the UPC?

But is looks so social to apparently care for the smaller and poorer among us….

Propaganda/echo chamber ‘events’ (or ‘forums’) are taken note of, too. The EPO organises quite a few of these nowadays (Margot Fröhlinger is doing another one in a few days in Canada), sometimes helped by IAM (which did this in the US, sponsored by the EPO’s PR agency) and Managing IP (it last did this earlier this month in major cities in Europe).

It’s just gross. As the above notes: “That at the last conference on the UPC in Munich, the organisers managed to find a SME which reaves about the UPC is a good marketing coup. It is certainly not representative of the real situation of SMEs.”

“It’s like politicians who attempt to pass laws by speaking about “terrorism”, “the children”, or “piracy” (they allude to copyright).”See how they’re distorting the record?

No matter if SMEs oppose the UPC (the European Digital SME Alliance too has made it very clear) and the EPO covertly offered fast lanes to large corporations, the EPO persists with this lie that the UPC is “for SMEs” (or something along those lines). It’s like politicians who attempt to pass laws by speaking about “terrorism”, “the children”, or “piracy” (they allude to copyright).

The EPO has lied about it again (as above) and later pushed a so-called ‘study’ with lots of EPO promotion of it (five times yesterday alone).

As the following new comment (received earlier today) puts it, the paper labels trolls “SMEs” and conveniently cherry-picks:

The choice of SME in the EPO paper is quite telling as well. Most of them are known in the industry as patent trolls. Just check a few of their patents application and see what their contribution to the art really is.

That, of course, is a direct consequence of the EPO choosing the SME with the larger number of patents for their case studies. Normal SME only patent what they really intent to manufacture and sell, which amounts to a relatively small number of patents. When a small company applies for dozens of patents each year, it usually means that their main business is litigation.

Going back to IP Kat, the next comment skewers the EPO ‘study’ and takes note of the incredibly low sample size:

A study about the benefits for SMEs of the patent system, and hence also the benefits they can gain by using the UPC, has been published today by the EPO:

http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponet.nsf/0/FF76F6F0783153B7C12581A2004DA0D2/$File/epo_sme_case_studies_2017_en.pdf

It looks at 12(sic) cases of successful SMEs spread all over Europe.

If a drug manufacturer would file a demand for approval supported by just showing 12 positive cases, among a total of unknown cases, and without any negative cases, no approval would be obtained, as the result is not statistically proven and the benefits of the drug have not been demonstrated. One should not be mesmerised by this apparent string of success.

To be fair, the Spanish SME which was raving about the UPC at the last UPC conference in Munich is among the 12.

The figures relating to all the filings by SMEs compared to the overall figures of filings should be urgently published by the EPO! Negative cases should also be examined as there certainly are some.

The number of cases in which SMEs have been harassed by large companies, is much more difficult to apprehend, but this figure would also be useful.

Only then, the stance about the usefulness of the patent system for SMEs will have been correctly established.

What has been done here is just blending out the full breadth of the problems faced by SMEs attempting to use the patent system, or in other words, blow smoke in the eyes and pull the leg of the inattentive reader. One wonders why?

In a conference held in 2015 at the German Patent Office, Bavarian SMEs made clear what they thought of the UPC: a nightmare, whereby the fee reduction and the help with translations costs are not worth the bother. This result can certainly be extrapolated to the whole of Germany, if not to the whole of the EU, and everybody can draw its own conclusion.

So this is the EPO in 2017.

So anti-scientific that it should be offensive to science itself.

Moreover, the EPO is offensive to human rights and labour rights. As someone explained to us today:

In 2018, the EPO will also cut another 2 public holidays for its Munich staff: corpus christi and whit monday. Both are bank holidays in Bavaria and the Munich branch of the EPO has always been closed on these days. So shops, banks, everything is closed in Munich, but not the EPO.

Nothing shall stand in the way of “production”; the trolls are relying on hastily-granted patents for them to abuse for many decades to come (even after Battistelli is no longer alive to see these consequences).

09.21.17

In an Effort to Push the Unitary Patent (UPC), EPO and the Liar in Chief Spread the Famous Lie About SMEs

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rule of thumb: everything that the EPO says nowadays is a deliberate lie.

Ear

Summary: The EPO wants people to hear just a bunch of lies rather than the simple truth, courtesy of the people whom the EPO proclaims it represents

THE EPO offers nepotism and fast lanes to large corporations. It panics when the public finds out about it and constantly lies about the matter, stating that it protects SMEs, small inventors and so on. The European Digital SME Alliance has already refuted some of these lies, but that wasn’t enough to make the lies stop.

As a matter of priority, even though it’s past midnight right now, we’ve decided to compose a quick rebuttal/response to today’s EPO lies (disguised as ‘study’, as usual). What a nerve these people have. They are lying so much to the European public, with Battistelli taking the lead, as usual.

“hat a nerve these people have. They are lying so much to the European public, with Battistelli taking the lead, as usual.”The latest lie was promoted in Twitter in the late afternoon. I responded by stating that the “first EPO announcement in more than a month spreads a lie, the famous “SME”-themed lie [in which the EPO] makes up more “SME”-themed lies in order to sell the [other] lie that UPC is good for SMEs. See last paragraph.”

Yes, I used the word “lie” quite a lot. It’s as simple as this. They lied deliberately.

The official ‘news’ item (epo.org link), which quotes the ‘king’, as usual (self glorification), ends like this:

They also highlight the benefits that SMEs can expect from the planned Unitary Patent. These include savings in time and money, as well as increased legal certainty across the EU market.

That’s a lie. Even insiders know that it’s a lie and yet later in the day (earlier tonight) the Liar in Chief, Battistelli, promoted (epo.org link) the same Big Lie that SMEs want the UPC (it would kill them). From his closing paragraph:

As we look to the future of SMEs and patents, the case studies underline the significant role that the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court are set to play in IP strategies. Many of the SMEs featured talk about how the cost-effectiveness of the Unitary Patent and the jurisdiction of the Court will help them expand into other European markets, previously unconsidered by those same companies. Potential savings of up to 70%, a simplified application process with the EPO acting as a one-stop-shop and greater legal certainty will all prove attractive features of the UP and UPC. So, whether they use the Unitary Patent or the classical European patent, or a combination of both, the future holds a wealth of opportunities for SMEs to make the most of patents. It is our hope that these case studies will help increase understanding of how IP can play a fundamental role in the success of SMEs.

That’s a lie again. It’s a lie that the EPO promoted in another tweet that said: “This publication gives you full access to twelve case studies on the benefits of IP for #SMEs http://bit.ly/SMEstudies2017 #IPforSMEs”

They even came up with a hastag for it: #IPforSMEs

It links to this page (epo.org link), which gives the veneer of a ‘study’ to something that’s a lie to the very core.

“So don’t expect the UPC any time soon (or ever). As for SMEs, they are unambiguously against it (see the above position paper from the European Digital SME Alliance).”First of all, the UPC isn’t happening. The UPC Preparatory Committee has in fact just officially admitted that their plan is derailed (no schedule) due to the situation in Germany. Team UPC wrote about it some hours ago. The best spin they could come up with was this: “The Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has today published a short update, in which it notes that the pending case in the German Federal Constitutional Court will cause delay to Germany’s ratification of the UPC Agreement (UPCA) and the Protocol on Provisional Application (PPA) and concludes that it is currently difficult to predict any timeline for the start of the new system.”

So don’t expect the UPC any time soon (or ever). As for SMEs, they are unambiguously against it (see the above position paper from the European Digital SME Alliance). Even observers in the field know damn well that the UPC would be an SME killer. There were several comments to that effect in IP Kat on Thursday (today). Well, after the site stopped covering the scandals we rely on comments there; the authors/Kats (who now include CIPA) certainly won’t say anything negative about the UPC.

“What will happen if the UPC and the TBA come to totally different views with respect of the validity of a UP?” (Unitary Patent)

That’s what the first comment (relating to the earlier ones) said:

Thanks to Proof of the pudding for his interesting contribution on the law applicable for infringement.

I have a further question with respect to validity, which is also to be decided by the UPC.

What will happen if the UPC and the TBA come to totally different views with respect of the validity of a UP? In other words, in case of conflict between decisions of the UPC and the TBA.

At the latest conference on the UPC in Munich, Sir Jacob made it clear that for him the UPC will be the leading court in Europe. In other words, the UPC decisions should prevail. By doing so he forgets that there are also other non-EU member states at the EPO. And they also deserve some respect.

One example: it is abundantly clear that the boards of appeal of the EPO have taken a strict stance in respect of added subject-matter. What if the UPC waters down the requirements? This thought is not abstruse when one looks at certain national decisions in this respect.

The UP being a patent to be granted by the EPO, the examining and opposition divisions are bound to follow the case law of the boards of appeal, and especially that of the enlarged board. The strict stance will be maintained be it only for this reason.

If the UPC is more lenient in the matter, which is to be expected, the only way to have a patent scrutinised strictly on this point is to file an opposition at the EPO. Otherwise it might become difficult to have a strict view on the matter. That proprietors prefer a more lenient way is obvious, but the opponents will want exactly the opposite.

At the recent INGRES Conference reported in another blog on IPKat, Mr Hoying made an interesting comment. According to his view, “Art. 54(3) EPC [is] a big problem which leads to multiple patents for the same invention (and – via divisionals – unacceptable uncertainty of third parties). Why can EPO and Dutch courts not read “the content of European patent application” broader? The skilled person should always read (when reading for Art. 54(3) EPC purposes) with the common general knowledge and consider each combination with the common general knowledge as disclosed”.

This is to me a clear attempt to water down the requirement for novelty which is goes like an Ariadne thread through all decisions of the enlarged board, novelty, added subject-matter, priority, divisional applications and disclaimers.

If the UPC follows this line, then we can say good bye to certainty in this matter. Is this really want is good for the users of the system? For US companies yes, as they have never understood the problem, for European companies, and especially EU and SMEs among them, certainly not.

In any case, the uncertainty will remain. And to me, this is not good for business, unless it has deep pockets.

By the way, at the latest conference on the UPC in Munich, Sir Jacob made it also very clear what he thought of opposition divisions and the boards of appeal: an opposition is playing waiting for Godot! This is not very kind, to say the least.

To me, the problems with the UPC are not only when it comes to infringement as exemplified by Proof of the pudding, but also when it comes to validity.

Then, in reply to it, someone recalled Battistelli’s attack on TBA and said: “I would say that the EPO Boards of Appeal are history at least as a judicial or quasi-judicial instance.”

To quote the whole comment:

I would say that the EPO Boards of Appeal are history at least as a judicial or quasi-judicial instance. They may potter on for a while in Haar but their glory days are over.

The independence has been so far eroded despite or perhaps as a result of the fig-lesf reform in 2016 so that they can no longer be seriously considered as an independent judicial instance. The “President” of the Boards of Appeal cannot even appoint his deputy without the approval of the President of the EPO (nota bene: the EPO President and not the Admin Council has the final say here). The President of the EPO also has the final say over the promotion of Board members.

The plan of the EU manadarins seems to be to replace the EPO Boards of Appeal by the UPC. That much is clear from Jacob’s comments.

The next one said this:

The Boards of Appeal are likely not to survive the upcoming decisions of the German constitutional court, be it only because the Enlarged Board itself in a recent and disastrous disciplinary case stated it was under the influence of the President of the office.

This entirely changes the situation which prevailed for decades, when earlier decisions rightly concluded that the members of the Boards were judges in all but name.

As the next and final comment put it, “revocation actions at the UPC are likely to be an order of magnitude more expensive.”

It explained how the UPC would crush SMEs — something we have said repeatedly for years.

Here is the full comment:

Hmmmn. If that is true, then we could be looking at a very dark future indeed.

Oppositions at the EPO could hardly be described as a “low-cost” exercise. However, on any realistic assessment, revocation actions at the UPC are likely to be an order of magnitude more expensive.

It is therefore all too easy to envisage disastrous consequences for SMEs (and the public) across Europe if the UPC becomes the only forum for revoking European patents. That is, if the cost of knocking out a “bad” patent that has been asserted against you becomes prohibitively expensive, and the market for litigation insurance has (predictably) failed to materialise, how do you stop the “trolls”?

There is another factor could make this a “perfect storm” that could devastate important areas of industry across Europe, especially those that are largely populated by SMEs. That is, we need to consider that the management of the EPO has, in recent years, engaged upon a drive to grant as many patents as possible. It is clear to anyone who has been paying attention that this drive has involved a “light touch” approach to examination… thus greatly increasing the likelihood that patents will have been granted with overly-broad claims, or perhaps even no valid claims at all.

So, we could end upon with more “bad” patents and the prospect of hugely increased costs for knocking out such patents. Who would that benefit, I wonder?

Whilst I am very reluctant to believe in conspiracies, even I have to admit that the actions of the current EPO management (grant rate forced ever upwards, Boards of Appeal hobbled, chances of the opposition procedure surviving the constitutional complaints in Germany correspondingly decreased…) all seem to be tailor-made to benefit only a certain section of the patent ecosystem. We shall just have to wait and see whether this is the result of accident or design.

The last paragraph (above) is key. It spares us the need to once again explain why UPC would be an SME killer, contrary to what the EPO claimed 5 times today (new page, news item, blog post and 2 tweets).

It will actually be news when the EPO stops spreading lies.

The Latest Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC) and CIPO’s Participation in Those

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They got CETA, but they won’t get UPC

UPC truth

Summary: Team UPC continues to overplay its chances, conveniently ignoring simple facts as well as the Rule of Law

THE EPO is quiet. So is SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, whose Web site has not been updated for a while. On the UPC front, however, spin continues. Left unchallenged, some people out there might even believe it. Team UPC extravagantly lies, exaggerates, and places too much emphasis on perceived positives. Everything else is discarded, ignored, or ridiculed.

As we noted earlier this week, there’s UPC propaganda coming to Canada pretty soon. We can’t help but wonder, why would anyone actually pay to be lied to by Team Battistelli about the UPC in Montreal (Canada)? Maybe to make contacts/connections? A few days ago CIPO wrote: “Only 2 days left to register to the #Montreal roadshow with @EPOorg on Unitary #Patent & Unified Patent Court!”

That’s just basically Battistelli’s right-hand liar. She’ll be spreading the usual lies there. They will have the audience believe that the UPC is coming very soon. Bristows is doing the same thing this week, with staff pretty much repeating themselves regarding Scotland (never mind the reality of Brexit).

IAM’s chief editor also did his thing earlier this week. The UK-based IAM is perfectly happy that the EPO’s declining patent quality (which IAM helps Battistelli deny) brings its beloved patent trolls to Europe. Joff Wild speaks of the UPC again, joined by the term “BigTech” with the usual whipping boy being “Google”. Here are some portions:

And that brings me to patents. As everyone in the IP market knows, over recent year Europe has emerged as a much more important part of the equation for patent owners seeking to assert their rights. For multiple reasons – including the perceived quality of EPO-granted assets, speed to get a decision, the relatively low cost of litigating, the expertise of courts and, crucially, the availability of injunctions – the worsening environment for rights holders in the US is driving more companies to try courts in Germany, the UK and other European jurisdictions. Should the Unified Patent Court ever become a reality that process is likely to accelerate.

[...]

Where that leaves lobbying efforts that seek to water down or eliminate the UPC injunction regime, for example, remains to be seen. My guess is that as long as BigTech identifiably campaigns as BigTech it is unlikely to get much traction. Instead, what it needs are examples of small European companies falling foul of abusive patent litigants – the kinds of stories that it has always been possible to dig out in the US. The problem is that in Europe these are tough to find – precisely because the system is not troll-friendly. Getting around that may be a challenge that even the expertise of Silicon Valley’s best paid public relations advisers and lobbyists will struggle to meet.

Again, notice the term “BigTech”. The patent trolls’ sites (or patent maximalists) are openly demonising technology companies, e.g. those that protect PTAB. It makes it abundantly clear that they, the patent radicals, are against technology. We shall revisit the subject later this week.

The matter of fact is, UPC is a failed project. Even some insiders are willing to admit it now. The Boards of Appeal (BoA) need to stay and regulate patent quality, just like PTAB does at the USPTO. After Battistelli sent BoA judges to exile (as punishment, or simply to warn them) the EPO has the nerve to talk as if everything is fine and dandy. Earlier this week it wrote: “Oral proceedings at the new Boards of Appeal site are planned to start on 9 October” (but without independence for judges).

With Jesper Kongstad leaving in just over a week (end of this month), it remains to be seen if BoA has a future. If the UPC fails, which seems increasingly likely, many hirings will be needed for BoA (not UPC). Can the new (actually old) building in Haar facilitate growth? The only new building is in Rijswijk and Dutch media wrote about it some days ago. If there is something interesting in this Dutch article, it would be worth knowing. We try to keep abreast of the facts ahead of the ‘grand’ opening.

For those who are wondering where the UPC stands, not much has changed since we last wrote about it. Yesterday IP Kat summarised it as follows: “It has been confirmed that the complainant who filed the constitutional complaint against the ratification of the UPC Agreement in Germany was the attorney Ingve Stjerna. Stjerna has long been a vocal critic of the Unified Patent Court, and the complaint reflects some of his earlier criticisms.”

Looking at some of the latest comments at IP Kat, people now debate whether the UPC is “an EU institution” (it most certainly is) and therefore the UPC (which explicitly requires “UK” amid Brexit) is dead by definition.

Here is a comment about that, relaying the question to the CJEU:

If it is not an EU institution, then I do not understand why in the the preamble of the UPCA the following is said:

RECALLING the primacy of Union law, which includes the TEU, the TFEU, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the general principles of Union law as
developed by the Court of Justice of the European Union, and in particular the right to an effective remedy before a tribunal and a fair and public hearing within a
reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal, the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and secondary Union law;

Furthermore Art 1 of the UPCA states: The Unified Patent Court shall be a court common to the Contracting Member States and thus subject to the same obligations under Union law as any national court of the Contracting Member States.

If I understand well, the TEU and TFEU should thus be clearly applicable. Or did I miss something?

Divisions of the UPC can bring forward prejudicial questions to the CJEU, but the the text governing the UPCA cannot be submitted to the CJEU. I fail to understand the logic behind such a position.

Could somebody explain.

They then went off on a CJEU tangent.

One person said about the UPC, “how can the provisions of that Agreement be used to “harmonise” patent law” (they can’t).

Here’s the comment in full:

It’s not that hard to understand, given the limits of the jurisdiction of the CJEU.

In essence, the CJEU can only review the legality of EU Treaties and the (legislative) acts of EU bodies. The UPCA is not an EU Treaty or legislative act, as it is instead an international agreement (that just so happens to be exclusively between EU Member States).

However, this is not to say that the CJEU will have no teeth when it comes to the effects of the UPCA. That is, pursuant to Article 258 or 259 TFEU, the CJEU will be able to assess whether the Member States that are party to the UPCA are fulfilling their obligations under the EU Treaties. Unfortunately for the public, however, such actions can only be commenced either by the Commission or another Member State.

This effectively means that a challenge by Spain (under Article 259 TFEU) might be the only hope of sorting out whether the actions of the UPC (or the Participating Member States) are compliant with EU law.

It remains to be seen which grounds could be raised by Spain under Article 259 TFEU. However, Article 118 (attributing the European Union with exclusivity regarding the creation of uniform IP rights) is an interesting possibility.

In C-146/13, the CJEU held that:
Notwithstanding the fact that the contested regulation contains no list of the acts against which an EPUE provides protection, that protection remains uniform in so far as, regardless of the precise extent of the substantive protection conferred by an EPUE by virtue of the national law which is applicable, under Article 7 of the contested regulation, that protection will apply, for that EPUE, in the territory of all the participating Member States in which that patent has unitary effect”.

In other words, the CJEU held that Art. 118 TFEU was not contravened because EU law (the UP Regulation) has been used to achieve (partial) harmonisation, through the designation of a single, national law.

However, this would appear to mean that failure of the UPC to apply a single, national law (as determined under Art. 7 of the UP Regulation) would therefore not only contravene the Member States’ obligations under the UP Regulation but also their obligations under Art. 118 TFEU.

This puts an interesting “spin” on the law of infringement to be used under the UPP, doesn’t it?

For a start, it would appear that the UPC would only be able to refer to the infringement provisions in the UPCA to the extent that those provisions are fully incorporated into the national law selected under Arts. 5(3) and 7 of the UP Regulation. This means that the UPC, as well as all patent attorneys, will need to become experts on the extent to which this is true in each of the relevant Member States… and also what the significance might be of seemingly contradictory / non-identical provisions in national laws.

On the other hand, it would also seem to force the UPC to issue judgements for “traditional” (not opted out) EPs on a country-by-country basis. This is because the UP Regulation does not contain any provisions on the law to be applied to “traditional” EPs… meaning that there is no basis under EU law for the law of infringement for those EPs to be “harmonised”. Also, attempts by the Member States to “go it alone” with harmonisation of the law with respect to such EPs may well contravene the provisions of Art. 118 TFEU.

To put it another way, as the UPCA is not part of EU law, how can the provisions of that Agreement be used to “harmonise” patent law (for UPs or not opted out EPs) within the EU without infringing Art. 118 TFEU?

Spain was then brought up too. “Spain could think about a further challenge the legality of Regulation 1257/2012,” said the following comment.

Alternatively, Spain could think about a further challenge the legality of Regulation 1257/2012.

As previously mentioned, the impermissible, retroactive effect of Article 5(3) might be one ground for such a challenge. This is because that Article applies new / different laws (of infringement) to pre-existing patents and patent applications, as well as to acts committed prior to entry into force of the UPP. That hardly seems compliant with the principle of legitimate expectations!

Another, very interesting possibility might be alleged contravention of Article 18 TFEU (“any discrimination on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited”) by Article 5(3) of the UP Regulation.

Understanding this ground requires a little thought.

Firstly, Art. 5(3) states that the applicable law of infringement is determined by Art. 7. Secondly, the primary factor to be considered under Art. 7(1)(a) is residence / place of business. For many individual and corporate applicants, their residence / place of business will be the same as (ie equivalent to, or a surrogate for) their nationality.

Thus, the UP Regulation requires the selection of a single, national law based upon a criterion that, for many applicants, will be a surrogate for their nationality.

The final step is to realise that the national laws of infringement are not harmonised. Thus, inventors / applicants that have identical claims, but that have different nationalities, would have different laws of infringement applied to those claims (and hence potentially different results from litigation).

It really is hard to understand how this could possibly be compliant with Article 18 TFEU!

The next comment said:

If it is an EU institution why would it need its own dedicated Protocol on Privileges and Immunities ?
Surely it would be covered by the EU PPI ?

Regarding the situation in Germany and the CJEU, one person said that “here we are back to the other complaints before the German Constitutional Court.”

We are ahead of interesting times, and it might be possible that the CJEU considers the UPCA not in accordance with EU law. In view of the sometimes political nature of the CJEU’s decisions, I doubt that it would blow up the whole system, but it could severely harm it.

In the same vein, there is a further question which could be tricky as well. If an opposition is launched against a UP, can the opposition division be composed of nationals of non EU member states?

This becomes particularly critical if the EP has only been validated as a UP.

One could consider that since the EPO regains competence by virtue of an opposition, then the composition of the OD is irrelevant.

On the other hand, one could also consider that having become, at least in some member states of the EPC which are also members of the UPC, an asset according to EU law, its fate can only be decided by nationals of member states of the EU.

If the patent is revoked, then there is no revision possible. And here we are back to the other complaints before the German Constitutional Court.

This question was raised at the latest conference on the UPC in July in Munich, and has up to now not received a reply.

More on CJEU:

“the sometimes political nature of the CJEU decisions”? Are you suggesting that the CJEU might not demonstrate complete independence from the executives of the Member States and/or the executive arms of the EU?

If there is a (perception of) lack of independence, then perhaps it is high time that someone took a close look at the conditions of appointment of the judges of the CJEU, in order to see how well the CJEU fares regarding internationally recognised “best practice” for achieving judicial independence. ;-)

Speaking of “political decisions,” the next comment talked about Spain again:

I do not want to claim that all decisions of the CJEU are more of political than strictly judicial nature. It is a minority of decisions, but the manner in which the CJEU has dismissed the second complaint of Spain against the UPC is an example to me of more political decisions.

Any reason not to consider Spain’s complaint were good to dismiss the claims. Some of the questions were however quite specific.

In decisions on the correct application of directives it is certainly not politic. Plenty of those have been published and commented on this blog.

The bottom line is, for those lacking the time or background to read all the above, there are multiple aspects and levels that act as barriers to UPC, ranging from central to pertinent (e.g. Spain, UK, Germany and even Poland). Don’t be misled by EPO staff whose job is to lie about the UPC. No doubt the Canadian press (and maybe European press as well) will soon publish some lies about the UPC. The EPO has a sick habit of paying the media for puff pieces, including patently untrue statements.

09.11.17

Latest Assaults on PTAB and More PTAB Bashing, This Time by Anticipat

Posted in America, Courtroom, Deception, Patents at 10:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Anticipat is showing signs of antipathy

Anticipat

Summary: The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which helps eliminate patents granted in error (a lot of software patents), is still besieged by the patent ‘industry’

EXPECT many attacks on PTAB, the body which keeps the USPTO in check and enforces Alice very often (probably more than once a day, on average). Why is PTAB under attack? And why now? There’s an upcoming case at the Supreme Court of the United States and the patent microcosm believes it can use that case to undermine PTAB, maybe altogether eliminate it. PTAB-bashing blogs like Watchtroll and Patently-O write about it all the time. They try hard to scandalise PTAB and encourage anti-PTAB briefs (to be submitted as a sort of lobbying, addressing the Justices).

Do not expect any of this to stop. It will get worse. It keeps intensifying. These are no “friends of the court” (amici) but enemies of science and technology. All they want to do is tax scientists and technologists (who generally support PTAB).

According to IAM’s new blog post, there’s a potential to finding a loophole like universities to dodge scrutiny from PTAB, harnessing immunity. We wrote about this example a few days ago (Allergan, a dodgy entity) and here are the details:

Allergan may just have driven a coach and horses through the inter partes review process at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The company’s agreement to transfer the six patents underpinning its dry-eye treatment Restasis to the Saint Regis Mohawks has been widely reported since it was announced on Friday. Under the deal, the Native American tribe will receive a one-off payment of $13.75 million from Allergan, then annual royalties of $15 million. Over the lifetime of the assets concerned that could represent hundreds of millions of dollars – a sum which demonstrates just how valuable the pharma company believes those patents to be and how important it is they are kept away from the eyes of PTAB judges.

[...]

Because make no mistake, what is at stake here is not just the fate of six Allergan patents and some others owned by US universities, but the entire future of the PTAB as a viable tool for defendants to challenge patents asserted against them, or ones that they fear may be asserted in the future. Put simply, if Allergan can reach an agreement with a Native American tribe to protect its assets from PTAB scrutiny, so can every other patent owner in the US, operating in any kind of industry.

So basically, they’re exploiting indigenous people to shield a bunch of patents. It’s as dodgy as Hell and probably an insult to indigenous people, whose Traditional Knowledge (TK) is constantly under attack by patents, trademarks, etc.

In other news, also from Monday, this self-promotional blog post with an odd title (super-long headline) is trying to scandalise PTAB with statements like “PTAB Mocks Alice Supreme Court” (the very opposite is true). It’s as if they try to incite the Supreme Court against PTAB ahead of the decision on PTAB…

They promote this nonsense elsewhere and it ends with “Anticipat Practitioner Analytics does just this. Click here for a free trial.”

What’s it all about? No scandal at all. To quote a couple of portions:

In ex parte Lynch, Appeal No. 2016-002985, the Board reversed a Section 101 rejection, holding that the claimed invention provides an improvement in the functioning of the computer. Specifically, the claimed invention allows a user to register for new websites without entering all of their information each time, but with the option of modifying the information if necessary. The Board seemed to acknowledge that the claims were directed to an abstract idea under step 1. But the Board held that the claimed conventional computer components when considered as an ordered combination do include an inventive concept sufficient to render the claims eligible for patenting. Finally, in an apparent mocking of the Supreme Court, the Board concluded that the claims include the talismanic inventive concept.

[...]

This case shows that abstract idea rejections are still tricky. But as shown here, it is not fatal to patent-eligibility for claims to recite conventional computer components as long as the ordered combination provides a specific improvement. This shows that understanding which legal authority relied on by the Board can be important in knowing how to reverse Examiners in other applications.

So basically, in short, just because PTAB sometimes overturns/reverses a Section 101 rejection the above would have us believe that it “Mocks Alice Supreme Court” (to quote the headline). The common criticism of PTAB, courtesy of the patent microcosm, is that it’s overaggressive in applying Alice, so apparently, no matter what it does, the patent microcosm will blindly attack it. “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” as the old idiom or phrase goes. It should be noted that Anticipat’s blog is less than a year old. Seems like a fairly new subversive opportunist.

We certainly hope that Justices will pay careful attention to who is opposing PTAB and why. Foes of prior decisions of theirs, e.g. Alice, are those who want to obliterate PTAB (so as to impede enforcement of Justices’ decisions).

09.10.17

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is Still Being Smeared by Circles That Benefit From Low-Quality Patents

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 1:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Big Oil-funded institutions in favour of Oil States? No way!

Antonin Scalia Law School

Summary: Ahead of Oil States v Greene’s Energy Group, et al (upcoming Supreme Court decision) the ‘greasy’ academics and publishers greased up by patent law firms are trying to tarnish the image of PTAB, even though the technology sector very much supports PTAB

THE PREVIOUS post took note of attacks on Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International (Supreme Court’s decision), but there are other, overlapping attacks whose purpose is similar — to protect software patents that should never have been granted by the USPTO. In effect, PTAB enables just about anyone to challenge bad patents, in a similar way to oppositions and appeals at the EPO. Patent maximalists like neither, as both mechanisms help guard patent quality, which is a threat to patent maximalists’ bottom line.

“In effect, PTAB enables just about anyone to challenge bad patents, in a similar way to oppositions and appeals at the EPO.”The ideas behind this argument aren’t novel. They are not controversial, either. Some people just want more and more patents to exist, as that comes at the expense of various industries and becomes a form of tax that is neither beneficial nor necessary.

A few days ago Managing IP (patent maximalists) wrote about Nidec Motor v Zhongshan. Patent maximalists are waging a war on PTAB, for obvious reasons, and they want every court (Supreme, Federal, District) to stop patent quality assurance. To them, the very concept of quality — or the notion of quality control — is obscene. To them, the more patents society gets granted, the more innovation will occur (or so they try to tell us). So anyway, in this particular case there was a “concurring opinion in the Nidec Motor v Zhongshan Broad Ocean Motor appeal of a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decision at the Federal Circuit [which] has attracted a lot of attention.”

“Patent maximalists are waging a war on PTAB, for obvious reasons, and they want every court (Supreme, Federal, District) to stop patent quality assurance.”The decision, Nidec Motor v Zhongshan, was covered days later by the same site. It’s worth emphasising that PTAB gets the thumbs up from the Federal Circuit about 80% of the time. There’s not much of a feud there at all, but patent maximalists try to fuel or inflame one. They keep nitpicking/cherry-picking exceptions to the norm (which reveals their own bias) to give the impression that PTAB is naughty or “impotent” (their word). As Managing IP put it just before the weekend: “126 PTAB petitions were filed in August, while the Federal Circuit expressed concern with the Board’s practice of joinder and expanded panels in Nidec Motor v Zhongshan Broad Ocean Motor, said it abused its discretion for failing to consider material evidence in Ultratec v CaptionCall, and ruled that an IPR petitioner doesn’t need to satisfy Article III standing requirements to participate in a patent owner’s appeal in Personal Audio v EFF…”

They make it sound like the Federal Circuit is very upset at PTAB, but that’s not hard to do by picking apart just a handful (or less) of cases. That’s precisely what Patently-O was doing almost every day in August — a pattern we vocally complained about at the time. Patently-O is in fact still cherry-picking exceptions to the norm (the norm being PTAB doing a good job, the Federal Circuit then reaffirming it). Now it’s this:

In a new decision, the Federal Circuit has ruled that the PTAB erred in its inherency analysis, but ultimately affirmed the claim cancellation after finding the error harmless.

[...]

In its decision, the PTAB (board) used inherency in a particular way – finding first that it would have been obvious to combine the prior art to use the method described; and then finding that the 30% reduction would have inherently resulted from the combination. On appeal, the Federal Circuit rejected that analysis – holding that “the Board cited no evidence that a reduction of 30% in the pulling force would necessarily result from the claimed process, which contains no steps that ensure such reduction.” Rather, as the patentee argued, the 30% reduction serves as a guide for selecting the particular lubricants and arrangements.

[...]

In re Best, 562 F.2d 1252 (C.C.P.A. 1977). In Best, the court noted that inherency would be properly used in this situation for an anticipation decision, but that for obviousness, the PTO can simply find a prima facie obviousness case.

Cancellation affirmed.

So basically, this is more of the same, i.e. the Federal Circuit agreeing with PTAB (except when it comes to more minor details). Be sure a lot of briefs will be sent to the Supreme Court with a false narrative of PTAB as “impotent” or whatever. That’s just what the patent microcosm is trying to accomplish these days. Here is another new Patently-O post, also indirectly about PTAB. To quote:

The move is designed to prop the patents up against challenge via a tribal sovereign immunity claim. (Several of the transferred patents are being challenged before the PTAB in AIA Trials). Parallel claims have been quite successful for public universities in fending of both IPR and declaratory judgment lawsuits – even when the patents are exclusively licensed to commercial entities

[...]

Allergan is a frequent player of jurisdictional games. Its corporate “headquarters” is in Dublin for the tax benefits, although it is “actually” sited in New Jersey.

Tax dodger, tax evader, whatever. With Patent Boxes in Europe it’s clear that many patent maximalists simply help companies not pay tax. It’s a grey if not a black market.

“With Patent Boxes in Europe it’s clear that many patent maximalists simply help companies not pay tax.”Last but not least we have Adam Mossoff, who not an engineer, just a “law” person that keeps lobbying for the interests of patent trolls and the more radical elements in Texas. We mentioned him many times before. He seems like a de facto lobbyist (connected to Conservative think tanks) and not too shockingly he attacks PTAB now, having chosen a rightwing politcal site to publish his rant. “Anyone can file as many petitions as they want in challenging the validity of any patent,” he said, “and they can file it for any reason whatsoever, such as by an activist organization dedicated to eliminating all patents on computer software.”

If he is referring to EFF as “activist organization dedicated to eliminating all patents on computer software,” then he merely serves to reaffirm where he stands on the subject. He does not develop any software; he’s more like a pundit from the Antonin Scalia (Republican) Law School. Here is his conclusion: “Malone’s tale is now typical for all innovators. Accused infringers and commercial competitors now exploit the PTAB as a way to harass inventors, small businesses, and other innovators. The PTAB was supposed to address the problem of low-quality patents; it now threatens all patents, undermining the foundation of the American innovation economy.”

“We can expect attacks on PTAB to intensify as the SCOTUS decision is near and patent maximalists want to obliterate PTAB, or in other words destroy patent quality.”Got that? To petition PTAB is to “harass”, as if challenging a ludicrous patent asserted by some opportunistic troll is the “harassment”. As for that last sentence, if “the foundation of the American innovation economy” is a bunch of patents on things like one-click shopping, then the economy boils down to nothing but dirt, maybe shopping (not producing).

We can expect attacks on PTAB to intensify as the SCOTUS decision is near and patent maximalists want to obliterate PTAB, or in other words destroy patent quality.

09.07.17

EPO Management is Lobbying for Software Patents and the UPC in ICT Seminar 2017

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 2:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Super PAC

Summary: Super PAC-like behaviour from the European Patent Office (EPO) in direct violation of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council against the patentability of computer-implemented inventions

THE EPO just can’t help breaking the rules. Earlier this week we showed that it was publicly pushing for software patents in Europe. This has become so routine! They just don’t care about patent quality or patent scope anymore! Anything goes!

“They just don’t care about patent quality or patent scope anymore!”Well, European Patents (EPs) are no longer difficult to get; just ask EPO examiners as some of them explicitly tell us so (under conditions of anonymity). People or companies pay a lot of money (prohibitive costs to small companies or sole inventors) for examination/search that some professionals say is inferior to that offered by national patent offices like Spain’s. Why waste money like this and how long will it last? The number of applications (EPs) is already declining and this new press release (from today) sounds like a software patent just got granted by the EPO. It speaks of a “mobile-based transaction authentication system and the cryptographic processes it uses to identify individual mobile devices and secure communications to and from them” (i.e. software-level security).

“….European Patents (EPs) are no longer difficult to get; just ask EPO examiners as some of them explicitly tell us so (under conditions of anonymity).”Why are such patents still being granted? It sounds like the classic type of patent to be passed to trolls for litigation/blackmail against any company that merely uses software, not just companies that develop software.

Earlier today the EPO resumed promotion of both software patents and the UPC (see the cited page about “ICT seminar 2017″). These two things are connected, for reasons we wrote about in past years. The EPO keeps granting patents on software even though that’s against the rules and then it says this: “Join us to find out about the differences between US & European practice for ICT patent applications…”

By “ICT” they mean mostly software and here is the part about UPC:

There will also be sessions on “Streamlining patent prosecution at the EPO” and “Latest developments in the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court” as well as overviews from both the EPO and IPO on recent developments relevant to the audience.

Guess who will be in the “audience”… it’s an echo chamber again.

“The EPO’s lobbying activity (influencing the governments) makes as much sense as border control agencies publishing an endorsement of a political party ahead of an election.”As noted in our last post, the UPC is stuck and its proponents can only ever pretend that its ratification is inevitable. The EPO seeds some lies about it and then the patent industry uses that as ‘proof’ that the UPC is coming. We wrote some posts about it (several times since it had come out). Today we found this new example of the echo chamber effect. Camilleri Preziosi’s Henri Mizzi, Sharon Xuereb, Terence Cassar and Kristina Azzopardi wrote an article titled “EPO Publishes a Guide on Obtaining, Maintaining and Managing Unitary Patents” (which don’t even exist).

One major problem is, the UPC agreement isn’t happening and the Unitary Patent as a whole may be dead. EPO management is just lobbying; it forgot the purpose of its existence. The EPO’s lobbying activity (influencing the governments) makes as much sense as border control agencies publishing an endorsement of a political party ahead of an election.

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