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10.18.19

New EPO Meme: Who Wants to Make Billions From a ‘Public’ Monopoly?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO meme
Credit/source: “What has become of you, EPO? Staff was once proud to work for, it feels like ages ago. Since then, it seems that #Fear and #oppression have become the norm rather than the exception. #patents #Europe #workplace #society #democracy #Germany #Netherlands #Austria #ruleOfLaw”

Summary: What was supposed to be a cash-balanced patent office became a money-making monster that fakes ‘crises’ to attack hard-working examiners

10.17.19

EPO Staff Union and Staff Representatives Ought to Demand EPO Stops Bullying Publishers and Censoring Their Sites

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As it stands at this moment, or for the past half a decade, the EPO is hardly better than the Communist Party of China

Wall in China

Summary: An often neglected if not forgotten aspect of EPO tyranny is the war on information itself; EPO management continues to show hostility towards journalism and disdain for true information

Back in 2015 or thereabouts Battistelli‘s EPO sent several law firms after me for exposing EPO corruption, trying to cause me to run away or spend a lot of money on lawyers. A year earlier they had blocked Techrights. Don’t they realise that when they gag their staff they render whistle-blowers very much necessary and therefore inevitable?

“In my view, in light of what they did to me, Battistelli and Campinos are no better than patent trolls.”It is very much worth noting that the pretender António Campinos has neither reverted/removed the ban of Techrights (information banned from EPO staff) nor has he retracted persistent legal threats towards me. In prior years when I condemned software patents in Europe the EPO did not block my site because it thought it could instead ignore it; clearly the EPO decided that when EPO corruption is exposed they should overzealously silence the messenger. EPO staff has, in effect, lost the right to read at work; the EPO ‘babysits’ staff by blocking (deleting) from that staff accurate and authentic information, as if the EPO is a religion/cult. Is Techrights “blasphemous”?

In my view, in light of what they did to me, Battistelli and Campinos are no better than patent trolls. SUEPO and the CSC ought to bring up (e.g. in their lists) the threats EPO issues to bloggers (not just yours truly) and the Office-wide censorship of ‘inconvenient’ sites. The EPO is a dangerous entity if it polices the media and suppresses the sharing of facts even outside the EPO (while flaunting diplomatic immunity).

Bribes, Lies, Fundamental Violations of the Law and Cover-Up: This is Today’s European Patent Office

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cover-up
Reference: Cover-up

Summary: It has gotten extremely difficult to hold the conspirators accountable for turning Europe’s patent office into a ‘printing machine’ of the litigation industry and amassing vast amounts of money (to be passed to private, for-profit companies)

ANOTHER DAY passes and the European Patent Office (EPO) is, as usual, breaking the law. It’s also intentionally harming Europe while deflecting. There were no less than two “SME”-themed tweets from the EPO yesterday, citing its own ‘sponsored’ (bribed-for) ‘studies’…

Distracting from EPO leaks again? How much damage does the EPO wish to cause Europe?

Not to worry — they’re cooking the books and manufacturing some more false claims by bribing scholars for ‘studies’ on so-called ‘IP’. For over 3 weeks they’re been repeating these lies every single day. They try to make these lies seem “scientific…”

Ménière is a pseudo-scientist of Battistelli (and now António Campinos). He’s nowadays pushing for patent maximalism using the pseudoscience they call “economics” along with buzzwords such as “4IR”. Yesterday the EPO’s Twitter account helped spread this pseudoscience by saying: “Innovation in #AdditiveManufacturing is growing exponentially. Our Chief Economist Yann Ménière presented this data at our recent conference in The Hague, where we also fostered internal knowledge exchange & harmonised best practices.”

They added “#3Dprinting #patenting” as if to say it’s desirable. Ask anyone who’s in 3-D printing just to what extent patents in that domain suspended innovation and how long for (decades!) because it’s a very well known case against patent maximalism/maximalists.

We’ve also just seen in this very dodgy new page and site (Golden Casino News) a statement about “3D-based damage marking technology”:

The European Patent Office, EPO, has taken the decision to allow another European patent for Episurf Medical (NASDAQ: EPIS B). The decision was taken at an oral proceeding at the EPO in Munich , Germany. The patent, entitled “System and method for creating a decision support material indicating damage to an anatomical joint” covers Episurf Medical’s 3D-based damage marking technology which constitutes a central part of the Episealer® implant system as well as the Epioscopy® joint visualisation system.

Certainly sounds like a software patent and an area I worked in (my Ph.D. thesis is about that).

It’s not hard to see that the EPO does exactly the opposite of advancing science in Europe. All it strives to achieve is more litigation in Europe. The EPO’s stance on the EPO-connected UPC is an eternal reminder of that.

The UPC is thankfully dead and ‘unitary’ patents are actually just fiction/fantasy. The EPO had spoken about them for years until a couple of years ago. It stopped mentioning that. Team UPC has been silent for months; it no longer even mentions Milan (as London substitute), which has just been brought up by Hogan Lovells’ Riccardo Fruscalzo in relation to other patent matters in Lexology.

IP Kat hasn’t mentioned the UPC since summer and the only words/allusions there regarding EPO scandals are in comments. Here’s one new comment from MaxDrei, who replies to a comment we quoted here earlier in the week:

As to Alex Frost’s “in no way of their own making” I wonder, whether that reminds anybody else but me of a case before Robin Jacob, in which the dispute with the Patent Office was about whether a document had indeed been filed at the Patent Office. Robin Jacob concluded that the representative was the author of Applicant’s misfortune, pointing out that there was a good reason why the Patent Office issues receipts for docs filed and if the rep cannot be bothered to check them, any resulting misfortune is his own fault.

Can anybody recall the case reference?

A “patent attorney” said, “I think the EPO has lost sight of the fact it needs to be more ‘user-friendly’ and it is becoming a place where mistakes have a disproportionate effect.” To quote the entire comment (with a later one appended):

Now that we have the EPO post grant limitation proceedings, I really don’t know why we cannot have post-grant correction for any error. The EPO has the mechanisms to do this easily, and it should try to be more helpful to applicants/patentees

[...] I think the EPO has lost sight of the fact it needs to be more ‘user-friendly’ and it is becoming a place where mistakes have a disproportionate effect. We patent attorneys should not need to be professors or be capable of seeing a small error in 400 pages of description to do our routine job. Can we really say that third parties have been substantially disadvantaged by a patent proprietor reinserting pages into a specification which were clearly missing? It should be far simpler to correct errors, and should not need references to 3 or 4 TBA decisions. In particular the system should not be punitive in any way, which it seems to be whenever it says it was up to the applicant to get it right. As I say the EPO has forgotten it is providing a public service, and should be more user-friendly to its users

Kant wrote:

Re substance or composition
Since A53(c) refers to “surgery or therapy”, it follows that a substance or composition for use in such a method is not required to have a therapeutic effect if used in a method of surgery. The therapeutic effect case law arose under EPC1977 with regard to Swiss Type claims which related to pharmaceutical preparations. Accordingly, the previous case law should not be used to limit the meaning of the EPC after a change in the law.

Notice how they all keep citing the EPC as if the EPC still matters; the EPO violates the EPC every day and then covers that up. Thankfully the examiners are close to another revolt. They’re well aware of what’s happening and they don’t like it.

10.15.19

EPO Staff Resolution Against Neoliberal Policies of António Campinos

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents at 11:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Last week: EPO Leak: António Campinos Announces Impending Cuts While Outsourcing to Private Firms Like Serco

EPO general assemblies resolution

Summary: “After Campinos announced 17 financial measures,” a source told us, “staff gathered at multiple sites last week for general assemblies. The meeting halls were crowded. The resolution was passed unanimously and without abstentions.”

Raw: EPO Comes Under Fire for Lowering Patent Quality Under the Orwellian Guise of “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CSC on Collaborative Quality Improvements

Summary: Stephen Rowan, the President’s (António Campinos) chosen VP who promotes the notorious “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI) initiative/pilot, faces heat from the CSC, the Central Staff Committee of the EPO

When They Run Out of Things to Patent They’ll Patent Nature Itself…

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No patents on life and nature? You must have missed the news!

Some blooming trees

Summary: The absolutely ridiculous patent bar (ridiculously low) at today’s EPO means that legal certainty associated with European Patents is at an all-time low; patents get granted for the sake of granting more patents each year

HAVING just covered software patents in Europe and UPC issues, we now look at the broader picture in the European Patent Office (EPO).

It’s so sad that in less than a decade the EPO managed to earn a reputation worse than that of the USPTO not just because of the scandals but also decline in patent quality. Those two things are of course closely linked. Examiners that Battistelli has not managed to drive away António Campinos either drives to ‘retirement’ or replaces with private companies. It’s as if it’s an actual goal to get rid of experienced examiners and turn their job into a business venture with the likes of Serco, which already do business for the USPTO.

“It’s so sad that in less than a decade the EPO managed to earn a reputation worse than that of the USPTO not just because of the scandals but also decline in patent quality.”When EPO founding documents were crafted and refined half a century ago architects of the system envisioned a system that would serve scientists, be inclusive (not in the nepotism sense), and not be run like a greedy corporation. The EPC was routinely violated in recent years and nobody was held accountable. This is why we end up in such a sordid mess. It’s utterly grotesque.

Check out who’s hammering the news wires this week [1, 2] with stuff like this, in effect self-promotional words for an event that berates quality control:

Many patent applications and patents are lost before the EPO, either before Opposition Divisions or before Appeal due to incorrect original drafting, and added subject matter is a recurrent problem. Learn advanced drafting techniques for successful EPO patent applications.

Many patent applications and patents are lost before the EPO Boards of Appeal due to incorrect original drafting. Added subject matter is a recurrent problem: Amendments made during grant procedure, to take account or new prior art, amount to added subject-matter, often fatal in opposition procedure before the EPO, and national courts.

Giving tips for getting patents from the EPO — even if fake patent monopolies — by employing tricks to exploit deliberate loopholes. Is this what we’ve come to? Also published yesterday was this piece behind the Agrow paywall:

Submissions urge EPO not to patent conventional plants

The European Patent Office (EPO) has been urged not to patent conventionally bred plants in separate submissions from the European Commission and a group of farming and environmentalist organisations.

Such patents should never have been granted in the first place; patents on nature don’t make sense, neither morally nor legally. Anyone who’s granting them does a disservice to common sense and the planet. Similar patents literally cause the death of a lot of people. Back in February we wrote about patents on cancer treatment — the latest of many articles on the subject. Here’s a new press release about another such European Patent:

Onxeo S.A. (Euronext Paris, NASDAQ Copenhagen: ONXEO), (“Onxeo” or “the Company”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in the development of innovative drugs targeting tumor DNA Damage Response (DDR) in oncology, in particular against rare or resistant cancers, today announced having received a communication from the European Patent Office (EPO) informing the Company of its intent to grant a new patent strengthening the European protection of compounds sourced from its platON™ platform.

[...]

This patent will provide a term of protection valid until mid-2031, which could be further extended until 2036 via the supplementary protection certificate (SPC) system. It completes the already robust set of 9 patent families securing the protection of AsiDNA™ and its related compounds.

Instead of tackling cancer, as it should, the EPO grants monopoly through patents so as to limit who can treat cancer!

Here’s another new statement, coming from esoteric sites like “Golden Casino News”:

Scandion Oncology A/S (“Scandion Oncology”) today announces that the European Patent Office (“EPO”) has granted the company’s patent application for SCO-101 when combined with chemotherapy. Patent is valid until May 2037.

The headline says “Scandion Oncology A/S receives EU-patent for SCO-101,” but that’s just wrong. EPO is not EU. Notice what’s being granted here; the EPO now treats cancer as “business opportunity” rather than something to be cured; the same goes for global warming. If only more people grasped the seriousness of it…

Rose Hughes (working for companies like the above) has meanwhile covered T 1003/19) — a case concerning intention to grant European Patents:

Recent Board of Appeal decision T 1003/19 poses a riddle: when is it not the intention of the EPO to grant the “text-intended for grant? Before the Examining Division (ED) grants a patent application, they send the applicant a copy of the text-intended for grant (“Druckexemplar”) (Rule 71(3) EPC). The text-intended for grant is normally considered to be, as the name suggests, the text that the ED plans on granting. In response to the Rule 71(3) communication, the applicant approves the text-intended for grant by filing translations of the claims and paying the appropriate fees. If the applicant approves the text-intended for grant, the patent is granted.

T 1003/19 related to an appeal from a decision of the ED to grant an application based on a text-intended for grant in which all but one of the drawings pages were missing. The applicant had approved the text-intended to grant. In most circumstances, it is difficult for a patentee to correct mistakes in a granted patent based on a text-intended for grant that they have approved. As stated in the Guidelines for Examination: “Since the final responsibility for the text of the patent lies with the applicant or patentee, it is his duty to properly check all the documents making up the communication under Rule 71(3)” (H-VI-3.1). It is difficult to argue, for example, that it was not the intention of the ED to grant a patent containing a mistake introduced and approved by the applicant themselves (G 1/10, IPKat post here).

[...]

The BA concluded that the applicant had not approved a text-intended for grant. The BA therefore set aside the decision to grant the patent.

There are serious autonomy problems at the EPO as the appeals process is lacking independence and suffering massive backlogs as well.

“Trips to Cambodia and Ethiopia don’t exactly present the EPO as a world leader.”Alex Frost, writing the first reply to this post, said: “We have tried to escalate this problem with the EPO as it is causing huge problems with disgruntled applicants who are being told that they cannot rectify a problem that is in no way of their making.”

Here’s the full comment from Alex:

A welcome decision given the exponential rise we are seeing in the number of errors being introduced by Examining Division at the moment. So far in 2019, just of my own cases, I have come across 5 with significant errors (description pages missing or duplicated; drawings missing etc), all of which were the fault of the EPO (either the Primary Examiner or his/her Formalities officer, presumably). Goodness only knows how many such cases there have been across the whole firm/profession.

This is against a backdrop of, I guess, a similar number (5 or 6 ) such cases of mine with this sort of ED introduced error over the whole previous 25 years of practice. No doubt a part of the problem is the unseemly haste to examine and grant applications at the moment. We have tried to escalate this problem with the EPO as it is causing huge problems with disgruntled applicants who are being told that they cannot rectify a problem that is in no way of their making.

It’s nice to see so lucidly expressed (and publicly recognised) issues aired in IP Kat again, even if only in the comments. The decline in patent quality will accompany a collapse in legal certainty. And then what? Who would then be willing to apply for European Patents or at what cost? What does EPO even know of patent quality? The EPO, in external communications, brags about spreading its lowered patent quality and invalid patents to other continents! “In order to avoid duplication of efforts and provide services on time and at a high level of quality, IP offices need to work together,” the EPO wrote yesterday. Judging by which patent offices today's EPO takes photos with, the future doesn’t seem promising. Does the EPO try to adapt to the standards of countries with not a single European Patent? Trips to Cambodia and Ethiopia don’t exactly present the EPO as a world leader.

EPO Boards of Appeal Need Courage and Structural Disruption to Halt Software Patents in Europe

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Patents at 8:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It takes courage — not just intelligence — to oppose misnomers such as "artificial intelligence" patents

Software patents and artificial intelligence patents

Summary: Forces or lobbyists for software patents try to come up with tricks and lies by which to cheat the EPC and enshrine illegal software patents; sadly, moreover, EPO judges lack the necessary independence by which to shape caselaw against such practices

THE European Patent Office (EPO) has taken control of another EPO, the Organisation. Battistelli started it and António Campinos continues just that. He even rendered his 'boss' at the Council his 'butler'. Imagine that! How is that even legal/constitutional? Maybe it isn’t. But who’s to actually enforce the law/constitution (or EPC)? This is a circular issue.

Advocacy of software patents by the EPO isn’t news; we saw some forms of it way back in the Brimelow days, but it has been getting worse since and judges have since then totally lost any sense of autonomy and independence. They will probably ‘vote’ (decide) the “usual way” some time soon (patent on software simulation) because Campinos is already meddling towards that outcome! See what happened in G 2/19.

“They will probably ‘vote’ (decide) the “usual way” some time soon (patent on software simulation) because Campinos is already meddling towards that outcome!”Sometimes we still see examples of software patents being thrown out inside rather than outside the EPO. Sometimes even loud proponents of software patents (no, not software professionals) admit it. Such was the case the other day when Bardehle Pagenberg wrote: “Authenticating individuals based on liveness probability: non-technical EPO refused to grant a patent on a method of authenticating financial transactions based on biometric data.”

Bardehle Pagenberg is, in our experience, the most vocal and shameless proponent of these bogus patents. They focus on these. Bardehle Pagenberg’s Patrick Heckeler, having published this page, even promoted another case where:

The first instance examining division refused searching the claimed subject-matter because it allegedly lacks technical character…

Forget about all that “technical” (or “technical effect”) nonsense; it’s the wrong test or criterion/criteria. Same for “problem-solution”. The sole riddle ought to be, does this cover something physical (where that physical thing is strictly required)? If not, then it’s abstract. Throw out the application/patent.

Sadly, however, the EPO adopted clever little tricks and loopholes, such as misuse of words like “machines”; they associate the overused term “AI” with “machine learning” (what it means originally) as if there’s some machine or device somewhere. This week they also repeat the nonsense which is “machine translations” when they say: “What is the role of machine translations in proceedings before the EPO?”

“Sadly, however, the EPO adopted clever little tricks and loopholes, such as misuse of words like “machines”; they associate the overused term “AI” with “machine learning” (what it means originally) as if there’s some machine or device somewhere.”“Those are not “machine translations” but lousy algorithms that take something in and spew garbage out,” I told them, “an incoherent mess for most languages, with no legal validity whatsoever…”

It’s rather worrying to see how the EPO deals with obvious software patents that under 35 U.S.C. § 101 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) would be pressured to throw out, either at first instance (examination) or Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) — or, failing that, district courts, the Federal Circuit and SCOTUS (no potent challenge to that in 5 years at that level).

Professor Dr. Maximilian Haedicke on Lack of Separation of Powers at the EPO (Which Dooms UPC)

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.”

Or: Truth is sunshine to the vampires of lies.

Amazing sunlight

Summary: Team UPC (“empire of lies”) is catching up with reality; no matter how hard media has attempted to not cover EPO scandals (after the EPO paid and threatened many publishers that tried), it remains very much apparent that EPOnia is like a theocracy that cannot be trusted with anything

WE CAN quite safely assume that most examiners at the European Patent Office (EPO) aren’t happy with the direction the Office has taken. Staff surveys have repeatedly shown this (with large margins). António Campinos is just more of Battistelli and they carry on lowering patent quality, based on studies they attempt to suppress. They’re meanwhile creating new loopholes/routes to software patenting in Europe and striving to replace ‘naughty’ European courts (that ‘dare’ oppose such patents) with something more ‘obedient’ or complicit. EPO judges are casualties as they’re being terrorised to the point where it’s dangerous (to one’s career) to oppose patent maximalists. Only weeks ago we saw Campinos intervening in favour of software patents. He made remarks about an important upcoming case. Does he not have something better to do (than meddling in legal matters he lacks technical qualifications in)?

“Only weeks ago we saw Campinos intervening in favour of software patents. He made remarks about an important upcoming case.”Who’s in charge of the EPO? Certainly not the law or judges who enforce/review that law. A politician from France/Portugal calls all the shots. These aren’t scientists but politicians! Nontechnical autocrats, people who keep calling patents “property” yet again (they’re not property). “You mean patents,” I told them last night. They never respond. On they go with joint EUIPO lies (now 3 weeks of that disgraced “IP” ‘study’, tweeted and retweeted every single day). Pure pseudoscience and an insult to facts.

Should we be surprised that several nations — not just Germanyopenly oppose the handover of patent courts to EPOnia? Or that scholars issue strongly-worded criticisms when they’re not on the EPO’s payroll?

“Should we be surprised that several nations — not just Germany — openly oppose the handover of patent courts to EPOnia?”Team UPC hardcores (apparently a Brit in Munich) are tweeting (quoting) that “rule of law within the EPOrg are criticised. This question is further explosive against the background of the equally pending constitutional complaint against the Unified Patent System.”

Tweets aren't journalism, but this is a translation of a journal. This thread in full says: “Potential impact of G3/19 on DE constitutional complaints; UPC? Prof. Haedicke, GRURInt 2019, 885 on referral G3/19 (from orig German): “This conflict, however, is about much more than the question of the interpretation of A53(b) EPC. It makes it clear that the [EPO President] and the AC seem to have a different understanding of the relationship between the institutions of the EPOrg than the Boards of Appeal. The scope of the judicial control over legislative acts of the AC and the degree to which the AC is bound by the [...] interpretation of the EPC rules by the BoA are controversial. In question is the power of the judiciary to take binding decisions on the interpretation of the EPC which go beyond the individual case. Also affected is the role of the President of the EPO and the system of [...] checks and balances within the EPOrg resulting from the separation of powers.[…] The effects of this dispute thus extend far beyond the concrete question of fact. If the AC were able to change the case law of the Enlarged BoA in order to extend its binding force beyond the [...] individual case, this would enhance the position of the AC, significantly weaken the BoA & strengthen the position of the critics of the EPC to its detriment. The referral may also have consequences for several pending constitutional complaints in which shortcomings in the [...] rule of law within the EPOrg are criticised. This question is further explosive against the background of the equally pending constitutional complaint against the Unified Patent System. It is of great importance to ensure that the relationship between the AC and the BoA [...] complies with principles of the rule of law.”

“It doesn’t matter what some lawyers and politicians at the EPO (and around it) say; at the end of the day the issue is now in the hands of judges the EPO does not control (perhaps with the exception of Stephan Harbarth).”The litigation ‘industry’ refuses to let UPC/Unitary Patent die. Herbert Smith Freehills LLP still mentions it in relation to Brexit (and promoted its take on it earlier this week).

It doesn’t matter what some lawyers and politicians at the EPO (and around it) say; at the end of the day the issue is now in the hands of judges the EPO does not control (perhaps with the exception of Stephan Harbarth).

Widespread condemnation or popular uprise won’t be possible (as happened with the EU copyright directive) if media refuses to cover it.

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