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02.18.19

António Campinos Still Needs to Hold Team Battistelli Accountable for Illegally Bringing Weapons to the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: António Campinos Will Never Hold Battistelli Accountable for His Crimes Because He Too Profits From These

EPO IS CORRUPT, SO WHY NOT BRING WEAPONS TOO?

Summary: It is imperative that, in order to repair the reputation of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos should pursue accountability for the managers who brought Benalla and firearms to the Office (very serious breach of German law, jail sentence included)

Related/background:

02.17.19

How Many/Most EPO Examiners View ‘President’ António Campinos

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO change

Summary: Based on what readers/insiders have told us, there’s a prevalent perception that António Campinos is afraid of (thus controlled/directed by) Bergot, who is still doing Battistelli’s biddings at the European Patent Office (EPO)

Techrights’ Priorities Over the Years

Posted in Action, America, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 7:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Or why we’ve dropped most coverage about US patents and patent cases

Priority

Summary: An old priority of ours, eliminating software patents in the United States, is no longer quite so relevant because such patents are perishing in US courts, with or without outside intervention such as activism

THIS site is turning 13 later this year. It started by focusing on Novell, but then it increasingly focused on Microsoft and GNU/Linux (related to Novell). Around 2010 we turned almost all our attention to software patents — a natural extension of our coverage regarding Novell’s patent deal. The common theme has all along been preserving the freedom of Free software although software patents pose a great threat also to proprietary software developers. So we’re generally for the interests of programmers, no matter if their code is publicly shared or not. Software development oughtn’t necessitate an army of lawyers and should not involve reading hundreds of thousands of patents. It’s beyond impractical and such patents aren’t even necessary, unlike copyright law.

“…we’re generally for the interests of programmers, no matter if their code is publicly shared or not.”Invaluable information about internal European Patent Office (EPO) affairs came through to us in 2014, perhaps based on our track record covering abuses at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and to a lesser degree the EPO (we hadn’t criticised the EPO much before that, except when it came to software patents in Europe). Seeing that António Campinos is not changing anything for the better, and moreover seeing that the SCOTUS precedence (notably Alice) secured 35 U.S.C. § 101 — something that the USPTO cannot change and CAFC as well as ITC must respect — a couple of months ago I decided to mostly drop USPTO coverage, which occupied entire weekends (all my time), turning again to GNU/Linux and Microsoft with the newly-availed time. Seeing that the UPC is rapidly dying (running out of time), several months ago we began also focusing, yet again, on software patents in Europe — a subject increasingly covered by Florian Müller as well. We used to be vocal critics of his writings, but things have changed since. He no longer takes money from Microsoft.

The EFF has, in our view, become somewhat alarmist lately. It says there's a comeback of software patents in the US and belatedly bemoans Iancu (we did so when the warning signs became apparent, based on what he had done and said in prior years). This morning we saw some articles from the patent microcosm (days-old posts) claiming that Iancu tries to pressure courts/judges/politicians to help him bring back software patents, but he lacks the authority to do this. He merely discredits the Office, that’s all. We’re still monitoring the matter and will leap back on the saddle if the danger materialises. It has not happened, at least not yet. Based on the latest figures from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the PTAB-hostile Anticipat (against inter partes reviews (IPRs)), decisions involving 35 U.S.C. § 101 still rise in number. Various tweets from patent maximalists are still obsessing over PTAB overturning examiners’ decisions, usually against software patents and only in rare cases (notable exceptions) the other way around. So there’s definitely no turnaround and the silence in many blogs speaks volumes. Some of them openly express pessimism and defeatism. Let it be so.

Courts in Disagreement: Warning on Wrongly-Granted European Patents and the Looming Collapse of All Software Patents in Europe

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Similar to what happened owing to 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice (SCOTUS). Many patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a number of decades turned out to be worthless. Litigation numbers completely collapsed and even the number of applications is decreasing.

Abandoned pier

Summary: By devaluing patents and reducing their perceived worth (as is happening in China and Europe) patent offices risk decreasing participation in the very system they fundamentally depend on

INCLUDED in our daily links, lumped together for brevity, are some of the latest patent cases and their outcomes in the US. They show that patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) continue to perish (be thrown away by courts) at all levels, not just the Federal Circuit. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) also persist as usual. The danger is that the same is already happening to the European Patent Office (EPO) and people are gradually realising it. Companies might divest. We wrote about it yesterday.

“…when such courts do blast the EPO (for misinterpreting the EPC) the EPO just simply ignores it, just like Iancu at the USPTO.”Yesterday we saw this new Regeneron press release about Immunex/Amgen (e.g. in PharmiWeb). Many patents are nowadays being granted in error, also by EPO examiners who were traditionally a lot better. Once there’s a lawsuit or a challenge here’s what happens increasingly and more frequently (we covered many more similar examples earlier this year):

Today the European Patent Office invalidated Immunex’s European patent claiming antibodies that target human IL-4 receptors (IL-4R)

Decision follows yesterday’s ruling by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office invalidating a similar Immunex patent claiming antibodies that target human IL-4R

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced two important legal developments invalidating Immunex patents with functional claims to antibodies that target human interleukin-4 receptors (IL-4R). Earlier today, the Opposition Division of the European Patent Office (EPO) revoked Immunex’s European Patent No. 2,990,420 in its entirety because the claims were invalid for insufficiency of disclosure. This follows a decision yesterday by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to invalidate all 17 claims of Immunex’s U.S. Patent No. 8,679,487 as obvious. These decisions are subject to appeal by Immunex.

The patents in question are owned by Immunex Corporation, which is wholly-owned by Amgen.

Sooner or later companies like Immunex/Amgen might simply decide to no longer pursue European Patents, seeing that these sometimes lack legitimacy and cost a lot of money in legal bills (not just application/renewal). Those should be the lessons learned from the USPTO’s failings. What happens in the US right now is despicable because a Trump appointee tries to change all that by breaking the law while patent maximalists are bypassing the law and dodging 35 U.S.C. § 101 so as to get software patents that courts would reject anyway. A new ‘webinar’ entitled “The USPTO’s Updated Guidance on Section 101: Adjusting Your IP Evaluations for Maximum Protection” has just been promoted by Patent Docs. This isn’t about law but about working around the law. Director Iancu turns out to be even worse than David Kappos, whose former employer, IBM, is pushing for software patents in Europe under the guise of “AI”. What would courts in Europe have to say about such patents?

Well, on the 6th of February J A Kemp published this “Review Of Software Patent Appeals At The EPO 2018″. From the section about algorithms:

Inventions in the field of computer science can in some cases derive technical character from the technical nature of the data being processed, and in other cases, from a technical improvement in processing data independently of the nature of the data itself. However, inventions where the data is too abstract, or is non-technical in nature, can fall between these two categories.

Thus, it is instructive to contrast T 2707/16 (Dynamically generating multiple hierarchies/MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY with T 0841/16 (Business rule interface/AB INITIO). The latter case concerned a graph-based system for editing and compiling business rules where neither the nature of the data nor the alleged advantage of improved editing were considered technical. In the former case it was held that “the use of caching for dynamically generated data (i.e. the data polyarchy) with an authoritative store is a technical concept that serves as a compromise between higher scalability and fast response times for query processing on the one hand and freshness of the data on the other hand and that this goes beyond the notoriously known use of caching in general. Consequently, the Board considers that the claimed implementation achieves the technical effect of higher scalability of query processing on a server by means of a particular application of caching which reflects further technical considerations.” The claims at issue, which were remitted for further prosecution, did not specify the nature of the data being searched.

Independence of the nature of the program being executed also contributed to technical character in T 2052/15 (Asychronous antivirus processing/KASPERSKY) where an increase in the responsiveness of a computer by using computing resources in an asynchronous manner was considered a technical solution to a problem.

A rare case of the implementation of a non-technical method being considered technical is T 2330/13 (Checking selection conditions/SAP). This concerned a method for checking whether selected options for a “configurable product” (e.g. a car) are consistent before manufacture. The Board considered that the term “configurable product” did not confer technical character because it did not exclude non-technical products, such as insurance policies. However they did consider that “the specific claimed bit (sub-)matrices, bit strings and steps of the method, especially those of splitting the bit matrix, forming bit strings representing the selection and restriction conditions and determining inconsistent pairs of selection conditions when performed by parallel processing, do contribute to the technical character of the invention and should be taken into account when assessing inventive step.” The case was therefore remitted for further prosecution.

Given that computer programs are considered non-technical, it is perhaps not surprising that even higher abstractions such as programming languages and systems for assisting programmers have been rejected. In 2018, examples include T 0790/14 (Programming language construct/MATHWORKS), a programming language for mathematical operations; and T 2497/12 (Java RMI integration/MATHWORKS), a system for integrating programs in different languages.

Software patents are not permitted in Europe. So Strafford will train people or teach people how to pretend algorithms are “AI” (for the EPO to let them slip in). A post titled “Webinar on EU Guidelines for Patenting AI and Machine Learning Technologies” was published several hours ago by Patent Docs, whose majority of posts are nowadays these ads, not actual articles (all the patent maximalists’ blogs have become mostly or entirely dormant because they’ve lost the argument). Here’s what it says:

Strafford will be offering a webinar entitled “New EU Guidelines for Patenting AI and Machine Learning Technologies: Comparison With U.S. Approach — Navigating EPO and USPTO Rules to Maximize Patent Protection” on February 26, 2019 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm (EST). Aliza G. Carrano and Susan Y. Tull of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner will guide patent practitioners in overcoming the challenges when seeking patent protection for artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) inventions, examine the new guidelines from the European Patent Office (EPO), and compare the EU approach with the U.S. approach.

So their strategy is to basically pretend algorithms are “AI” (buzzword) or “ML” (an actual technical term, albeit often misused and still alluding just to software). We recently wrote about how EPO management admitted it was granting software patents under the guise of "Blockchain" (also a technical term, albeit often misused). The USPTO does the same thing (“Blockchain-based Patents”). These fake patents are abstract patents that courts would throw out everywhere but China perhaps. Media, nevertheless, pays a lip service to these and days ago an article was published by Mareesa A. Frederick and Alyssa Holtslander (Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP) to promote “IoT” (buzzword), admitting that “IoT patents will contain claims directed to computer-related methods of gathering data” (so they admit/concede these to be abstract patents). Large litigation firms are leveraging made-up buzzwords and hype like “AI” or “IoT” in an effort to justify patents on all the foods and associated processes. Abstract ideas? Yes. They even admit so further down in the text:

Another important consideration is patent eligibility. In order to obtain a patent, a patent must claim eligible subject matter. Laws of nature, natural/physical phenomena, and abstract ideas are not considered subject matter that is patentable. For example, one cannot obtain a patent claim on the law of gravity.

Patent eligibility is particularly important for inventions for computer-related technology. Abstract ideas that are implemented on a computer may not be considered subject matter that is patentable. The underlying concern is that companies will seek to obtain patents for well-known methods and systems by merely using a computer to implement them.

Because IoT patents will contain claims directed to computer-related methods of gathering data, subject matter eligibility might be an issue for IoT inventions. Notably, the Supreme Court recently held that patents directed to electronic methods and computer programs for financial-trading systems did not claim eligible subject matter.

It’s obvious who’s going to suffer the most from such patents; small companies cannot quite afford a legal challenge and might simply settle instead.

There’s a timely new example of it in the media (published a few days ago). “A “patent troll” has filed suit against U.S. Safety Gear, a small business with 95 employees in 13 locations, including one in Leavittsburg,” Warren Tribune Chronicle wrote in “‘Patent troll’ files suit against small business” (as trolls so typically do; they attack the weak). Are small companies in Europe going to suffer a similar fate because of the EPO’s granting of software patents? Some are already reporting such abuse, yet they cannot take the matter to sufficiently high courts; when such courts do blast the EPO (for misinterpreting the EPC) the EPO just simply ignores it, just like Iancu at the USPTO.

02.16.19

EPO Grants Fake European Patents — Including Software Patents — and European Courts Keep Rejecting These

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Everything under the sun becomes a European Patent

Snow under the sun

Summary: The demise of the legitimacy or perceived validity of European Patents is measurable and the system isn’t the same anymore; the EPO makes no effort to change this for the better, either

THE New® and Improved™ President of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos, has done absolutely nothing to curtail patent trolls and improve patent quality. Nothing whatsoever. He arguably made things even worse, exacerbating quality as brain drain persisted and quotas were raised.

“…the EPO is disguising software patents as “medical”, knowing these are not patent-eligible but looking for excuses to grant such fake patents (as if they’re “life-saving”).”Another day passes and we have yet another example of EPO management promoting software patents in defiance of its governing principles/document. As we noted last week (and yes, it’s happening again), the EPO is disguising software patents as “medical”, knowing these are not patent-eligible but looking for excuses to grant such fake patents (as if they’re “life-saving”).

The latest tweet about it isn’t as vague as the previous one because they’ve just added “CII” when they wrote: “We will be looking at computer-implemented inventions in #MedTech and discussing the value of patents for SMEs at this event in Sweden…”

They still use “SMEs” to pretend it’s all about the “small guy”, not just “health”.

“We have discussed the challenges of drafting and prosecuting patent applications for AI inventions,” the EPO then wrote, in effect propping up software patents in Europe (see our older writings about this ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI) hype).

This is the typical 2-3 EPO tweets per day that directly or indirectly promote software patents. It’s even worse now than it was under Battistelli.

“This is the typical 2-3 EPO tweets per day that directly or indirectly promote software patents. It’s even worse now than it was under Battistelli.”D Young & Co LLP’s Anton Baker now celebrates the granting of bogus European software patents under the guise of “AI”; this deviation from the law is rebranded “certainty” (“Patenting AI: certainty at last from the EPO?”); that’s is quite a joke! There’s no certainty in actual courts; rather the opposite. Lexology’s paywall obscures most of this nonsense, but it starts as follows: “In recent years the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has grown relentlessly as its application has spread…”

No, a lot of things that used these techniques for a number of decades just rebranded accordingly, mostly for marketing gain and patenting loopholes. This article is from a firm which describes itself as “European intellectual property firm, dedicated to protecting and enforcing our clients’ IP rights.” That’s just Team UPC’s mentality. It’s that familiar mindset of patent maximalism with increasing litigation in mind.

“A lot of these patents would be rendered invalid by courts (if challenged there).”We said we would no longer cover US affairs unless software patents make a comeback. Thankfully, that’s not happening. Bogus software patents continue to perish in the US and Charles Bieneman has several new examples of US courts rejecting software patents [1, 2]. We’ve come across several more.

A lot of these patents would be rendered invalid by courts (if challenged there). Joost Duijm has in fact just written this article about a European Patent that’s on shaky ground in the domain of medicine; A German court rejected this European Patent, whereas a Dutch court reaches another decision. Only lawyers benefit from this questionable presumption of validity and return to court. To quote:

On 16 January 2019, the District Court of The Hague ruled that the Dutch part of Eli Lilly and Company’s patent EP 1 313 508 is valid. The judgment was handed down in an invalidation action brought by Sandoz International GmbH.

[...]

At the end of the decision, the Dutch Court explicitly refers to the German decision by the Bundespatentgericht (BPG). The Dutch Court says that it is aware of the fact that it comes to a different outcome than the BPG. The Dutch Court suggests that this might be because the Bundespatentgericht based its decision on (partly) different (combined) prior art than the art in the Dutch proceedings, and because the debate at the BPG also seems to have been different on other points.

What will happen to all those software patents if or when they land in court? Florian Müller recently wrote about Blackberry‘s exploitation of highly dubious European Patents on software. Yesterday he carried on by writing: “Today the Seventh Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Dr. Matthias Zigann) held a first hearing in a BlackBerry v. WhatsApp & Facebook case that is part of a set of eight Munich patent infringement actions–over five different patents–against Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram subsidaries. The patent-in-suit discussed today: EP1746790 on a “method of sharing an Instant Messaging history.” It’s undoubtedly a pure software patent, and Judge Dr. Zigann noted, diplomatically, that such patents are “at the margins of the scope of patent-eligible subject matter.” However, the focus of first hearings in Munich is on claim construction and infringement analysis (so the parties can prepare accordingly for the second hearing, which is normally a decisive trial), not on validity.”

“So the EPO has an extensive art collection, yet it can’t be bothered with prior art or with the EPC before granting outrageous patents that cause a lot of damage.”BlackBerry, probably inspired by the likes of Qualcomm, wants a German injunction; so software parent grants are now causing ridiculous embargoes (or attempts at embargoes) over rather basic implementations that are neither novel nor original. Blackberry lacks a real business strategy; as Benjamin Henrion has just put it: “Blackberry vs NTP was the lawsuit that created the “patent troll” term back in 2006, now failed Blackberry is turning into a troll, what a surprise.”

He then mentions Nokia, which Microsoft turned into a troll.

Müller has complained to me that corporate media isn’t covering the case. The EPO certainly wouldn’t want this noticed; watch what it published late on Friday as its weekly “highlight”: it’s this ridiculous fluff: (warning: epo.org link)

The EPO’s art collection comprises some 800 works. Founded in 1980 and dedicated to emerging art, the collection aims to provide a link to society and, at the same time, to enhance the workplace for EPO staff and reflect its multicultural nature.

So the EPO has an extensive art collection, yet it can’t be bothered with prior art or with the EPC before granting outrageous patents that cause a lot of damage.

Nobody But Patent Trolls and Litigators Will Benefit From the Corruption of the European Patent Office

Posted in EFF, Europe, Patents at 11:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They profit from the chaos they are creating, abusing the authority given to them

EPO on a plane

Summary: IAM, EPO leadership, Iancu and the rest of these raiders are enabling corruption and facilitating or supporting a racket; that money they collect comes at the expense of future victims of their “clients” or “customers” (that’s what they call applicants, to whom they grant dubious monopolies as a matter of urgency)

THE DIRECTION the European Patent Office (EPO) has taken since António Campinos inherited Office is no different from Battistelli’s. One Frenchman just inherited another’s task. He inherited a policy that he has no problems with; he has also inherited all the worst elements of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), notably software patents which we will deal with separately in our next post.

“The EFF, as it turns out, belatedly realises Iancu was all along trouble.”About a week ago the management of the EPO made it obvious that it works for overseas patent trolls; European businesses aren’t a priority. As patent maximalists have just put it : “The EPO and the Licensing Executives Society International have signed a memorandum of understanding with the intention of enabling innovators to make better use of the EPO system [...] The president of the EPO, António Campinos, and the president of the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI), François Painchaud, have signed a memorandum of understanding on bilateral cooperation at LESI’s Winter Planning Meeting in Miami.”

“Licensing” just means taxing and those who are doing this represent patent mills rather than innovators. On that same trip there were other revealing activities attributed to Campinos; he also met Andrei Iancu on that visit. Aseet Patel wrote in Watchtroll 2 days ago that “Andrei Iancu has led the charge to improve predictability of patent-eligible subject matter.” Rather the opposite; he promotes granting fake patents that are predictably bunk, reducing the legal certainty associated with US patents.

Over the weekend we’ve surveyed some of the latest software patents to be thrown out by US courts or get wrongly granted by the Office. This gross disparity shows that the USPTO departed from the rule of law (like EPO under Battistelli). The EFF, as it turns out, belatedly realises Iancu was all along trouble.

“The patent trolls’ lobby (IAM) responded to the EFF by speaking for trolls, heckling trolls’ exposers, and generally being strident as usual.”Authored by Joe Mullin under “Patent Trolls” (after had spent nearly a decade covering the subject) was this article (“Entrepreneurs Tell USPTO Director Iancu: Patent Trolls Aren’t Just ‘Monster Stories’”) on which he later expanded: “For 10 years as a journalist, I listened to entrepreneurs, big & small, complain of patent troll extortion. @uspto director Iancu is wrong to deny the harms that PAEs (trolls) cause. Proud to publish this letter from 24 biz owners who wouldn’t stay quiet…”

The EFF said: “The director of the @uspto has said patent trolls are nothing more than “monster stories.” Today, we’re publishing a letter signed by 24 small businesses that makes clear patent trolls are all too real.”

From the corresponding post:

Patent trolls aren’t a myth. They aren’t a bedtime story. Ask a software developer—they’re likely to know someone who has been sued or otherwise threatened by one, if they haven’t been themselves.

Unfortunately, the new director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is in a serious state of denial about patent trolls and the hurt they cause to technologists everywhere. Today a number of small business owners and start-up founders have submitted a letter [PDF] to USPTO Director Andre Iancu telling him that patent trolls remain a real threat to U.S. businesses. Signatories range from mid-sized companies like Foursquare and Life360 to one-person software enterprises like Ken Cooper’s. The letter explains the harm, cost, and stress that patent trolls cause businesses.

Patent trolls aren’t a thing that happens once in a while or an exception to the rule. Over the past two decades, troll litigation has become the rule. There are different ways to measure exactly what a “troll” is, but by one recent measurement, a staggering 85 percent of recently filed patent lawsuits in the tech sector were filed by trolls.

That’s almost 9 out of 10 lawsuits being filed by an entity with no real product or service. Because the Patent Office issues so many low-quality software patents, the vast majority of these suits are brought by entities that played no role in the development of the real-world technology they attack. Instead, trolls use vague and overbroad patents to sue the innovators who create products and services. This is how we end up with patent trolls suing people for running an online contest or making a podcast.

This is unfortunately what also happened at the EPO.

The patent trolls lobby (IAM) responded to the EFF by speaking for trolls, heckling trolls’ exposers, and generally being strident as usual. It wrote a bunch of tweets like this: “The @unifiedpatents report the EFF links to states that 60% of high-tech litigation was instituted by PAEs last year. The EFF chooses to claim that 85% was instituted by Trolls, which is actually the percentage Unified allocated to all NPEs. Maybe @joemullin could explain why.”

IAM is literally funded by patent trolls and also by the EPO’s PR firm. IAM is almost literally an extension of the EPO’s PR department and it’s also lobbying Iancu, who spoke alongside Battistelli at IAM events.

“The EPO’s President and Iancu really don’t seem to get it. They’re consciously aiding trolls.”Josh from CCIA ended up feeding the troll (or the patent trolls’ lobby) [1, 2, 3] by stating: “But a number of individual inventors operate as trolls. (Eg, Landmark Technology, which Unified classes as an NPE – individual inventors and which accounts for a significant chunk of that category all by itself.) [...] And the individual trolls tend to be far more prolific than actual individual inventors when it comes to lawsuits. So, while some portion of that 25% may be the kind of inventors you describe, the clear likelihood is that the majority are trolls. To me, Joe’s piece holds. [...] If an individual inventor doesn’t practice their patent and seeks to enforce it, aren’t they definitionally an NPE?” (they are, by definition)

The EPO’s President and Iancu really don’t seem to get it. They’re consciously aiding trolls. A day ago the EPO wrote (linking to its “SME” nonsense, pretending to exist in the name/interests of the “small guy”): Negotiation is the preferred way to solve potential infringement issues; litigation is regarded as a last resort.”

“Negotiation” is sometimes merely a euphemism for blackmail and extortion, I’ve told them — something that the EPO facilitates with low-quality and incorrect grants for patent trolls. These prey the most (or most effectively) on SMEs that aren’t able to afford a legal fight (day in court), so they end up settling over patents they know to be bogus.

There’s meanwhile this new article by Toby Hopkin and Mark Roberts (J A Kemp) in which they speak of PCT. They say that “granted EP patent may be used to streamline prosecution before other national patent offices of interest,” but what if this European Patent is a fake one? Only blackmailing patent trolls benefit. This goes back to Battistelli with his notorious “Early Certainty” (preliminary decisions before facts are even known). To quote:

In 2014, the EPO launched the Early Certainty initiative to speed up the patent granting process. This initiative has resulted in speedier establishment of search reports and a shorter examination procedure. As can be seen from the chart, the result is that the number of EP patents granted since the launch of the initiative has increased far more quickly than the number of patent applications filed. This is confirmed by our experience, in which a quicker turnaround time has been noticeable, with an increasing number of applications proceeding to grant directly after a response to the search report is filed.

While options exist to slow down prosecution if desired, this increased prosecution speed opens up a new possibility for an international filing strategy. The strategy proposed below shows that a granted EP patent can be secured before the 30/31m deadline for further PCT national phasing, especially where a positive WO-ISA is issued by the EPO.

The granted EP patent may be used to streamline prosecution before other national patent offices of interest, especially if a national patent office is part of a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) agreement. For example, the IP5 PPH covers the five biggest patent offices, namely China, Japan, Korea, the United States and the EPO.

We’ve already written a great deal about the problems associated with “Early Certainty” and PPH. They’re basically rushed ‘judgments’ or leap towards conclusions before facts are even assessed. We’ve already seen how that’s misused for raids and embargoes, including at the EPO. Later it turns out that the underlying EPs are bogus.

02.14.19

Outline/Index of the Alexandre Benalla/Battistelli Scandal

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Alexandre Benallas selfie

Summary: Our writings about the scandals implicating Benalla and the European Patent Office (EPO)

“EPO Lawlessness Again”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

According to Florian Müller, an activist against software patents in Europe and a famous software developer

Mark Kokes
This man is gone, but his toxic legacy lives on

Summary: Blackberry uses bogus European Patents (on software) for lawsuits; “all of them pure software patents. Patents on programs for computers as such,” as Müller puts it

THE European Patent Office (EPO) can never get itself to obey the law. In that regard it is at least consistent and António Campinos is no exception but perpetuation.

“This is the kind of scenario we’ve long warned about (since 2006). Europe is being infiltrated by armies of patent bullies, who nonchalantly leverage software patents.”Referring to software patents by another/any other name, yesterday the EPO wrote: “There has been a very steep rise in the number of European patent applications related to autonomous driving.”

The EPO then uttered or name-dropped 3 buzzwords/hype waves in one tweet; all mean software patents which the EPO’s granting authority is not allowed to grant (4IR, AI, blockchain). To quote: “How do you see the impact of the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution (e.g. #AI, #blockchain, etc.) on the functioning of the patent system?”

We got accustomed to such tweets. There are several likes these (software patents advocacy) every day.

It has meanwhile turned out, based on RPX, that Blackberry leverages ridiculous software patents, granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), against companies like Facebook (we covered this before) and now there’s this new find from Mr. Gross: “New owner of Blackberry patents sues Apple for infringement; USB charging features: https://insight.rpxcorp.com/litigation_documents/13230734 … Complaint identifies licensing deals with LG, Samsung and Huawei, only Apple is holdout!”

Florian Müller has meanwhile just published this post about what BlackBerry does in Europe: “BlackBerry suing Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram subsidiaries over five European software patents in Munich”

As the former director of the European NoSoftwarePatents campaign I always find it shocking what kinds of patents the European Patent Office (EPO) grants despite the exclusion of “programs for computers as such” from the scope of patentable inventions according to Article 52 of the European Patent Convention (EPC).

Post-grant reviews often do away with those patents, but rarely ever on the basis of Art. 52 EPC per se. What typically happens is that the Federal Patent Court of Germany or other courts of competent jurisdiction categorize some claim limitations as “non-technical” and purposely ignore them in their novelty or inventiveness analysis. Whatever little remains then is often anticipated by, or at the very least obvious over, the prior art. But, unfortunately, efficiency gains (reduced data volumes, increased processing speeds, economic use of screen space etc.) often serve as an excuse for circumventing Art. 52 EPC.

Tomorrow the Munich I Regional Court will hold a first hearing in one of eight BlackBerry v. Facebook/WhatsApp/Instagram cases over a total of five different patents–all of them pure software patents. Patents on “programs for computers as such.”

“EPO lawlessness again,” Müller dubbed it in a message to me. “This week I just became aware of a series of software patent lawsuits brought by BlackBerry against Facebook/WhatsApp in Munich (five software patents in total). Those patents are totally ridiculous. No “further technical effect” or anything like that. It’s unbelievable what kind of crap the EPO granted. Interestingly, the patent-in-suit that will be discussed tomorrow was filed in 2005, the year that the EU Parliament rejected the proposed software patents directive… I’ll blog about it because I haven’t been able to find ANY report on those Munich cases (just on the U.S. litigation between BlackBerry and Facebook) on the Internet. Mainstream media…”

This is the kind of scenario we’ve long warned about (since 2006). Europe is being infiltrated by armies of patent bullies, who nonchalantly leverage software patents. IBM even lobbies for these Europe, contrary to Red Hat which opposed such patents and is being bought by IBM.

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