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06.16.19

As European Patent Office Management Covers up Collapse in Patent Quality Don’t Expect UPC to Ever Kick Off

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hiding from the truth

Hiding from the truth

Summary: It would be madness to allow EPO-granted patents to become ‘unitary’ (bypassing sovereignty of nations that actually still value patent quality); it seems clear that rogue EPO management has, in effect, not only doomed UPC ambitions but also European Patents (or their perceived legitimacy, presumption of validity)

THE previous post focused on the EPO‘s promotion of software patents in the whole world, including eastern Asia and the USPTO. António Campinos is just like Battistelli in that regard. Later this weekend we’ll remark on the American status quo (35 U.S.C. § 101 in particular), showing that courts continue to reject software patents, no matter what Iancu says. There’s more stuff to that effect in our daily links.

In Europe, with almost no exception, software patents perish in courts. A great number of European Patents also perish in courtrooms, for a variety of reasons other than patent scope. It seems clear that patent quality has collapsed. Even the Office knows it. It suppresses discussion about this as if censoring truth is a longterm strategy rather than procrastination and exacerbation of the crisis.

For a number of years (almost a decade) the EPO hoped to just change standards of patenting (hijacking the role of legislator, in effect diminishing separation of powers). It didn’t go too well when constitutional complaints were filed, stalling if not altogether killing the UPC. With these inherent structural deficiencies a court system outside national control would be profoundly unconstitutional. Ask Hungary, which deemed that to be the case. Germany may soon follow.

“It seems clear that patent quality has collapsed. Even the Office knows it. It suppresses discussion about this as if censoring truth is a longterm strategy rather than procrastination and exacerbation of the crisis.”We are disappointed but not surprised that Team UPC keeps spreading falsehoods. It wants a Europe (or EU) of litigation, not of science and wellbeing. It’s about money; theirs.

Sniffing around the news at the end of last week we saw establishment of a Greek “Academy” for parasitic elements that sue and harass engineers in Europe. “The above-mentioned Academy,” said the promotional posting, “is established as a service of “OBI”, and will be situated in Athens. The purposes of its establishment, except for the training and certification of “patent attorneys”, include, for example, the development and harmonization of education and training in the field of Greek, European and International industrial property law, the promotion of equal access to educational opportunities in this field, the support of initiatives for the cooperation between “certified patent consultants” (“patent attorneys”) and lawyers specialized in intellectual and industrial property, the cooperation with international organizations, such as the European Patent Office (EPO), as well as with Greek and foreign universities, etc.”

There’s that word again: “harmonization”.

‘Who’s Who Legal’, another publication of law firms, took note of the EPO’s role in parasitic litigation in Ireland (which the law firms profit from). “Current trends in Patent Litigation in Ireland,” according to them:

While Ireland is a common law jurisdiction with fewer cases than most European jurisdictions, there have been a number of recent cases that provide useful guidance on a number of interesting aspects of Irish patent law, in particular, preliminary injunctions, stays pending EPO proceedings and discovery.

[...]

As mentioned previously, patent litigation in Ireland is often one piece of a much broader pan-European litigation strategy. In such circumstances, it is common for related proceedings to be ongoing before the European Patent Office (EPO) in addition to other national courts.

In July 2018, the Irish High Court stayed the hearing of patent revocation proceedings between Eli Lilly and Eisai pending the determination of EPO opposition proceedings concerning the patent the subject matter of the proceedings. However, contrary to previous case law on the subject, the Court did not stay the proceedings in their entirety and instead allowed the parties to proceed with the exchange of pleadings and trial preparations, only the hearing would be stayed. In other words, the parties would go to the effort and expense to prepare the case for trial but the trial itself would not proceed during the stay.

This decision is noteworthy as, in effect, the public interest in bringing the matter on for trial was not considered to outweigh the potential wasted costs if the patent was revoked centrally at the EPO. The court acknowledged the risk of wasted costs in circumstances where the matter may be resolved before the EPO. The court also noted that a strong public interest existed in ensuring that the risk of any delay in supplying a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease should be minimised. Earlier case law was distinguished on the basis that it did not concern potentially ground-breaking treatment. These considerations were found to significantly outweigh the plaintiff’s concerns as to costs in preparing for a trial that may not proceed.

As readers may recall, Ireland was about to have a referendum question about UPC/UPCA ratification, but that never happened. It may be eternally ‘postponed’. What’s noteworthy above is the Irish High Court’s position on public interest. They ‘get’ it. So does the English/British High/Supreme Court (it’s called the UK High Court, the equivalent of SCOTUS in the US), which keeps throwing out European Patents on algorithms.

Has patent quality in Europe already hit rock bottom, just like in the US? Are patents to be presumed invalid? How about this case summary from 3 days ago?

Although at first instance the patent was found to lack inventive step without using the problem-and-solution approach, the use of the PSA by the Court of Appeal did not make a difference to the outcome in the present case.

We are seeing more and more such outcomes. Patents that the EPO insisted deserved a patent turn out to be rubbish.

This is clearly a problem for Team UPC. What good are patents one cannot successfully enforce in courts? So they obviously try to just bypass these courts, replacing them with plaintiff-friendly kangaroo courts.

Here comes Asma Abbarova, author/deputy research editor at the patent trolls’ lobby, IAM. We took note of nonsense like this earlier this month. Here they go again. To quote:

The saga of the Unitary Patent System and Unified Patent Court’s implementation – and the effect of Brexit on this – has created uncertainty for practitioners across Europe. This has had an impact on the advice they provide to their clients and the way in which they staff, train and resource their litigation departments.

Who cares about these so-called ‘practitioners’, who practice nothing but threats and litigations? Moreover, there’s no “uncertainty” per se; it’s looking pretty certain that the UPC isn’t happening. As Mr. Henrion put it the other day: “The debate around “Intellectual Property” yesterday ended by “Prozac for everybody!”. If the UPC goes through, I need to order some more #depression #patents …”

Henrion was apparently influenced by tweets like this (in French): “Pour le brevet unitaire on va dire qu’ils prennent leur temps. (Par contre si brevet unitaire il y avait, ça risquerait de foutre aux orties la JP française sur la question du brevet logiciel, et la JP OEB pèserait plus.)”

“When French courts rejects [sic] software patents,” he said, “the patent industry route around it and get them back with the Unitary Patent Court: “les brevets délivrés par l’OEB ne seront plus jugés dans chaque pays, mais par la juridiction unifiée du brevet” https://www.village-justice.com/articles/Brevet-logiciel-France-justice,20334.html …”

They’re unlikely to succeed however; they’ve tried for many years and failed. Over the past half decade they kept saying this was just around the corner; where are we now? Here’s a new take that shows RWS is totally delusional and is spreading, probably deliberately, fake news:

Addressing the long-awaited and controversial Unitary Patent, RWS said that “we now anticipate that the proposed European Union Patent (“the Unitary Patent”) will come into effect in Q2 2020 at the earliest.”

When it does hit, patent applicants will be able to choose whether to use the current system or adopt the new Unitary Patent, RWS said, since both systems will run in parallel.

What are these estimates based on? Also, have they not paid attention to the fact that many barriers exist? Apparently not. Facts just don’t seem to matter.

06.15.19

António Campinos — Unlike His Father — Engages in Imperialism (Using Invalid Patents)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: The EPO is a Threat to Software Developers Everywhere, Not Just in Europe

Corruption at the EPO is a Threat Not Only to Europe But to Every Continent in the World

EPO on CII

Summary: Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same

THE European Patent Office (EPO) under the leadership of António Campinos is arguably far more dangerous than the USPTO with Iancu. Why? Because Iancu can still be sued and he is being challenged, unlike Campinos. The US doesn’t play fast and loose with institutional immunity, at least not at the patent office.

The US, on the patent quality front, has 35 U.S.C. § 101. Many patents fall at the altar; if not at the Office/PTAB, then in courts. The EPO, contrariwise, is ignoring the law and intimidating judges (not national ones but the ones it has access to). We’ve been writing about this since 2014, i.e. for half a decade. It’s not a new issue.

A growing problem that we mentioned several times last month is that the EPO seeks to influence (or lobby) other nations/entire continents to adopt its dubious practices; EPO management says it bluntly (see links and image at the top, right from the horse’s own mouth).

“A growing problem that we mentioned several times last month is that the EPO seeks to influence (or lobby) other nations/entire continents to adopt its dubious practices…”Just before the weekend Ben Wodecki (IPPro Magazine) wrote that “IP5 agree to launch AI and emerging tech task force” (similar to the EPO’s headline, which we’ll come to in a moment). To quote: “Present at the meeting was KIPO commissioner Park Wonjoo, who chaired proceedings; EPO president António Campinos; JPO commissioner Naoko Munakata; CNIPA commissioner Shen Changyu; and USPTO director and under secretary of commerce for IP Andrei Iancu. [...] The next IP5 heads of office meeting will be hosted by the CNIPA in 2020.”

Really? CNIPA? With its notoriously low patent quality? What on Earth is going on? Watch who’s taking over patent offices (the leadership positions in particular). It’s like “vendor capture”. Wodecki wrote what he did after the EPO had published this (warning: epo.org link) about the meeting in Incheon (headline was “World’s five largest patent offices agree on joint task force for emerging technologies and AI”). There was also this tweet about it (with a photo): “World’s five largest patent offices ( #CNIPA @kipoworld @JPO_JPN & @uspto ) agree on joint task force for emerging technologies and AI…”

Yes, CNIPA. The National Intellectual Property Administration in China, probably the only office where software patents are still allowed.

The EPO was ‘beaten to it’ by Korean media, as we noted the other day. What’s common is the “AI” hype. The EPO is lying to the public using buzzwords such as these; it’s hoping to promote abstract patents on algorithms, pushing software patents in Europe and elsewhere under the guise of “AI”. So do the maximalists at the UN/WIPO; they’re just striving to make up as many patents as possible, irrespective of any economic or scientific basis (patents for the sake of making their job seem relevant). In the EPO’s own words (repeating the term “harmonisation” thrice in one paragraph): “Meanwhile, the heads of office endorsed the final results of work on the three sub-projects in the area of patent practice harmonisation – unity of invention, citation of prior art and written description/sufficiency of disclosure – which aim to alleviate the burden on applicants and increase work efficiency. They acknowledged that the tangible outcomes of IP5 patent practice harmonisation have brought substantial benefits to users. They also recognised the need to select new harmonisation topics, which are in line with the IP5 vision, to be discussed in the future.”

The term “harmonisation” was thrown about quite a lot when Campinos and Battistelli pushed for the UPC, formerly “community” and “EU” patent. Words like “harmonisation” and “unity” (or “unified” or even “unitary”) are hard to antagonise because they sound so soothing. We’ll say more about the UPC in our next post. And speaking of “harmonisation”, the incestuous relationship between EPO and EUIPO seems to have deepened even further (‘fixing’ job appointments, based on nepotism and favours). Archambeau now heads the EUIPO (after his EPO career) and the EUIPO’s chief became the EPO’s. Just before the weekend the EPO published (warning: epo.org link) another piece of the puzzle. There was a Friday tweet about it (one of many like it) which said: “The likelihood of experiencing a high-growth period is 9% higher for SMEs that have filed for at least one #patent. More key findings about the IPR profile of high-potential SMEs in Europe here: http://bit.ly/HGFfull cc @EU_IPO #IPforSMEs pic.twitter.com/en4nAa4nSn”

This is what their latest “news” says:

The new MoU, which was signed by the EPO President and the EUIPO’s Executive Director, Christian Archambeau and follows an earlier one from May 2011, provides an extensive and flexible framework to foster even closer collaboration between the EPO and EUIPO. It aims to increase the consistency of activities involving both offices and their users in existing networks, and successfully support the transformations envisaged in the EPO and EUIPO strategic plans, likely to be adopted in the coming months.

Under the MoU the two offices will share information and align their European and international co-operation projects, especially in light of the complementarity of their activities (EPO responsible for patents, EUIPO for trade marks and designs); they will work to provide joint high-quality IP training activities, and raise awareness of the IP system, supporting business’ use of IP in the development of their innovation strategies, and informing policymakers of the socio-economic impact of IP in Europe.

The MoU will be accompanied by annual work plans detailing the joint projects to be carried out over the year.

The EPO can keep insisting that EU law and authorities mean nothing to it (because it predates them), but it’s pretty clear that the connection gets stronger over time. Yet the EPO continues to ignore or defy EU directives, granting loads of software patents in gross violation of these directives. This includes patents on life.

Days ago it carried on retweeting Qualcomm and writing its own promotional tweets about likely fake, bunk, invalid, bogus patents on algorithms (any mathematics patent would be thrown out by courts). The EPO wants to give actual awards for these. Another example involves algorithms dressed up as “AI”; this one too the EPO offers to reward (with special honours), as it did by retweeting the company and then adding: “Driving is safer than ever thanks to Amnon Shashua & his team at @Mobileye whose invention uses a single-lens camera & cutting-edge AI to spot & avoid traffic hazards in real time.”

“AI” just means navigation by computer code; these things are not patentable, but the EPO just doesn’t care. Just keep saying “HEY HI!”(AI) and it will sound novel.

António Campinos Takes EPO Waste and Corruption to Unprecedented Levels and Scale

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Months ago: Battistelli Trashed 223 Millions (of Stakeholders’ Euros) on a System That Destroyed the European Patent Office and Made Few Private Corporations a Lot Richer

A month ago: Did Battistelli ‘Steal’ ~$100,000,000 Euros From the EPO?

Summary: The “B” word (billions) is thrown around at Europe’s second-largest institution because a mischievous former EUIPO chief (not Archambeau) is ‘partying’ with about half of the EPO’s all-time savings, which are supposed to be reserved for pensions and other vital programmes, not presidential palaces and gambling

“Urgent needs”, really?

So says an insider from the European Patent Office (EPO), who is concerned about what happens at his/her employer. These concerns are certainly shared by the vast majority of EPO staff, but how much of the media actually covers these scandals? Almost none. Only a few blogs do.

The recent financial study, according to this insider, says: “we have no money and we must cut staff pensions and social benefits to be safe”.

“Is Mr. Campinos requesting a billion EUR of applicants’ money for other luxury projects such as the ISAR top-floor suite? Or is it for other (unclear) purposes?”
      –Anonymous insider
“At the very same time,” the insider notes, “Mr. Campinos asks for one BILLION for utterly unclear buildings projects!

“At EPO no one is aware of any “urgent needs” to spend so much applicants’ money and as you may imagine, surely to enhance transparency (the very transparency Mr Campinos trumpet in each of his story-telling piece – the staff representatives were once more not consulted upon this folly.

“Is Mr. Campinos requesting a billion EUR of applicants’ money for other luxury projects such as the ISAR top-floor suite? Or is it for other (unclear) purposes? CUI BONO?”

The financial report he 'orders' from Mercer is considered to be a "hoax" (by the staff representatives) and someone has sent us 41 more photos from the ‘deck’ of António Campinos; we presume that our criticism of this gross misuse of EPO funds, presumably masked behind a Dutch (unrelated) project, makes it Fair Use (as per the doctrine). The designer tried hard to hide these and even took down the photos from his site; he had done that before media republished these, proving the Streisand Effect. Let’s amplify that effect a little (below).

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06.13.19

The EPO is a Patent Troll’s Wet Dream

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A scary look

Summary: The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it

THE concept of “patent trolls” has long been understood and realised in Europe; rarely did these parasites fulfill their wishes, but I spoke to some people who were victims of trolls, even here in Europe; truly disturbing stories (sleepless nights, fear of being assassinated etc.) because trolls are dodgy to say the least; they’re often just charlatans, frauds and thugs, greedy opportunists looking for a buck until they get caught (sometimes arrested) or stripped of their so-called ‘assets’ (which they sometimes lie about).

The European Patent Office (EPO) has been eerily close to front groups of trolls — sites and fronts that are literally funded by the trolls. António Campinos has been doing so even more than Battistelli; he not only promotes software patents in Europe but routinely meets with trolls who leverage these for blackmail. Campinos never fooled me; look no further than what he had done to EUIPO before he left it. The man is a disgrace and he comes from a disgraced Portuguese bank. My friends from Portugal are always amused when I name this bank. Battistelli came from ENA and Campinos, who studied in France, made his career in a rogue bank. So this French duo is a perfect companion for the charlatans, frauds and thugs patent trolls tend to be (they have threatened me too).

“So this French duo is a perfect companion for the charlatans, fraud and thugs patent trolls tend to be (they have threatened me too).”There are of course also law firms that are particularly close to trolls; they view the trolls as clients, they habitually represent them in courts. There’s a great degree of overlap between them and Team UPC, which lobbied for a fast lane/track for trolls. Any unitary ‘patents’ would be more economic not for SMEs but for enforcers such as trolls, to whom concept such as “scope of operation” does not apply; it’s inapplicable because they make nothing at all and merely sue those who do, as often and as widely as possible. Matteo Pes, a patent attorney, has just admitted: “Personally I’m battled. On one side, I would welcome courts with judges specialized in IP and expedite proceedings. On the other side, the UPC seems a top-down reform, expensive, that could easily put SMEs out of the games. And I like SMEs…”

Notice that he responded to Team UPC with their usual lies (which we won’t reproduce here). A truly nasty and malicious firm, Bardehle Pagenberg, a firm which lobbies for illegal software patents, has also just published shameless self-promotion titled “European Patent Opposition Proceedings”; they probably find that their troll ‘clients’ don’t get too easy a time in tribunals/courts.

What chance does the UPC stand anyway? Leaping past the stage of justice and onto kangaroo courts? Judging by how things are going, there are far too many barriers to it. Among them: Hungary, Germany, the UK and even Czechia. We’ve lost count, but Benjamin Henrion (FFII) has just highlighted this article titled “Ratification of UPC Agreement in Czechia postponed. Forever?”

To quote:

Last year the Czech Industrial Property Office and the Ministry of Industry and Trade commissioned a study on the overall impacts of the patent package on the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic signed the UPC Agreement but has not ratified it yet.

The study was carried out by PWC. Its conclusions include clear recommendation not to hurry with ratification but rather to wait for the system to be implemented in countries that have already ratified the package, and for their experience with its functioning.

The study quotes among the main reasons for postponement the legal and constitutional hurdles and the likely negative economic impact on Czech SMEs. While SMEs play a major role in the Czech economy they hardly apply for any patents. According to the study less than 0,1% of all European patent applications was filed by Czech companies. For instance, in 2016 the total number of patent applications filed by CZ companies with EPO amounts to 185, most of these applications originate from large enterprises such as Skoda Auto or Zentiva. The study concludes that if patent package is ratified the Czech SMEs would be passive recipients of the new system not its active players. Though the total numbers of European patents validated in the Czech Republic is rapidly growing (in 2016 almost six thousand EPs were validated in Czechia), this amount corresponds to only 6,5% of all European patents. Things could however drastically change for SMEs if patent package comes into force and it is ratified by Czech Parliament. Suddenly not merely thousands but dozens of thousands of unitary patents are likely to flood the Czech economy. This would significantly increase the SMEs costs for freedom to operate clearance searches and obviously the likelihood of patent infringement disputes against Czech SMEs as well. The study points out that Czech SMEs may lack necessary financial resources for clearance searches and for their effective defence in patent litigation at UPC should they be sued for patent infringement.

The differences in terms of litigations costs between the current system in Czechia and proposed UPC system would be immense and could lead to liquidation of many Czech SMEs who could not afford to defend themselves at UPC even if the patent claims raised against them would be unsubstantiated.

The EPO is so desperate for the UPC that it tries to pretend that it listens to the public (it is not) and it spends a fortune on some stupid ‘festival’ in which it associates itself with scientists (there’s another one coming soon). Days ago the EPO also published this belated English translation (warning: epo.org link) of an article that says or speaks of “Moon talk, astronauts and inventions at the Deutsches Museum.” The EPO’s obsession with space and with greenwashing is part of the PR strategy. They want to make it seem as though corrupt people are actually science champions for humanity. Today’s increasingly corrupt EPO management is deeply pathetic, but it is still trying to associate itself with science and scientists while mostly hiring lawyers (in-house lawyers too) to attack scientists/staff while weaponising patent trolls. No doubt the trolls are loving all this; they foresee the future of mass litigation, which is already reported as a present issue by those who put together the numbers. Litigation in Germany is soaring and trolls count for the sharp rise.

Days ago we took note of the exceedingly promotional press release from Americorp Investments (e.g. “Americorp’s newest patent allows for creation of customized wagers”, “Americorp Investments And Arrow Gaming Expand Gaming Portfolios” and “Americorp Investments awarded additional US gaming patent”). These suggest it has no plans other than becoming a patent troll with bogus software patents, even at EPO member states (the EPO is explicitly mentioned in all those). Americorp Investments shows all the classic hallmarks of a patent troll preparing for a shakedown campaign (behind the scenes if possible), using a string of utterly ridiculous press releases. To quote one portion:

Americorp Investments, a company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing innovative technologies for the gaming industry, announced Tuesday that it has been awarded an additional patent by the United States Patent Office. This patent is the 25th U.S. patent for gaming granted to Americorp or its affiliate Arrow Gaming. Americorp and Arrow also hold six gaming patents issued in Japan and the Philippines and have 37 gaming and related blockchain technology patents pending in the EPO and PCT countries and jurisdictions worldwide.

More of these patents are being granted — patents that must be rejected as bunk and void. Stop patenting maths! This troll is going after companies, demanding money for patents that would cost money to challenge. We’ve covered such stories before, namely game makers that are blackmailed by the likes of Americorp. This time it matters to us even more because of the explicitly-stated role of the EPO.

EPO Spreading Patent Extremists’ Ideology to the Whole World, Now to South Korea

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In the EPO’s very own words:

EPO on CII

Summary: The EPO’s footprint around the world's patent systems is an exceptionally dangerous one; The EPO amplifies the most zealous voices of the patents and litigation ‘industry’ while totally ignoring the views and interests of the European public, rendering the EPO an ‘agent of corporate occupation’

THE European Patent Office (EPO) said it would change. It said that António Campinos would correct the negative legacy of corrupt Battistelli, who not only phased in software patents under the guise of “4IR” and similar nonsense (buzzwords like ‘Industry 4.0’) but also severely attacked the staff, causing major brain drain. The EPO may never recover from it as recruitment relies on reputation, which can take decades (or entire generations) to earn/recover.

“Henrion (the FFII’s President) is one of not so many who are actively engaging on behalf of the software community.”Benjamin Henrion (FFII), a concerned software developer like yours truly, wanted to submit feedback for the EPO’s vision. He had done so before and so did I (I wrote some letters more than a decade ago). Days ago he complained [1, 2, 3]: “EPO 2023: “and in line with our terms of use.” was added between the first and last round of consultations https://www.epo.org/about-us/office/consultation.html#tab3 […] They moved the link to here: https://www.epo.org/about-us/office/consultation.html#tab3 […] Seems the EPO removed the contributions to the EPO 2023 ‘public’ consultation from its website #epo @EPOorg cannot find back the link. They need to be “transmitted” to the administrative council for “adoption” somewhere in June https://www.epo.org/about-us/office/strategy.html#tab3 … http://patentblog.kluweriplaw.com/2019/04/20/epo-publishes-draft-strategic-plan-2023-and-holds-a-new-consultation/ …”

Henrion (the FFII’s President) is one of not so many who are actively engaging on behalf of the software community. As we showed last month, the EPO made it difficult for non-lawyers/attorneys to even submit any feedback. As Henrion put it: “EPO “users” are patent applicants, fully captured institution “Membership should not be limited to stakeholders defined as “users” of the system stricto sensu, but reflect the broader impact and interest of society in the patent system as a whole” http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponot.nsf/0/8C1A0ABD4D38E2CEC12583D600407D56/$File/No_Patents_on_Seeds_10052019_en.pdf [] EPO a totally captured institution: “While the stakeholders participating at the AC meetings such as BUSINESS-EUROPE,EPI are heavily weighted in favour of vested interests in obtaining patents, other civil society organisations are not represented at all” http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponot.nsf/0/8C1A0ABD4D38E2CEC12583D600407D56/$File/No_Patents_on_Seeds_10052019_en.pdf …”

So they just basically don’t care what the European public has to say; they care about what some law firms and foreign corporations say. Whose institution is it and who is it actually accountable/answerable to?

See this other new tweet: “Considering that EPO is financed by fees for patents issued it is in their motivation to grant as many patents as possible.”

This has completely and entirely corrupted the EPO. It’s all about money; not science, not Europe, not innovation.

Ben Wodecki has also just published this article which relates to what’s quoted above. Anyone with high school education surely understands that humans did not ‘invent’ nature or ‘create’ seeds. This is robbery aided by corrupt EPO officials (‘pirating’ from nature or stealing from the Commons, privatising or monopolising what always existed). To quote Wodecki:

No Patents on Seeds has demanded that loopholes allowing companies to obtain European patents on conventionally bred plants and animals need to be closed.
The group warned that patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) that cover fish reared on specific plants could “become a precedent for many other patent applications”.

Patents covering conventionally bred plants and animals are prohibited by rule 28(2) for the interpretation of the European Patent Convention (EPC). However, the European Patent Office has come under fire for granting patents on what some claim are conventionally bred patents on plants and animals.

The group has called on current prohibitions like rule 28(2) of the EPC to be implemented more effectively.

[...]

“If this strategy is successful, companies will in future claim more and more such food monopolies.”

The EPO’s management seems blind (perhaps intentionally) to common sense. It asked already-intimidated judges to weigh in; as if they can tell the emperor (to his face) that he’s naked…

Stupid buzzwords that this corrupt EPO has spread and paid to promote (we’ve already covered how it paid media companies for this) are still being picked by Korean media. The EPO even bragged about it some 12-13 months ago; after it had paid the media it spoke about how media in South Korea used those same terms — terms that are used to enable/legitimise bogus patents that courts would certainly reject, e.g. software patents. Here’s the latest from The Korea Herald (headline modified from “Top global IP offices discuss cooperation in ‘Industry 4.0’ era” to “Top IP offices forge patent cooperation system in ‘Industry 4.0’ era” some time around Thursday morning, based on timestamps).

Notice ‘Industry 4.0’ in the title/headline; we don’t want to repeat all the lies and nonsense here; reproducing it won’t help. “Under KIPO’s chairmanship,” says the summary, “top IP policymakers seek ways to strengthen partnerships, discuss impact of AI” (here they go again with “HEY HI!” — a subject we’ll touch later on in another article). There’s also a Campinos photo op in there (further down the article) and it says:

On Tuesday, he met with EPO President Campinos to sign a memorandum of understanding to test a sharing process of screening information.

Currently, KIPO and EPO have access to each other’s patent screening data but the range is limited to patents that are past 18 months from application and are thus subject to public disclosure. Should the MOU take effect, starting July 1, the two offices will be able to access to undisclosed patent data for screening reference.

Well, the good news is, Mr. Campinos managed to board the plane to Korea. Maybe they had to reroute him to the south; he thought he was flying to a dictatorship like his; we’ve already used the North Korea analogies (comparisons to the EPO) about a dozen times before. These are still apt analogies.

06.12.19

Leaked Financial ‘Study’ Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Purveyors of ‘fake news’ inside what’s supposed to be a scientific institution

How One Family’s Deep Pockets Helped Reshape Donald Trump’s Campaign

Summary: How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn’t easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of “benefit of the doubt” the President thus far enjoyed

THE EPO has been under a (soon) decade-long attack from Campinos and Battistelli, who not only integrated European software patents into their agenda (in defiance of courts and Parliament) but have also attacked the staff and misused EPO money (Campinos might soon give a lot of EPO money to Third Reich goons).

“SUEPO has been too patient with Campinos (strike postponed) in spite of him repeatedly showing that nothing will change, except for the worse.”As we recently mentioned here on several occasions, there’s a fake 'crisis' being manufactured/claimed (not the real crisis) to push so-called ‘solutions’. “The delicious propaganda by EPO top managers to middle managers,” a source tells us, can be seen in this Manager Toolkit (English) [PDF].

As it turns out, there’s already a response to it. “The aim is here disseminate false information and make the deteriorations — sorry, the “reforms” to soon come — more acceptable to joe-average EPO staff although these are new unjustified thus unfair cuts,” the source adds. Here is the position of the Central Staff Committee (CSC) on the same financial study.

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich, 07.06.2019
sc19081cp – 0.2.1/1.3.2

The Financial Study: Yet Another Hoax (part 4)

At the EPO financial studies tend to be a pretext for cuts in staff benefits. The
latest study by Mercer and Wyman is no exception. Our previous publications showed that the study deliberately underestimates expected income from fees as well as the return on cash reserves, and overestimates staff costs. The present publication lists these misrepresentations and adds some more.

Recapitulation

The 2019 EPO Financial Study by Mercer and Oliver Wyman assumes1 that:

- between 2018 and 2038 the EPO will not raise its procedural and renewal fees except once, by 4%, in 2020. For the remaining period the fees are assumed to remain constant (page 115). A correction for inflation is not foreseen.

- between 2018 and 2038 the national renewal fees on patents granted by the Office will remain constant (page 116). A correction for inflation is not foreseen.

in sharp contrast during the same period EPO salaries are assumed to increase at a rate of 2.24% above inflation (page 119).

- without providing any underlying data, the study assumes that the costs of pensions and other post-employment benefits (incl. tax compensation) will almost triple over the next 20 years (pages 66-67, page 123).

- The study foresees no further transfer of operational surpluses to the RFPSS, although with a 4.8% return above inflation over the last 20 years (6.3% over the last 5 years) the money would be well placed (RFPSS/SB 41/19, page 2, Fig. 3).

the study assumes that operational surpluses will not be transferred to the EPOTIF either (page 63). The EPOTIF was recently created with the very purpose of shielding EPO capital from inflation and is expected to deliver a return of 4% above inflation (CA/F 10/18 para.10).

- instead expected operational surpluses are assumed to be parked as “other financial assets” with an average annual return of between – 0.03% and 0.78%, i.e. well below the level of inflation2.

- as indicated above, over the last 20 years the RFPSS had a real return of 4.8%. The actuaries who evaluate the RFPSS assume a long-term return of 3.5%. The Financial Study assumes a return above inflation of only 2.1% (FAQs). This transforms today’s 104% coverage (CA/61/17 point 79) into a 2 billion euro gap in 2038.

This is a long list of extremely unlikely assumptions. There may be more, e.g. in the assumptions for the patent processes which we have not checked in detail. We also have doubts about the assumed 2 years increase in longevity (page 122) and the constant 53.87% non-examining staff “as percentage of job groups 1-4” (page 112). At present examiners make up about 64% of our total staff.

___
1 Unless otherwise indicated, the page numbers in the list refer to the Financial Study.
2 Financial Study pages 120 and 122; the return is not explicitly mentioned but can be calculated from the data in the tables.


What about an effort by the Office?

The EPO’s financial situation is excellent – maybe even too good3 – and this despite the recent high costs of the “New Main” building in The Hague and significant losses in IT.
The Financial Study nevertheless wants us to believe that the EPO faces a significant financial gap and that now is the time to do something about it by cutting costs, staff costs. But what about other costs? Is Mercer pointing at possible savings elsewhere? Are the Member States contributing to the effort? Is Mr Campinos leading by example – even if only symbolically? It doesn’t seem so.

The Mercer study assumes 600 million euro in building costs. The real sum may be as much as 1.14 billion euro (CA/43/19, Figure on page 32). Some building maintenance is indeed necessary. But part of the money is for one of Mr Campinos’ pet projects: creating glass-walled offices. Mercer does not comment on these costs.

Mr Campinos strategy document points to another – potentially significant – sink for EPO money: cooperation with the Member States4. The most recent figure that we have seen for cooperation costs is about 25 million euros per year (CA/19/15). Mr Campinos now proposes to “maximize the impact of cooperation” with a new model that will be “all-inclusive and equally open to all member states”. The Council delegates as heads of the national patent offices are all potential beneficiaries of these cooperation activities. For the President the cooperation budget is an efficient tool to reward member states that support him in the Council and punish those that don’t. So we expect the cooperation budget to increase considerably despite the allegedly bad financial situation of the Office.

Finally there is the annual Inventor of the Year event. The sums concerned are relatively modest by EPO standards – a few million euro at most. But is promoting one inventor over the other (with a possible impact on the value of the invention) compatible with the EPO remaining neutral in the exercise of its functions? And is it (to use Mr Campinos’ words) “handling significant amounts of taxpayer’s money with due diligence, due process and careful legal assessment”? We do not think so.

Conclusion

The 2019 Financial Study is a very plump attempt to justify a further reduction of staff benefits while the Office continues its spending. Staff is not fooled.

The Central Staff Committee

____
3 Art. 40(1) EPC stipulates that the EPO’s budget should be balanced. We question whether with an operating surplus of about 20% the EPO budget qualifies as « balanced ».
4 Read: cooperation with the national patent offices (NPOs).

“Make your own opinion,” the reader concludes, “who do you think lies here?”

Mercer (sponsor of sites like Breitbart) and professional liars like Campinos, who only a couple of years ago attacked staff at the EUIPO in the name of ‘cost savings’…

SUEPO has been too patient with Campinos (strike postponed) in spite of him repeatedly showing that nothing will change, except for the worse.

06.11.19

Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Weeks ago: The Quality of Patents is Connected to the Quality of Life of Patent Examiners

Apple and scale

Summary: Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today’s joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics

WE LIVE in volatile times when law sort of matters ‘in principle’ but not in practice. Sometimes one needs to waste an extraordinary amount of money and spend years in several different courts for ‘justice’ (bar waste of time and money) to ‘prevail’. This extends across from staff affairs to quality of their work or patent quality. European Patent Office (EPO) Presidents Campinos and Battistelli promote software patents in Europe, which are very clearly not valid, no matter if you call them “CII” or “Hey Hi!” (AI) or whatever…

We also live in volatile times when the press as a whole is in decline and journalism hardly exists; ‘news’ about patents is directly or indirectly composed by patent law firms and as of SundayIP Kat team is sad to say farewell to GuestKat Rosie Burbidge, who is leaving the blog after 2.5 years.”

Less quality left there; she was one of their more decent writers. More patent trolls’ lobbyists like Bristows will take advantage of this vacuum, as they already have (some UPC propaganda was published there as recently as last week). Here is what IP Kat wrote, repeating what Burbidge had said in her last post (last week):

The IPKat team is sad to say farewell to GuestKat Rosie Burbidge, who is leaving the blog after 2.5 years. An expert in trade marks, designs and everything fashion, Rosie is now a partner at Gunnercooke and the author of European Fashion Law (EdwardElgar:2019). We wish her all the best for her future endeavours, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with her in some other capacity. Thanks Rosie!

Thanks, Rosie. Indeed. We’re no foes of IP Kat, but the blog took a turn for the worse over the years — to the point where instead of exposing Battistelli corruption it went to him (for handshakes and photo ops). It’s embarrassing. From soliciting information from EPO insiders to mass-deleting all comments about Campinos!

Each month that passes we feel more ‘lonely’; it feels like nobody other than us is eager to cover EPO abuses. What happened to courage and integrity? Have all media companies become just PR/marketing companies? Is that their last remaining business model?

Here is the EPO, again (as in every day this past month), offering ‘bribes’ to scholars if and only if they serve the toxic agenda of corrupt EPO management (we wrote about it as recently as this year and before that as well). The EPO does this not only to academia but also to the media. It helps keep the media on their side. Even silence alone would serve the agenda of lowering patent quality and abusing EPO staff.

The same day the EPO also wrote: “It’s not mandatory to appoint a professional representative when applying for a European patent, but it may be helpful.”

Leaked correspondence from inside the EPO (yes, we’ve published it) debunks this advice from the EPO, which discriminates against applications/applicants who don’t hire from the patent microcosm.

It is meanwhile made more apparent that the EPO’s advocacy of software patents spreads to the media, maybe even for a fee. New Electronics now glorifies a source of great nuisance to software developers with fake patents on maths (these are not valid patents, but it’s the EPO's fault, which offers special rewards for those). Watch what the most vocal promoters of algorithm patents keep tweeting this week; they cite EPO cases as caselaw, even though actual courts (not the EPO’s) reject software patents in Europe. Based on another new piece, EPO judges already grapple with patent quality questions, but as is widely known (to everybody) they have no autonomy/independence; they’re bullied by patent maximalists at the Office. So we’re left to rely on judges outside the EPO.

European Patents are losing their prestige very fast; too many bad ones are granted and even patent maximalists now admit that courts aren’t tolerating them. Here’s a new example from this week:

Patents afford great protection for inventions, but have high threshold in order to ensure that few patents that disclose nothing new are issued. AS one can imagine from common sense, anything that is patented needs to not be obvious, as this would allow for the protection of something that lacks sufficient invention to merit protection. After all, if it is obvious, how can you claim you’ve invented or found it? Even with this is mind, what makes a patent ‘obvious’? In a long awaited decision by the UK Supreme Court, the matter was (finally) put to bed, at least in the UK.

The case of Actavis Group PTC EHF v ICOS Corporation concerned a dosage patent owned by ICOS (EP1173181), which related to the use of tadalafil (more commonly known as Cialis) in a dosage form for the treatment of sexual dysfunction. The patent was exclusively licenced to Eli Lilly. Actavis initiated proceedings to revoke the patent, arguing that it was obvious (among other points), with the matter ultimately ending up with the Supreme Court.

The UK Supreme Court squashed quite a few European Patents lately; this won’t be good for the EPO, whose own figures show that it is aware of the problem (but won’t talk about it in public).

Granting More Fundamentally Wrong Patents Will Mean Reduced Certainty, Not Increased Certainty

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 12:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The rush to promote software patents completely overlooks the fact that courts keep rejecting them

Coons bribed

Summary: Law firms that are accustomed to making money from low-quality and abstract patents try to overcome barriers by bribing politicians; this will backfire because they show sheer disregard for the patent system’s integrity and merely lower the legal certainty associated with granted (by greedy offices) patents

Funded by patent litigation firms, the glorified bill which patent maximalists promoted last week is already a thing of the past. Just like last year and the year prior to that. It’s like an annual ritual and this time it’s marketed as “bipartisan” because there are two (a couple) politicians from ‘opposing’ corporate parties behind it; they’re not from oppositing sectors/interests, just a different letter on their lapel (the D/R duopoly). They’re buying laws (but will fail, yet again, as before) by stacking panels and putting together a show.

“They’re buying laws (but will fail, yet again, as before) by stacking panels and putting together a show.”Judging by reactions in patent maximalists’ blogs, we can more or less tell that expectations are low. They give it a shot, but even they realise that those Senate hearings were stacked. In “Two Observations on Last Week’s Senate Hearings on Patent Eligibility Reform” Gene Quinn (Watchtroll) has just said that the status quo is a “disaster”. He’s right. A disaster to patent trolls and parasitic law firms like his…

What they cannot deny, however, is that firms that actually produce things like the status quo a lot better and fully support AIA.

Senate members (other than Coons and his sidekick) can just look who’s promoting the Coons coup (bill): literally the lobby groups of patent trolls and the politicians funded by their law firms. It’s a form of corruption or bribery, but they prefer calling that “campaign contributions”. Of course Michael Rosen of the American Enterprise Institute (a front group for extremists like Trump and platform for patent trolls) has just backed this Coons coup — a coup against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and 35 U.S.C. § 101. Seeing that inter partes reviews (IPRs) invalidate a lot of software parents, they just had to say something. Rosen had done this for years, typically citing the Koch ‘scholars’. Bought, paid-for bills won’t go very far. Who took the bill (invoice)? Follow the money of Coons. He has just hit the lobbyists’ media and tweets that cite Coons are patent maximalists’. He’s also boosted and amplified by patent trolls’ front groups such as IAM (e.g. here and here). Not a single productive company is supporting this. As the CCIA put it in a tweet a few days ago: “The guy *whose patents were invalidated in Alice* thinks this is a bad, overbroad bill.”

“…European Patents have got one heck of a crisis; the courts keep rejecting them again and again.”The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is already attempting to water down or ignore 35 U.S.C. § 101; that would have no impact on courts however. There are a couple new cases (in our daily links) wherein Federal Circuit judges throw out software patents. Nothing has changed!

Over here in Europe nothing is changing either, not at the courts anyway. Sure, there are software patents in Europe (wrongly granted by the EPO), but they won’t withstand judges’ scrutiny. Yesterday the EPO wrote:

Nearly 18 000 patent applications relating to self-driving vehicle technologies have been filed with the EPO in the last decade, almost 4 000 of them in 2017 alone. More interesting findings on #patents and self-driving vehicles here: http://bit.ly/SDVstudy #SelfDriving

“Many of these (not all) are fake patents and bogus patent applications that should be rejected as software patents,” I responded, “but EPO will grant them anyway…”

As we shall show in our next post, European Patents have got one heck of a crisis; the courts keep rejecting them again and again. This mirrors much of what we see in the US (more so over the past few years).

On the subject of self-driving vehicles, mind this new article that says:

The need to promote innovation through open source software (OSS) and a desire to protect patent rights may be contradictory interests for businesses investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous driving

They interject the “AI” nonsense into it; those are software patents. Earlier this week an Israeli law firm and some other law firm showed that Israel (IPLO) may be trying to allow software patents under the guise of “HEY HI!” (AI) — the same kind of patents that the EPO elevated to Inventor Award “finalist” (an Israeli company which uses the term “AI”, as per the EPO). From the article: “It seems clear that, at this point, AI implemented inventions will be reviewed by the IPLO under the same rubric as software or computer-implemented inventions..”

Notice the use of the term “computer-implemented inventions” (CII) and “AI”. The EPO helped popularise these lies. Some of these recent patents are on fictional/theoretical things. They’re designed mostly for hype and marketing — the idea that these cars are “safe” because of some patents and “HEY HI!”

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