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07.22.18

Can Trade Secrets Litigation Replace (in Part) Patent Litigation?

Posted in America, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 2:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Number of US Patent Lawsuits Was More Than 50% Higher Half a Decade Ago

Patent Lawyers' Tears
Patent Lawyers’ Tears

Summary: Seeing DTSA as an opportunity to combat their competition, more firms now choose to file trade secret cases whereas patent cases continue their sharp decline

WHEN IT comes to software (code), there are copyrights, but there are no patents. Those that get granted rarely survive a court’s challenge or a board’s scrutiny (this is scarcely explored in the EU, but very visible in the US). Don’t expect European Patents on software to be of much use, even if the EPO grants some (a disastrous residue of Battistelli’s trashing of the Office).

“Patents are about publication, whereas secrecy is about concealment of one’s work.”When it comes to software copyrights, or even copyleft, legal action can be taken in cases of plagiarism. If the code is secret, which is often the case, plagiarism is prevented in part by secrecy. Patents are about publication, whereas secrecy is about concealment of one’s work.

After the sharp decline in patent lawsuits there might be a shift in strategy in the US, reducing the role of patent courts and the USPTO. More trade secret disputes to come? We recently wrote about a rise of such cases and associated damages. Professor James Bessen told me that “FEDERAL trade secret litigation is up because there is a new Federal law; but trade secret & noncompete litigation has been rising for a decade…”

“Well, secrecy is far from ideal; in fact, publication in exchange for monopoly (patent) is often better, but not in the domain of software.”Mind Camilla Alexandra Hrdy’s very long new blog post/paper on the subject, Watchtroll’s take from Robert Williams, and Managing IP summary. “A Lex Machina report reveals trade secret case filing figures after passage of the DTSA, as well as the largest ever damages awards and top plaintiff and defendant law firms,” it says.

“US trade secret case filing jumped 30% in 2017,” the headline says.

Well, secrecy is far from ideal; in fact, publication in exchange for monopoly (patent) is often better, but not in the domain of software.

04.26.18

World IP Day, a Propaganda Opportunity for Patent Maximalists, is Becoming More About Feminism

Posted in Deception, Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 6:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Conflating an extremist agenda with noble civil rights causes

Summary: The annual nonsense which is called “World IP Day” is being put in a dress for no purpose other than giving a moralistic aspect to it — one that patent maximalists (predominantly male) do not deserve

THE United States (or USPTO), as well as WIPO and others, have promoted an annual propaganda day. They call it “World IP Day” and the term “IP” is itself a form of propaganda because it contains two misnomers that allude vaguely to a bunch of separable laws, including but not limited to patent law. Throughout the day today we saw quite a few heckles thrown at “World IP Day”. A lot of people understand that it’s a pile of self-serving nonsense.

“Throughout the day today we saw quite a few heckles thrown at “World IP Day”. A lot of people understand that it’s a pile of self-serving nonsense.”Just earlier today IAM announced “inductees into the IP [sic] Hall of Fame” and earlier today Managing IP published this list of “The Top 250 Women in IP” [sic]. Timing was not a coincidence. We don’t believe so anyway. I asked my wife about it and she agrees. Feminism is being hijacked here.

In the latter, notice the agenda that got interjected. “World IP Day” is nowadays being used not only as a propaganda opportunity for patents; it’s now including the feminism theme so if you oppose the ‘IP’ propaganda, then maybe you’re ‘sexist’… watch what IP Kat published some hours ago under the headline “Celebrating female inventors on World IP [sic] Day!”

Several hours ago IP Watch published “World IP Day: Women Are Celebrated But Gender Gap Persists” (as if it’s about gender rather than ‘IP’ [sic]).

“We are rather worried to see what patent maximalists have resorted to. Patent quality is their enemy.”Watch how the EPO used the “female” angle for something that has nothing to do with it. Yes, the EPO too did this (before linking to Campinos’ EU-IPO, to the same effect*).

US patent maximalists wrote about it also [1, 2], taking advantage of it to promote patent maximalism (like software patents). Hours ago the EPO was again promoting software patents in the US (or its event that promotes this).

“Feminism is sometimes being hijacked if not exploited by patent maximalists.”We are rather worried to see what patent maximalists have resorted to. Patent quality is their enemy. PTAB and BoA in the EPO/Europe (almost analogous functions) are under attack by them and Battistelli is just trying to make them redundant, hoping he can replace them with a UPC-type regime and let many bogus patents slip in (pass the sieve of already-overworked examiners). Hours ago the EPO wrote: “The EPO’s Boards of Appeal aim to reduce the number of pending cases from 9 000 to below 7 000 by 2022.”

Funny how the EPO never mentions that this is accomplished by making appeals more expensive, making it harder for judges to do their jobs, and so on. It also fails to mention that their report bemoans the status quo, claiming that they’re understaffed.

But never mind appeals. Never mind patent quality. Today is “World IP Day”, so we must celebrate “IP” — whatever that actually means. Patents? Copyrights? Trade secrets? Trademarks? Whatever it may be, to heckle “World IP Day” is nowadays akin to bashing posts/articles about it, many of which focus on equal opportunities, women inventors, etc. We think that’s intentional. Feminism is sometimes being hijacked if not exploited by patent maximalists.
____
* Campinos is the next Frenchman to take over the EPO. It’s a very French office these days and earlier today the EPO retweeted INPI (France), after it was promoting Battistelli’s event in France. Yes, it’s that one very special event that lets him grab a ‘suitcase’ of cash, EPO money in fact, and wheel it over to his other employer (in France). The UK-IPO also assists this agenda and the EPO retweeted it today. They’re all in this together.

03.11.18

Patent Maximalists Cause a Crisis of Legitimacy for Patent Law

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Patents at 11:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A crisis

Summary: The patent extremists who nowadays equate monopolies on mere ideas to “property” and “rights” gradually cause the public to lose respect for patents, more or less in the same way copyright maximalists (and copyright trolls) cause the population to seek alternatives (both legal and illegal)

THE concept of “intellectual property” is a vague one, especially because it’s a misnomer, sometimes abbreviated as “IP” or “IPR” (a third misnomer, “rights”) to avoid actual debate about suitability of pertinent words. I believe in trademarks. I see their purpose (when not overused, as often happens, granting monopolies on singular dictionary words). Copyrights are important too; they’re essential in management of software code, even if slanted as copyleft (which derives its ‘teeth’ from copyright law). Patents as originally envisioned (when conceived) typically pertained to physical inventions which required labour to produce and reproduce (or mass-produce), not mere thoughts/ideas.

“Patents as originally envisioned (when conceived) typically pertained to physical inventions which required labour to produce and reproduce (or mass-produce), not mere thoughts/ideas.”Terms like “IP” or “IPR” aren’t helpful; they’ve become propaganda terms that dodge a serious, adult debate and open-minded assessment of rationale. These equate a monopoly with a “right” and a “property”. Monopoly is neither of those things.

At the end of last month, on February 26th to be precise, August Debouzy’s François Pochart, Lionel Martin and Mathilde Rauline were lumping together totally and entirely different things. They used the word “IP” in their article titled “One IP standard to rule them all” and only later on they broke that down into what they actually truly meant:

All the useful data for all IP rights (patents, trademarks, designs, software …) as well as contracts are coded. Tags are provided for a very large majority of cases or facts: among them the social form of the applicant or its nationality, further the internal references to the case, the applicable law, the fact that it is a divisional application for patents or the language of the technical field for brands, the procedural deadlines, and many more.

Well, “patents, trademarks, designs” (and copyrights, trade secrets etc.) have different laws associated with them, so no serious debate can be conducted under a banner like “One IP standard to rule them all”.

“Terms like “IP” or “IPR” aren’t helpful; they’ve become propaganda terms that dodge a serious, adult debate and open-minded assessment of rationale.”This is symptomatic and quite so typical among law firms.

Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP’s Stanley M. Gibson wrote about Gemshares LLC v Arthur Joseph Lipton the other day, regarding challenges to validity of patents. Here’s a portion from the article:

GemShares LLC filed a patent infringement action against Arthur Lipton and Secured Worldwide, LLC (SWW) on U.S. Patent No. 8,706,513 B2 (the ‘513 patent). The ‘513 patent is entitled “global investment grade for natural and synthetic gems used in financial investments and commercial trading and method of creating standardized baskets of gems to be used in financial and commercial products.”

According to the district court, Lipton became a one-fifth owner of GemShares in 2013, while the patent application was pending. Lipton executed an operating agreement that included a term requiring him (and other GemShares members) to disclose and present to the company opportunities related to or likely to be competitive with GemShares’ business.

Putting aside the abstract-sounding patent (maybe a business method), what we have here is a couple of LLCs (typically entities that do not produce anything concrete) bickering over patents. The one sure thing is, lawyers will win. Lawyers will pocket a lot of money in the process, which is an attempt to challenge the patent’s validity and an (counter)attempt to outright block such a challenge. Shouldn’t it be a perfectly reasonable thing to question a patent’s validity? The US Supreme Court would indirectly decide on that quite soon in Oil States. Remember that, contrary to the nonsense from Crouch et al (regarding this case), patents are not property. Oil States is about IPRs, which challenge not “ownership” but the validity of some granted monopoly.

“Remember that, contrary to the nonsense from Crouch et al (regarding this case), patents are not property.”We are frankly appalled by some of the spin that comes from the patent microcosm. These people just aren’t honest; this dishonesty is necessary for them to continue to make buckets of money. There are upcoming lobbying events on the subject of IPRs, e.g. “Webinar on Paragraph IV Litigation and IPRs” and “FCBA Program on IPR Estoppel” (suppression of challenge) and guess who’s attending. These are all echo chambers of the patent ‘industry’. They want no patents challenged; they’re patent maximalists and absolutists.

Dealing with Solutran, Inc. v US Bancorp et al, CBM estoppel was last week considered by Docket Navigator. When a company sues you with a patent and when you show that the patent is obvious (and thus bogus), can that company then attempt to suppress or prevent judges from seeing the evidence of obviousness? As Docket Navigator put it:

The court denied plaintiff’s motion in limine to exclude evidence of obviousness because CBM estoppel did not apply to an entire statutory basis.

Got that? It’s like some of those ludicrous court cases where the defendant is prevented from presenting evidence in his/her defense. That happens a lot in military courts or in cases pertaining to “national security” (with the classic excuses that a legal defense might be to the detriment of “national security”, or in practice embarrass the state).

“Patents have, in general, gotten a bad name among programmers because they’re sick of software patents, which they neither needed nor wanted.”We often wonder how patent lawyers sleep at night knowing that their occupation often involves subversion of justice rather than defense of the system’s integrity. Maximalists are the opportunistic vandals. We’re not against patents (we never were!); for their legitimacy or perceived legitimacy (acceptance among the public) they need to follow strict rules and be open to scrutiny. A lot of the general public already shows flagrant disdain for copyright law because of copyright maximalists who just exploit copyright law for censorship, complete control of the Internet, mass surveillance (in the name of catching ‘pirates’) and so on.

Treat patent law with respect; or else risk breaking this entire cornerstone of so-called ‘IP’. Patents have, in general, gotten a bad name among programmers because they’re sick of software patents, which they neither needed nor wanted.

10.22.17

The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO – Part IV: Links Between CGD (Former Employer of António Campinos) and the INPI

Posted in Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 12:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Everything comes together

INPI and banks
Large (legible) version

Summary: More information about connections between CGD and the Portuguese Intellectual Property Office (INPI)

THE next President of the EPO isn’t quite what he seems. There are things about him which he isn’t eager to disclose, hence our series about his past.

Previous parts of this series are as follows:

Campinos and his supporters boasted/showed off his experience in the field of “IP” (they intentionally don’t say trademarks, which are not the same as patents). But what does his track record in trademarks really show? This is the subject of today’s final part of this series.


Some interesting details about links between CGD and the Portuguese Intellectual Property Office (Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial – INPI) have been unearthed on the official Web site of the INPI.

An undated press release posted on the INPI Web site reports on the establishment of a “strategic partnership” agreement between Caixa Capital, a venture capital company of CGD Group, and INPI for the promotion of technology-based entrepreneurship.

The collaboration protocol was signed the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Caixa and by the President of INPI, António Campinos.

Campinos took up his position as President of the OHIM in Alicante (now EUIPO) on 1 October 2010 just three months after Battistelli had been installed as President of the EPO.

This means that the press release must date from some time between 2005 and 2010, in other words from the time that Campinos was Director of the INPI.

Translation of the text of the undated press release:

Technology-based entrepreneurs with easy access to financial resources

Caixa Capital, a venture capital company of CGD Group, and INPI have established a strategic partnership agreement for the promotion of technology-based entrepreneurship.

This agreement aims to support national inventors, creators and entrepreneurs in the protection and economic valuation of their innovations, in particular by promoting the availability and facilitating access to financial instruments and resources to enable them to realise business ideas.

It was also announced during the signing of the protocol, the creation of the Invention Award of the Year, to be launched in the first quarter of 2010 within a fair that will showcase inventions and other intellectual creations registered with INPI.

It is also planned to jointly organise a series of Academy-Industry meetings, with the aim of facilitating the transfer and valorisation of the research results developed by the entities of the National Technological and Scientific System.

The collaboration protocol was signed by Eng. Faria de Oliveira, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Caixa and Dr. António Campinos, President of INPI.

A more recent press release from January 2015 reports on a further and much more far-reaching “collaboration protocol” between the INPI and CGD.

Translation of the text of the January 2015 press release:

INPI and CGD sign Collaboration Protocol

Taking into account INPI’s strategic orientation, to promote cooperation with national organisations and entities with a view to increasing Portuguese business competitiveness and strengthening the use of Industrial Property among the academic, scientific and business communities, it was signed on 5 January of 2015, a Protocol of Collaboration between INPI and Caixa Geral de Depósitos.

The Protocol, in addition to establishing the terms of the partnership between the two entities, also intends to implement the following activities:

- Sharing of statistical information related to Industrial Property rights, made available by INPI;

- Sharing of publicity materials made available by INPI;

- Organisation of training actions in matters of Industrial Property, within the framework of the activities promoted by the Industrial Property Academy of INPI;

- Participation in events and publicity actions organised by CGD.

If the INPI and CGD deem it appropriate to pursue the objectives set out in the Protocol, other forms of cooperation may be established, duly agreed upon and introduced in an addendum to the Protocol.

23 January 2015

An earlier press release from February 2011 reveals that the INPI had already been closely involved in events and publicity actions organised by CGD.

In this case, the event in question was the “INVENTA – Caixa prize” which is an “Inventor of the Year” award of the kind which will be familiar to observers of the EPO. Of course the Portuguese event is a small-scale one and far more low key than the “European Inventor of the Year” ceremony.

By a curious coincidence, the “personalities” who turned up for the “INVENTA – Caixa Prize” ceremony in Lisbon in February 2011 included none other than EPO President Benoît Battistelli. Maybe this is where he got his inspiration for his EPO extravaganza?

Translation of the text of the February 2011 press release:

INVENTA – Cash Prize | INPI – Winners

The winners of INVENTA – Caixa Prize | INPI.

In a ceremony held yesterday at Caixa Geral de Depósitos headquarters in Lisbon, the sector and absolute winners of INVENTA – Caixa Prize | INPI.

INVENTA.com

PT Innovation with the patent “High Performance Discovery Device for Content Transmission”

INVENTA.san

University of Coimbra with the patent “Nouveaux derives de porphyrine, notamment chlorines et / or leurs applications en therapie photodynamique”

INVENTA.eco

Oon Recycling Solutions with the patent “Transforming food oil used in candles”

Overall Winner

University of Coimbra with the patent “Nouveaux derives de porphyrine, notamment chlorines et / or leurs applications en therapie photodynamique”

The sector winners will be awarded a prize of 15,000 euros and the overall winner a prize of 25,000 euros.

The prizes were delivered by the following personalities:

Dr. Maria Leonor Trindade of the National Institute of Industrial Property;

Dr. Jorge Tomé of Caixa Geral de Depósitos;

Dr. Luís Portela from Health Cluster Portugal;

Dr. Diogo Vasconcelos of the Portuguese Association for the Development of Communications;

Prof. Daniel Bessa from COTEC and

Dr. José Honório from the Business Council for Sustainable Development,

all members of the jury,

the President of CGD Faria de Oliveira,

the President of the Office for Harmonization of the Internal Market António Campinos,

the President of the European Patent Office Benoît Battistelli and

by the Secretary of State for Justice and Judicial Modernization José Magalhães.

To all candidates, nominees, sector winners and absolute winner, INPI presents its congratulations.

25 February 2011

A Portuguese press article from May 2017 (see the top) reported that CGD had been successful in a trademark dispute between CGD and the Spanish-owned Caixabank. The dispute involved the “Caixa” trademark.

The word “caixa” in Portuguese means something like a cash desk (similar to the Spanish “caja” or French “caisse”) so it seems somewhat surprising that such a generic term can be protected by trademark. But with the right connections to your local Intellectual Property Office it seems that nothing is impossible these days.

07.02.17

Professor Pamela Samuelson Debunks the Concept of ‘IP’ by Separating Copyrights From Patents and Demonstrating That Copyrights Are Sufficient for Software

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 11:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Various approaches for assessment of copyright infringement (in software) are outlined by an academic from Berkeley who specialises in copyrights

Pamela SamuelsonSummary: In a paper entitled “Functionality and Expression in Computer Programs: Refining the Tests for Software Copyright Infringement” Samuelson (shown on the right) explains that working around copyright infringement isn’t as trivial as proponents of software patents want us to believe

IT IS often said here that software developers need not rely on any patents because copyrights already provide sufficient protection from gross plagiarism. The same is true for prose.

Pamela Samuelson, linking to her guest post from May, did some scholarly work on the subject. Pamela Samuelson was even cited by proponents of software patents, who added: “Rediscovered 1991 PTO/Copyright Office study concluded that #copyright & patent are mutually exclusive re software”

“It is often said here that software developers need not rely on any patents because copyrights already provide sufficient protection from gross plagiarism.”Yes, software is covered by copyrights but not by software patents in most of the world and after Alice (2014) it seems ever more evident that developers should focus on copyright assignment rather than pricey patent applications. It’s interesting (albeit not too surprising) that she chose Patently-O as her platform, preceded by “Professor Samuelson’s newest article Functionality and Expression in Computer Programs: Refining the Tests for Software Copyright Infringement, is forthcoming in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal.”

Does this mean people should quit using buzzwords like “IP”? Wherein even trade secrets and trademarks are lumped into the same pile?

Some proponents of software patents have since deleted their reference to that, but Manny Schecter from IBM cited Samuelson and twisted what she showed by stating: “And yet some think (wrongly) that #copyright is a substitute for #patent protection…”

“Does this mean people should quit using buzzwords like “IP”?”They don’t say “substitute” and either way, this totally misses the point of what she argued. IBM, being a patent bully, can’t help lobbying everywhere in the world for software patents. Such IBM spin on an article, which — in our assessment — proves the very opposite, says a lot about IBM.

“German courts in the seventies said the same,” the FFII’s President told him. So there’s nothing unusual about what Samuelson has shown.

“This Article offers both praise and criticism of the approaches taken thus far to judging software copyright infringement, and it proposes an alternative unified test for infringement that is consistent with traditional principles of copyright law and that will promote healthy competition and ongoing innovation in the software industry.”
      –Pamela Samuelson
For those wishing to read the complete article, it is here (direct link to the 65-page PDF although directs may lead to static HTML). The abstract says: “Courts have struggled for decades to develop a test for judging infringement claims in software copyright cases that distinguishes between program expression that copyright law protects and program functionality for which copyright protection is unavailable. The case law thus far has adopted four main approaches to judging copyright infringement claims in software cases. One, now mostly discredited, test would treat all structure, sequence, and organization (SSO) of programs as protectable expression unless there is only one way to perform a program function. A second, now widely applied, three-step test calls for creation of a hierarchy of abstractions for an allegedly infringed program, filtration of unprotectable elements, and comparison of the protectable expression of the allegedly infringed program with the expression in the second program that is the basis of the infringement claim. A third approach has focused on whether the allegedly infringing elements are program processes or methods of operation that lie outside the scope of protection available from copyright law. A fourth approach has concentrated on whether the allegedly infringing elements of a program are instances in which ideas or functions have merged with program expression. This Article offers both praise and criticism of the approaches taken thus far to judging software copyright infringement, and it proposes an alternative unified test for infringement that is consistent with traditional principles of copyright law and that will promote healthy competition and ongoing innovation in the software industry.”

11.19.16

USPTO Director Michelle K. Lee Reportedly on Her Way Out, US Patent Reform Put on Hold

Posted in America, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 2:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michelle Lee (below on the left) wanted patent reform, but Donald Trump will quite likely crush it

USPTO panel

Summary: Another signal that whatever progress was made at the USPTO (tightening patent scope among other improvements) could soon be crushed by a Republican administration

THE US patent, copyright, trademark etc. system is likely to change under the new President. He has some rather notorious experience trying to tilt the trade marks system to his own advantage, being a reckless billionaire who was born very rich and privileged. Protectionism (perpetuating might, power, and money) comes naturally for Trump.

An opportunity to advise the USPTO is reportedly being given, but megacorporations and their lobbyists (and/or lawyers) will surely dominate the proposals and ensure that virtually nothing changes for the better.

“Protectionism (perpetuating might, power, and money) comes naturally for Trump.”As expected, the new President will herald an era for billionaires (like Donald Trump) and their copyright/trademark/patent monopolies. IAM thinks that patent reform will be put on hold. Here is why: “In her keynote speech USPTO Director Michelle Lee predicted that once patent reform did come back on the agenda it would be more targeted than previous, more comprehensive proposals.”

According to this article from IP Watch: “Now in her final weeks in office, United States Patent and Trademark Office Director Michelle Lee today looked back over the Obama administration’s work on patents and made predictions for the next administration due to take over in January. She hailed the outgoing administration’s successes and said to expect a continued focus on a strong IP system, legislative changes on hot button issues but not right away, and continued engagement around the world.”

Here is what Wall Street’s media said: “President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Patent and Trademark Office will likely be very different from Director Michelle K. Lee, who was Google’s top patent attorney before heading the PTO.”

“Under Kappos’ leadership the USPTO granted terrible patents and led to a mess that only in recent years (post Alice, Mayo and AIA) started to improve a bit.”Whoever is picked next, it hopefully won’t be yet another corporate lobbyist turncoat like David Kappos. Under Kappos’ leadership the USPTO granted terrible patents and led to a mess that only the recent years (post Alice, Mayo and AIA) started to improve a bit.

Found via Patently-O prior to all the above was this publication from the USPTO itself (directy).

MIP is meanwhile chatting with the commissioner for trademarks at USPTO. It doesn’t seem like she too will be removed from her position.

10.26.16

The United States Pressures India to Broaden Patent Scope and Other Monopolies

Posted in Asia, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 6:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shades of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which can bring software patents to India

Gandhi spinning
Non-cooperation movement is needed here

Summary: The envoy of the US is trying to tell India how to run the country (stricter laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, and patents), as a condition for foreign investment by multinational corporations

PUTTING aside the EPO for a moment (we plan to cover Željko Topić later this week and USPTO over the weekend), earlier today we found some articles from Indian news sites. The US is, quite frankly as expected (see Cablegate to understand how it works), trying to bully India into the entrapment which is patent maximalism, maybe even software patents which are currently not legal in the country (and less so in the US as well, taking Alice into account).

“The US is, quite frankly as expected (see Cablegate to understand how it works), trying to bully India into the entrapment which is patent maximalism, maybe even software patents which are currently not legal in the country (and less so in the US as well, taking Alice into account).”Based on reports like this one [1, 2] (cross-posted), the US makes improving relationships with India contingent upon bending over to US corporations, changing patent laws for them. To quote one key paragraph: “He said that on the persuasion of the US government the present government of India has taken some initiatives to amend and make stronger IPR laws.” Other news reports [1, 2] look at another angle and the “USPTO continues to move forward with its Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative (EPQI),” says Patently-O today, “and is hosting a set of five Quality Forum events over the next month in DC, Milwaukee, KC, Baton Rouge, and Portland.”

So while the US itself acknowledges the problem with too broad a patent scope (see the recent report from GAO [1, 2]), it seems perfectly fine screwing around with patent scope in other continents, including Europe. Guess whose economies would be harmed and for whose benefit.

10.25.16

Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

Posted in Deception, Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 5:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Entering a rather advanced propaganda mode

EUIPO EPO and FTI

Summary: The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or “placements”) — all under the guise of ‘studies’

“Who will be stupid enough to apply to be hired under these conditions?”

This was the question asked earlier today in relation to the EPO under Battistelli’s regime. The full comment says:

1: so they can fire you at will and prohibit you to work afterwards or they keep your pensions? Who will be stupid enough to apply to be hired under these conditions?

2: the EPO will decrease costs but not lower the fees? What will they do with the excess money?

Given the decline in patent quality under Battistelli, we expect fees to have to decline and the same goes for salaries. The EPO is becoming another USPTO and some people believe that eventually it will be another INPI (i.e. no patent examination at all, or only a truly superficial check before filing). Regarding the notion of “excess money”, some figures from the secretive Office actually suggest financial losses/deficit. There’s no likely rebound now or ever, until or unless pensions (long-term liabilities) get gradually cut, well-paid staff replaced by new and relatively unskilled/underpaid/overworked workers (there is lack of interest in EPO jobs either way), and patent applications flow in like water and granted in bulk while they last (to the point of exhaustion, whereupon examiners become redundant). Watch this new EPO job ad (from today). Pay attention to the skills required (just two languages and a Masters degree). The EPO is experiencing brain drain. Managers know it. They’re desperate for job applications now, but they’re failing to attract enough of them, or so we’re told by insiders. Standards have truly declined.

“Staff of the EPO isn’t even being told what’s going on; examiners are constantly being lied to by the management.”How can they possibly attract more interest from the public amid unprecedented scandals? How about puff pieces resulting from a so-called ‘study’ (stooping so low as to generate bogus, self-commissioned ‘studies’ is the latest trend), such as the one we mentioned last night?

The EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) already finds some clueless (or docile, or without any critical skills) stenographers to parrot claims from this ‘study’ of theirs (which they paid for). To quote: “The study, published on 25 October, says this number equates to almost €5.7 trillion annually. It covers a broad range of IP rights, including patents, trademarks, designs, copyright, geographical indications and plant variety rights.”

Wow! “€5.7 trillion annually.” Big numbers there, but what does that allude to? Just a big number to occupy some headlines and add some prestige to institutions with a turnover/profit 5 orders of magnitude lower (i.e. about 100,000th of the above figure). Here is the laughably shallow part (among others):

António Campinos, executive director of the EUIPO, said: “The rapidly changing nature of business in the 21st century means that the EU and global economy relies strongly on intellectual property rights such as trademarks, designs, patents and other rights.”

Will you take over all the above, António? As some believe you would? There’s no telling, only speculations. Staff of the EPO isn’t even being told what’s going on; examiners are constantly being lied to by the management.

“Maybe the EPO will just fire a lot of examiners and hire some more “paper pushers” to cope with the increased throughput (or inflow) of crappy applications and crappy grants.”In other (more minor) news, the EPO is said to have changed requirements. “In the past,” says the article, “it was common for a patent holder to execute an assignment in favor of an assignee, without the assignee signing the document. Under the new Guidelines, the EPO will no longer accept an assignment document that uses the single-signature format.”

Maybe the EPO will just fire a lot of examiners and hire some more “paper pushers” to cope with the increased throughput (or inflow) of crappy applications and crappy grants. After all, it’s not as though detailed, thorough, comprehensive and even exhaustive search (potentially with several appeals to the boards) are what Battistelli wants. He just wants a Chinese production line, akin to what he sees in SIPO (for which he has profound affinity). Work conditions, correspondingly, degrade greatly.

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