Weapons of mass distraction
Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) keeps rotting under Battistelli’s leadership and the campaign of defamation against truth-tellers (shooting the messengers) within the Office/Organisation is made more apparent
THREE days ago we became aware of lawsuits against the EPO. We actually knew about this for longer than that, but it took a while to get a translation of an article which covered it (with quotes directly from those involved). It actually turned out to be bigger than we had imagined.
SUEPO has translated
[PDF] this recent article from the German media and also highlighted this new article in French. This is about “France’s patent&™ office complaining about EPO’s delays,” Hugo Roy from the FSFE told me. There have been complaints from British stakeholders as well, regarding not just delays but also miscommunication and unprofessional handling of applications. Brain drain [1, 2, 3, 4] taking its toll? We wrote about this last week in the context of Patent Administration staff.
Anyway, the latest interesting article says it all really, and we have highlighted the important bits below.
Criminal charges at the Patent Office Uprising in Paradise getting worse
By: Jan Keuchel
Date: 06.04.2016 10:57
Still no ceasefire: The European Patent Office won’t calm down. Management and staff are sniping at each other, and the Munich State Attorney is pursuing criminal charges – a lot of them.
Dispute with the staff getting even worse.
Düsseldorf. The European Patent Office (EPO), one of the most important starting points for the protection of inventions, has been tearing itself apart for months in a bitter dispute between the President and sections of the staff. At issue are new promotional and sick leave arrangements, union rights, internal investigations, and sackings.
On 15 March, one day before an important meeting of his Administrative Council, President Benoît Battistelli suddenly started sending out peace signals. According to the Frenchman, 2016 will see a “general review of social rules and regulations”.
In the light of rumours that the Council might dismiss him from office due to the conflict, his overseers may have forced Battistelli’s hand. But only under certain conditions: The squabblers would have to get together and “conscientiously and honestly work towards finding a solution”.
But now things start to become clearer: The much heralded peace turns out to be nothing more than a ceasefire. According to information available to Handelsblatt, the conflict at the EPO has actually involved the Munich I State Attorney’s office since as far back as 2013, and there are still a good number of unresolved criminal cases being pursued.
EPO boss Benoît Battistelli
“Bullying and defamation causing massive disruption”
Benoît Battistelli is the boss of a public authority that is actually one of the most important for the entire European economy: The Patent Office. Critics call him the “Sun King” or “Stalin”. In an interview he speaks for the first time about the accusations made against him. More …
The first of the charges was laid by Battistelli’s Vice-President, and was aimed at a person or persons unknown. The main issue was an accusation of slander and defamation, as Munich I State Attorney’s office confirmed when asked. The charge evidently related to the issues surrounding an Irish patent judge, whom Battistelli had suspended.
At the end of 2015 the Irishman himself then laid charges against Battistelli, on the grounds that his honour has been besmirched. There have been more criminal accusations made against unknown persons, among them by the sacked union executive Elizabeth Hardon. All those involved deny the accusations.
The EPO has been conducting internal investigations against the judge and Hardon since 2013. The Office suspected both of them of having waged a campaign against the President and his deputy.
According to an internal report, among other things, the judge was found to have defamatory letters in his possession. The EPO investigators also found in his office a number of clubs and suspected Nazi material, such as brochure bearing a swastika and entitled “Ich kämpfe”.
Since then, the man concerned has stayed at home. Battistelli later also dismissed Hardon, the chief executive of the staff union Suepo, which he does not recognize. The accusation against her was of threatening non-union members.
Innovation-friendly Europe Development of patent applications
165 000 160 022
Applications received in 2015 by sectors
Medical technology 12 474
Digital communications 10 762
Computer technology 10 549
Electrical engineering/mechanical engineering/energy: 10 198
Handelsblatt Source: EPO
The attorney acting for both of them, Munich-based labour lawyer Senay Okyay, disputes the accusations, contending, among other things, that the clubs which the Irishman had were for gymnastic exercises. The grounds for the criminal charges laid by her client were the wrongful and defamatory accusations that he was a Nazi.
As well as all this, an application for criminal charges has also been made against persons unknown due to the EPO investigation report having allegedly been leaked to various media. “The group of persons entitled to receive this strictly confidential report is restricted to my client, the Administrative Council, and the President of the Office”, says Okyay. Hardon has also sought to lay criminal charges against unknown persons due to her private E-mail account having allegedly been searched in the course of the investigations.
The EPO is unwilling to comment on the charges brought by the Vice-President. With regard to the judge, the word is that they became aware of this after Easter. The State Attorney’s office will know how to deal with such things.
The State Attorney’s office is emphasising that at present all the accusations are being looked into, and no further information can be forthcoming.
Squabbles at the European Patent Office
Uprising in Paradise
Allegations of death threats, a judge with clubs in his office: The European Patent Office is being crippled by internal brawls. The Office is already overdue with thousands of cases, and that is something the economy simply cannot afford. More…
Whatever the outcome, the criminal charges have been stirring things up even more with regard to the issues of social peace at the Office. One particular issue is what the Administrative Council knew about these events when it accepted Battistelli’s peace offering on 16 March.
At the EPO the word is that the Administrative Council has been kept “regularly informed of all relevant events”. The Chair of the Council, Jesper Kongstad, has no comment to make. Perhaps he’s saving his voice. The next Council meeting is in June.
The above contains plenty of new information. It also serves to reinforce the claim that Battistelli (which is referred to above as “Stalin”) has been witch-hunting staff, including (in particular) those who said the truth about Željko Topić (staff calls him “Putin”), about whom we have an ongoing series of articles this week.
As a side note, we no longer make local copies of SUEPO PDFs, but when the EPO management actively censored SUEPO’s Web site (using legal threats) the management basically encouraged us to do so, which meant that things management found embarrassing ended up spreading further and wider. It’s the Streisand Effect. The harder the EPO tries to silence the truth, the worse things will get. █
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Battistelli and Minnoye have effectively placed themselves above the law, having created new instruments of coercion and unjust power over staff
Summary: Why EPO management perceives itself as exempted from its own rules and outside the law of host nations, and how it achieved or attained these God-like powers
In part one, part two, and part three we carefully looked — more or less retroactively — at how EPO management gave itself supreme powers with minimal or zero oversight. We moreover considered how it proceeded to sending to exile various members of staff who — although perfectly competent — were viewed as a danger to the leadership and thus terminated using bizarre pretexts, without the lawmaker/accuser/judge/executioner (the EPO’s President) facing any consequences or even veto, except a hoard of protesting (and more recently striking) staff. The Administrative Council continues to be far too soft and thus complicit in all this. We heard that there are prospects of lawsuits against them (or their national offices) for this complicity, setting aside the imminent lawsuit against EPO management.
“This is like a monarchy at the very heart of an international organisation and it’s designed to eliminate dissent or resistance, however legitimate it may be.”Documents we showed in previous parts marked or at least signaled the beginning of the bizarre disciplinary procedures against staff representatives at the EPO. They were not punished and/or dismissed (even lost pension rights in one case) for their union roles; at least that’s how EPO management tried to make it appear. In October 2014 we published Circular 342
[PDF]. These are the Investigation Guidelines at the EPO (11 pages in total). Not too long ago we learned that Battistelli considers the Code of Conduct, which he himself violates (see installment one of this series), part of this aforementioned legal framework, even though he wrote it entirely himself. This is like a monarchy at the very heart of an international organisation and it’s designed to eliminate dissent or resistance, however legitimate it may be. “When you start reading it,” told us the source of Battistelli’s own Code of Conduct, “you’ll get that the Code of Conduct is meant to apply to everyone except himself. Management by intimidation started with the publication of the Code of Conduct in 2012. The next step was the Investigation Guidelines together with the Guidelines on Harassment.”
When the Administrative Council and Board 28 were finally going to do something about Battistelli’s lawlessness guess who stepped in? It was Mr Minnoye and his now-infamous letter. Speaking of Minnoye, somebody sent us these amusing reminders of how he too ignores (or makes up) the law, and is proud of it!
Mr Minnoye’s respect for the judiciary…
Vraag: Dus U zult de uitspraak van de hoogste rechter in Nederland niet respecteren?
Question: So you will not respect the decision of the highest judge in the Netherlands?
Minnoye: Yes (indeed).
Mr Minnoye is a repeat offender. Already on earlier occasions he has shown very little respect for the judiciary, see [IP Kat]
To quote Minnoye’s letter from that time:
In relation to the letter sent by Professor Sir Robin Jacob to Mr. Kongstad, VP1 asked to share with you the following remarks:
Sir Jacob 1) is not aware of all facts
2) is not aware of what the decision of the president was (office ban)
3) does not understand that the AC took the decision based on facts!
4) does not understand that this case has nothing to do with the independence of the Boards!
5) and nevertheless writes this letter!
This, as someone put it, “is only matched by the Dutch government’s concern about human rights” (based on the same as the above link). To quote: “De regering maakt zich weliswaar zorgen over de sociale situatie bij het Octrooibureau, maar stelt: “voor de vraag of een internationale organisatie immuniteit toekomt (is) niet van belang of haar mensenrechtenschendingen of andere schendingen van internationaal recht verweten worden.”
Translated into English: “The (Dutch) government is concerned about the social situation within the Patent Office, but considers that for the question whether or not an international organisation has immunity it is irrelevant whether it is accused of violations of human rights or other violations of international law.”
What an utterly poor hand-waving gesture. As one Dutch article put it, "What If the European Patent Office Were to Torture?" Should Battistelli and Minnoye be allowed to get away with that, too? Gods in their own mind, they already psychologically torture people and then feel stunned that the German/Bavarian press highlights correlation to suicides. █
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Publicadoen America, Apple, Google, IBM, Law, Microsoft, Patentes at 8:40 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
David Kappos demuestra que las leyes están a la venta en los EE.UU. Incluso las leyes de patentes
Fuente: : David Kappos 2013 interview
Kappos a la cabeza de un grupo financiado por grandes corpóraciones pero conveniéntemente no fue llamada Partnership of Megacorporations
Sumario: Las patentes de software no van a desaparecer todavía simplemente porque compañías como las integrantes de la Sagrada Familia: Microsoft, Apple and IBM (de donde Kappos proviene) usan su dinero para cabildeo, esenciálmente comprando la legislación
EL otro día escribimos acerca depatentes sobre conducir, siendo el contexto (enparte)la iniciativa de Google, que hizo noticias la semana pasada, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]. Google está tratando de patentar el conducir [1, 2], lo que trae un montón de preguntas acerca de la esfera de patentes y arte previo, los seres humanos ya manejan carros y lo han hecho por muchos años). Sin dudar estas son patentes de software. Ellas afectan el área de mi investigación, la que es computer vision/machine vision (puramente software/mathematics), no señal de procesamiénto (hardware connotación en ello).
“Si a Kappos le queda algo de dignidad, va a tener que esconderse debajo de una roca y no reforzar la percepción de que el sistema de patentes por el que trabajaba está profundamente corrupto.”
De acuerdo a otras noticias (“Microsoft patents end-to-end encryption”), lala NSA es un pionero en vigilancia másivaquiere un monopolio en encryption [1, 2, 3, 4], en relación a un sistema operativo que es la antithesis de encryption (vigilancia másiva en tiempo real).
Mientras tanto, también nos enteramos que, un agresor de patentesconectado a Microsoft, continúaenjuiciando a Symantec. Como un defensor patentes de software lo puso: “Finjan Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: FNJN), padre de la filial de Finjan, Inc., anunció hace unas semanas que la prueba de Patentes y Junta de Apelación (PTAB) de los Estados Unidos de patentes y Marcas (USPTO) emitió la resolución final de los intentos de los de Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ: SYMC) para invalidar las patentes de 8 Finjan diferentes a través de la revisión de interpartes (IPR).
Por lo tanto, en este caso particular, la PTAB no eliminó las patentes de software, para variar. Motivo de celebración entre los abogados de patentes, pero ¿qué quiere decir de todos los demás? La agresión de patentes de Apple con las patentes de software sigue siendo, de acuerdo a esta noticia, una “cosa” ya que “esta última patente es más orientada a programas.” Muchas de las patentes de Apple ha estado usando para atacar a Linux (o Android) han sido las patentes de software o patentes de diseño, que son inherentemente similar a (o) un tipo de patentes de software.
Ahora que las patentes de software están generalmente bajo ataque y se enfrentan a una amenaza existencial en los EE.UU. (SCOTUS ya ha matado a muchos de ellas con Alice y pronto se podría hacer lo mismo con las patentes de diseño debido a la agresión de Apple) el ex Director de la USPTO, David Kappos, asoma su fea pelada cabeza de nuevo. Ahora trabaja como un grupo de presión para la Sagrada Familia: IBM, Microsoft, Apple, etc., y deshonra a la USPTO ya que actualmente recibe el dinero para cambiar las leyes a favor de susamos/clientes (que es una forma de “puertas giratorias” para la corrupción, girando/moviéndose de acuerdo a su influencias/conexiones con dinero). Como sitio este sitio de abogados acaba de ponerlo“El ex director de la Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de EE.UU., pidió el lunes por la abolición de la Sección 101 de la Ley de Patentes, que establece los límites de la materia patentable-elegibles, diciendo que decisiones como Alice en el tema son un” verdadero desastre “y amenazan la protección de patentes para las industrias clave de Estados Unidos. “lo que quiere decir con” verdadero desastre “es que crea incertidumbre para sus clientes/amos, como IBM, Microsoft y Apple (los que le sueltán la marmaja de dinero). Esto es una continuacion de algo que notamos aquí con anterioridad. Si a Kappos le queda algo de dignidad, va a tener que esconderse debajo de una roca y no reforzar la percepción de que el sistema de patentes por el que trabajaba está profundamente corrupto.
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Publicado en America, Patentes at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz
Sumario: Los medios de comunicación continúan siendo dominados por los abogados de patentes en vez de desarrolladores de software quienes hablan acerca (y promueven en el caso de los abogados) patentes de software
Los abogados de patentes quienes carecen de experiéncia práctica con el software parecen no entender los fundamentos de la ciencias de computación. Lo mismo va por los jueces de patentes. ¿Así que porqué perpetuamente tratán de venir con políticas de patentes de software, e.g. in India? Vean lo que IAM acaba de hacer. Esta semana todavía encontramos abogados de patentes dando “Esperanza” por las patentes de sofware en Australia (Jack Redfern and Matthew Ward from Shelston IP Pty Ltd). Estos artículos están compuestas y publicadas por abogados de patentes, a diferencia de los desarrolladores de software – los que realmente están afectados por este tipo de patentes. ¿Quiénes está tomando las decisiones aquí? A los desarrolladores australianos ya se les preguntó acerca de esto hace unos años y que votaron abrumadoramente contra las patentes de software (lo que es el mismo que en otros países).
“Estos artículos están escritos y compuestos por abogados de patentes, a diferencia de desarrolladores de software — aquellos que son afectados por tales patentes.”
Anoche encontramos nueva propaganda de patentes de sofware proveniente de Marks & Clerk (ellos son algunos de los peóres) y de Steve Lundberg (Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner, P.A.), a quien mencionamos aquí hace unos dias a causa de su última intervención. Él es un propagandista de patentes (por muchos años) y se apoya en IBM ahora para su cabildeo (que tiene un sitio dedicado a la promoción de patentes de software).
“¿Cuándo va a la USPTO rendirá cuentas por ello y cuando los desarrolladores de software se levantarán para hacer frente a los abogados de patentes sobre sus actividades en materia de patentes de software?”
¿Qué pasa con los abogados de patentes ejerciéndo presión por las patentes de software, a diferencia de los desarrolladores de software, son sanguijuelas que sólo imponen impuestos sobre el software. Lundberg usa (o usa mal) palabras como “regalar” a pesar del hecho de que nunca dió nada y ni siquiera es un desarrollador de software en absoluto. Si él realmente hubiera solicitado su opinión a los desarrolladores de software, sabría que trabaja en contra de sus intereses.
Las Cortes han (una vez más) rechazado las patentes de softwareen las cuales los examinadores de la USPTOotorgaron erróneamente. Nadie gana aquí excepto los abogados de patentes, como es usual. Ambos lados perdiéron (casuálidades financieras significan empleados despedidos) y los equivalente a traficantes de armas, los abogados de patentes, hicierón un montón de dinero en todo un año de litigación. ¿Cuándo va a la USPTO rendirá cuentas por ello y cuando los desarrolladores de software se levantarán para hacer frente a los abogados de patentes sobre sus actividades en materia de patentes de software?Miren lo queel cabildero David Kapposestáhaciéndo ahora mismo en los Estados Unidos. Es despreciáble. Recuérden quienes pagan por todo esto.
“Si los desarrolladores de software no hacen uso de su libertad de expresión y su derecho a ponerse en contacto con sus políticos electos, las patentes de software en Europa seguirán siendo un problema creciente.”
No es un problema sólo en los EE.UU., pero cada vez más en Europa (donde Marks & Clerk, por ejemplo, provienen, al igual que IAM). Un lector de Finlandia nos ha dicho hoy. “Uno de los ministros del Estado fue en la radio ayer habló acerca de las patentes y la” innovación “. No soy capaz de encontrar una transcripción en cualquier idioma. Si usted tiene otros contactos en Finlandia, que podría ser capaz de proporcionar alguna información más. A partir de los comunicados de prensa, supongo que supuestamente van a decir que están promoviendo las pequeñas empresas y que va a tener algo que ver con las patentes, pero me preocupa que la intención es difundir las patentes de software. Pero, de nuevo, les digo no tengo ninguna transcripción “.
Probablemente tales ministros son también abogados y están siendo cabildeados/presiónados por los abogados de patentes y sus grandes clientes (grandes multinacionales como Nokia o Microsoft). Si los desarrolladores de software no hacen uso de su libertad de expresión y su derecho a ponerse en contacto con sus políticos electos, las patentes de software en Europa seguirán siendo un problema creciente.
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Changing the law with think tanks and lobbyists
Featuring Microsoft-sponsored ‘speaker’ (lobbyist), David Kappos for software patents and against § 101
Summary: Right now there is growing uncertainty over software patents and even US courts, including the highest such court (the Supreme Court), are such a threat to patent aggressors which utilise software patents to startle or bankrupt their competitors that a propaganda campaign becomes widespread
THE USPTO does not wish to comply with courts’ will. The US patent system is so greedy that it continues to grant a lot of software patents, even when most of them, once properly challenged in a court using Alice, get invalidated. There are still the occasional patent cases where in spite of Alice the software patents survive. One such case has just been covered here and it says: “The court denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment that the asserted claims of plaintiff’s network security patents encompassed unpatentable subject matter and found that the claims were not directed toward an abstract idea.”
“The US patent system is so greedy that it continues to grant a lot of software patents, even when most of them, once properly challenged in a court using Alice, get invalidated.”Meanwhile, patent maximalists are bemoaning the new post-Alice reality, quoting lots of other patent maximalists or lawyers. “It’s getting harder to patent software,” says the headline of this new article. Well, this sounds like excellent news. Software algorithms should never have been patentable in the first place. The author says: “Software patents have been under increased scrutiny for several years due to their malicious use by non-practicing entities, or patent trolls – persons or companies that do not necessarily invent or manufacture anything, but that purchase patents, often from bankrupt countries, and subsequently sue others for infringement.”
Composed by Charles Bieneman, another new article asks, “How Do Biotech Patent-Eligibility Cases Speak to Computer Patent-Eligibility Cases?”
“They’re trying to put an end to invalidations under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and they’re funded by large corporations to do so. Their clients (including Microsoft) pay them to mislead politicians and to lie to the public.”To quote the opening paragraph: “The Federal Circuit recently held that a claim of U.S. Patent No. 5,612,179, reciting “methods of detecting genetic variations” was directed to unpatentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Genetic Technologies Ltd. V. Merial, LLC, Nos. 2015-1202, 2015-1203 (Fed. Cir. April 8, 2016). Anytime the Federal Circuit weighs in on Section 101 patent-eligibility, those of us in the patent bar scramble to comprehend the potential impact to pending patent applications and issued patents alike. For those of us who practice in the computer area, the question arises: how are we informed, or are we informed, by a holding concerning patent claims directed to genetic analysis?”
It’s always noteworthy when CAFC throws away patents like these because software patents originally came from CAFC. Notice the trend now. The courts which once supported software patents no longer do. It must be a scary time to be a patent lawyer in this particular area/domain.
In his final part (part of a long paper), Robert Sachs (patent lawyer) makes it clearer that he was just pushing for software patents all along. To quote his final words: “The fictional form of the mental steps doctrine represents a significant and unwise departure from the factual form. The fictional form is untethered from the conceptual and technological attributes of computer design, the nature of human cognition, and the practical reality and value in computer-implemented inventions. The courts should return to the doctrine’s factual form, and avoid a further descent into the fact-free analysis that now characterizes patent eligibility.”
“One sure thing is, software developers are absent/left out of this whole debate.”This is becoming similar to the infamous whitepaper from David Kappos and his recent lobbying for software patents. They’re trying to put an end to invalidations under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and they’re funded by large corporations to do so. Their clients (including Microsoft) pay them to mislead politicians and to lie to the public. Watch another new example of lobbying for software patents, again taking the shape of a “conference”, just like those funded by Microsoft nowadays [1, 2]. As Cathy Gellis put it: “At this conference on IP in software there’s not nearly enough discussion on WHY ON EARTH DO WE NEED IT.”
“Judge Dyk acknowledges that patent law is not limitless, and that patentable subject matter should not be completely unbounded,” Patently-O noted the other day.
Who’s going to win? The courts, the USPTO, or lobbyists and their affluent clients? One sure thing is, software developers are absent/left out of this whole debate. It’s quite a travesty really. █
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A lot more than just a patent office…
Summary: For increased influence/power/profit as well as for the personal gain of patent lawyers and their richest clients (usually companies from other continents, with a track record of hazardous patent aggression) the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to promote the UPC, despite it being well outside the scope of the EPO to decide on
“Here’s our latest webinar on the Unitary Patent,” the EPO wrote earlier today. They can’t help themselves, can they? The EPO's lobbying for UPC (at whose expense? The public’s expense!) has got to stop. It promotes the self-discrediting ideas or the growing perception that laws in Europe are decided on by those who profit from them, irrespective of the interests of ordinary Europeans or even European businesses. EPO management has done a lot to legitimise such damaging perceptions. Whose office is it? The Office is just run by Europeans but not for Europeans.
Incidentally, also earlier today there was this post titled “Much Ado About Patents” from IP Kat. It alluded to the UPC and stated: “What do validation rates in EPO patents tell us? These and more questions were subject to economic scrutiny at this morning’s CREATe and Queen Mary hosted workshop.”
“The UPC needs to be dumped. It offers nothing whatsoever to Europe and a lot to non-European actors and their European patent lawyers (agents of corporate occupation).”Well, that’s assuming the speakers are truly independent and the workshop wasn’t set up with an agenda in mind. It didn’t take long for UPC to creep into it: “Leading into the Unitary Patent, there are some interesting questions on the interaction between national patents and EPO bundled patents. Are these patents complements, substitutes or neither? (Do patentees get both national and EPO patents, one or the other, or some other combination?) We have very little understanding as to how these work together on a systematic basis. (We know similarly little about the relationship between national and community trade marks and designs.)”
“Overall,” said the author, “the research suggests that EPO and national patents are complements, and not substitutes.”
So now they want to have not only multiple patent offices (for different jurisdictions) but also multiple patent courts, one for the nation and another for the continent/superstate. What happens if one rules for/against an infringement claims and another does the opposite? This is utterly ridiculous! The UPC needs to be dumped. It offers nothing whatsoever to Europe and a lot to non-European actors and their European patent lawyers (agents of corporate occupation). The UPC is just a Trojan horse. █
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Source: David Kappos 2013 interview
Summary: How the lawlessness at the European Patent Office (EPO) has a sort of knock-on effect on the US patent system, where powerful lobbies want to cement patentability of software
THE EPO‘s patent scope is a joke. Things got a lot worse in recent years and EPO staff marched the streets to protest against it. There are now patents on plants, sometimes patents on software in spite of a ban, and many patents (more and more of them) get invalidated by courts, which is indicative of declining examination quality, probably caused by pressure from the top.
Last night we spotted (from two places) this new article titled “Mobilisation for start of mass opposition against patent on tomatoes”. It recalls the cause for woes, amid Battistelli’s own reign (not predecessors): “In 2015, the European Patent Office (EPO) granted patent EP 1515600 to Syngenta, which claims tomatoes with a high content of so-called flavonols. These compounds are supposedly beneficial to health. The patent covers the plants, the seeds and the fruits. This so-called “invention”, however, is simply a product of crossing tomatoes from the countries of origin (Latin America) with varieties currently grown in the industrialised countries. Furthermore European Patent Law prohibits patents on plant varieties and on conventional breeding. All in all, around 1400 patent application on conventional breeding were filed at the EPO so far and around 180 patents are granted already.”
“We recently saw David Kappos doing a lot of lobbying for software patents, having been paid by large US corporations that always lobby for software patents.”This is absolutely horrible and several people we hear from are mortified by this trend, including patent lawyers and examiners. Is the EPO turning into another USPTO, where quality control is virtually non-existent any longer (because any such lenience helps profit and passes the toll/bill to the public)? Where are we going with this? As we shall show in this article, this actually helps companies from the US, or globalists whose interests are orthogonal to those of Europe (“sharply divergent”).
We recently saw David Kappos doing a lot of lobbying for software patents, having been paid by large US corporations that always lobby for software patents. Our writings about Kappos are thus reactionary and we hope he will get a life outside of the lobbying sphere, where he merely discredits the US patent system as a whole (the perception that it’s shaped, controlled and paid for by large corporations). The issues are magnified and the controversy deepens now that Kappos contributes to contamination of Europe with software patents. Kappos uses EPC snubs or the EPO’s perturbations of law (under Battistelli’s reign) to lobby for his clients in favour of software patents. To quote Benjamin Henrion from FFII, “Kappos has begun telling clients that patent protection for software is more robust in other countries like CN [China] or EU,” and to quote Kappos: “Courts in other countries like Germany have been moving in the opposite direction” or “It’s time to abolish Section 101, and the reason I say that is that Europe doesn’t have 101″ (it has the EPC actually).
“Kappos and Battistelli have much in common now. They pretend to be ignorant of the law in order to break the law and they’re both actively lobbying politicians. To whose advantage is this patent maximalism working? Kappos even mocks/disregards the highest US court, SCOTUS, just like Battistelli in the host nation, Holland.”It should not be so hard to see that Kappos now uses the out-of-control EPO as a pretext for software patents in the US, where these types of patents diminish (unlike in Europe, which goes the other way under Battistelli’s reign). Kappos isn’t a USTPO official but a lobbyist now (dangerous man, greedy man, whose clients are reckless and aggressive) and various sites that address patent lawyers carry his message (which is probably exactly what he wants and needs). Henrion asked the publisher, “could you make the whole article public?” It is a stubborn paywall, effectively ensuring that only patent lawyers with a subscription to Law 360 can see what their lobbyist, Kappos, is saying (“I found out that you can get the whole article by using their ow.ly link,” Henrion later added, so workarounds exist for those who know them). Mark Cuban “liked” our previous article about Kappos, so it’s important to elaborate on the subject and research it further. Cuban invests a lot of his own money in patent reform in the US, so given suitable information he can hopefully work towards crushing software patents, not just “bad” patents or “trolls” (that’s what his lawyers at the EFF are doing nowadays).
“In the law360 article,” Henrion explained, “Kappos says Europe does not have section 101, and what about art52 EPC? All the exceptions are about abstract matters” (exactly what most/all software patents count as, as per the SCOTUS ruling on Alice).
Kappos and Battistelli have much in common now. They pretend to be ignorant of the law in order to break the law and they’re both actively lobbying politicians. To whose advantage is this patent maximalism working? Kappos even mocks/disregards the highest US court, SCOTUS, just like Battistelli in the host nation, Holland. This is perhaps the first time that dots are connected between Kappos (former USPTO Director), the EPO, and Battistelli. Kappos has essentially declared himself enemy of software developers (not just FOSS developers), with money that comes from proprietary software monopolists. Then there’s the special treatment the EPO offers to Microsoft, so here again there are potentially interesting parallels. Last night I asked IBM’s and Microsoft’s patent chiefs, “how much did you guys at IBM/MS pay to help the attack on software developers using software patents?” Remember that both are paying Kappos for his lobbying work (the latter recently left or got sacked). █
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David Kappos demonstrates that laws are up for sale in the US, even patent laws
Source: David Kappos 2013 interview
Kappos-led group, funded by large corporations but conveniently not named Partnership of Megacorporations
Summary: Software patents are not going away just yet because companies such as Microsoft, Apple and IBM (which Kappos came from) use their money for lobbying, essentially buying legislation
THE other day we wrote about patents on driving, the context being (in part) Google’s initiative, which made the news this past week, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]. Google is trying to patent driving [1, 2], which brings up all sorts of legitimate questions about patent scope and prior art (humans already drive cars and have driven cars for many years). These are undoubtedly software patents. They affect my area of research, which is computer vision/machine vision (purely software/mathematics), not signal processing (hardware slant to it).
“If Kappos has any dignity left, he will go hide under a rock and not reinforce the perception that the patent system he worked for is deeply corrupt.”According to other news (“Microsoft patents end-to-end encryption”), the NSA surveillance pioneer wants a monopoly on encryption [1, 2, 3, 4], in relation to an operating system that’s the antithesis of encryption (mass surveillance in real time).
Meanwhile we also learn that Finjan, a Microsoft-connected patent aggressor, carries on suing Symantec. As a software patents proponent put it: “Finjan Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: FNJN), the parent of wholly-owned subsidiary Finjan, Inc., announced several weeks ago that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) issued the final rulings on attempts by Symantec Corporation’s (NASDAQ: SYMC) to invalidate 8 different Finjan’s patents through inter partes review (“IPR”).”
So, in this particular case, PTAB did not eliminate software patents, for a change. Cause for celebration among patent lawyers, but what does it mean to everybody else? Apple patent aggression with software patents is still, according to this news, a ‘thing’ as “this latest patent is more software orientated.” A lot of the patents Apple has been using to attack Linux (or Android) have been software patents or design patents, which are inherently similar to (or a type of) software patents.
Now that software patents are generally under attack and face an existential threat in the US (SCOTUS already killed many of them with Alice and it might soon do the same to design patents because of Apple’s aggression) the former USPTO Director, David Kappos, rears his ugly head again. He now works as a lobbyist for IBM, Microsoft, Apple etc. and disgraces the USPTO as he currently receives money to change laws in favour of these clients (that’s a form of “revolving doors” corruption, turning/converting his influence/connections into money). As this lawyers’ site has just put it: “The former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Monday called for the abolition of Section 101 of the Patent Act, which sets limits on patent-eligible subject matter, saying decisions like Alice on the issue are a “real mess” and threaten patent protection for key U.S. industries.” What he means by “real mess” is that it creates uncertainty for clients of his, such as IBM, Microsoft, and Apple. This is a continuation of something that we noted here before. If Kappos has any dignity left, he will go hide under a rock and not reinforce the perception that the patent system he worked for is deeply corrupt. █
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