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11.14.19

The EPO’s Low Patent Quality is Not Just Suicidal; It is Illegal

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The attack on judges is also illegal

We increased production by 80%. You increased production? You mean you destroyed patent validity.

Summary: With help from the besieged Boards of Appeal (BoAs), which complain that they can no longer judge cases (appeals/referrals) autonomously and independently, the Office in Munich continues to grossly violate the EPC and mimic China’s ridiculously low patent bar, which even formally permits patents on algorithms

LAWLESSNESS is the norm in EPOnia. We’re expected to think that it’s OK for the EPO to violate the law every day. We’re also expected to think we’re so much better than China when it comes to tackling corruption, accountability and so on. The EPO has caused some of these myths to shatter, leaving some of us growingly disillusioned. What is the EPO trying to become? What is its role model?

Well, look no further than this latest EPO announcement. (warning: epo.org link) (promoted via Twitter as well)

“We’re also expected to think we’re so much better than China when it comes to tackling corruption, accountability and so on.”The EPO nowadays gets close to the patent printing machine that is CNIPA (formerly SIPO) — the patent office where quality is a joke nowadays! Is Europe as well going down the route of assessing millions of applications per year? Yes, millions….

There aren’t millions of inventions per year and those that exist rarely merit a patent. But does today’s EPO understand this simple fact? Does it care? Perhaps like WIPO it won’t sleep peacefully until there are millions of patent applications per day. Yes!! Innovation!!!

“This is typical ‘Battistelli operandi’.”“At their annual meeting in Suzhou today,” EPO wrote, “EPO President António Campinos and the Commissioner of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), Shen Changyu, agreed to enhance their bilateral co-operation in the framework of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The aim is to give patent applicants filing an international patent application in English at the CNIPA as Receiving Office the choice to opt for the EPO as their International Searching Authority (ISA).”

Yes, there are photo ops as usual. This is typical ‘Battistelli operandi’.

It didn’t take longer than a day for World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) to remind us that it’s not a news site but a propaganda outlet of the EPO and other litigation lunatics. They used to have one or two good writers (who covered EPO corruption), but not anymore. Nowadays they’re copy-pasting from the EPO, almost as though the EPO sends over ‘prepared’ articles for so-called ‘editors’ to just mildly edit. It’s no secret that the PR department of the EPO is corrupt; they have ‘back channels’ at WIPR, so they actively intervene in the editorial work. The problem isn’t limited to EPOnia by the way. Earlier this week News Corp. promoted the lie that patents and ideas are the same thing; the author ‘measured’ the wrong thing, as usual (when the media is owned by billionaires it looks this bad). The EPO was also mentioned:

The number of domestic patents issued to British companies and entrepreneurs declined by 8 per cent last year, the biggest dip in five years, as Japan, China and the United States forged ahead in the global innovation race.

The 3,001 patents granted to British inventors by the UK’s intellectual property office in 2018 represents the most significant year-on-year decline since 2013, when there was a 17 per cent fall.

So what? Maybe they just don’t bother applying. Maybe they realise that many granted patents aren’t worth anything; the EPO too saw a decline in the number of patent applications and it’s trying to fake ‘demand’ by lowering the bar. Does this bother large law firms? Of course not, it’s a temporary boon for them.

Earlier this week we saw Sanam Habib and Maeve O’Flynn (Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP) celebrating the EPO lowering the patent bar to grant illegal software patents (in violation of the EPC) under the guise of “AI”, alongside “mathematical methods” (because all of these things are just maths).

In Mondaq they published:

Mathematical methods, artificial intelligence and machine learning

Guidelines: G-II 3.3 and G-II 3.3.1

Last year, to be in line with the ever growing area of artificial intelligence (AI), the Guidelines added a brand new section for AI. This year the EPO has updated the section relating to patentability of AI and machine learning, and mathematical methods to clarify that “term such as ‘support vector machine’, ‘reasoning engine’ or ‘neural network’ may, depending on the context, merely refer to abstract models or algorithms and thus do not, on their own, necessarily imply the use of a technical means. This has to be taken into account when examining whether the claimed subject-matter has a technical character as a whole (Art. 52(1), (2) and (3))”.

Classifying text documents solely in respect of their textual content is not regarded as per se a technical purpose, but a linguistic one. Care needs to be taken in the presentation of the technical purpose of semantic AI systems.

So for two weeks now examiners at the EPO have been put under pressure — formalised in words — to grant software patents that call themselves “AI”. The EPO has just tweeted: “Artificial Intelligence presents the patent system with a number of challenges & opportunities. Find out more about them here…”

“Surely these people know that the Boards of Appeal (all of them) lack independence, but large firms like Finnegan and Kilburn & Strode couldn’t care any less about the law; all they measure is money, just like EPO management. They’re even breaking the law to accomplish this.”“You exploit this buzzword to grant illegal software patents courts would toss out,” I responded. And people generally agree with me on this. Even examiners! Are they being reduced to buzzword interpreters?

Here’s a new comment by “Quality, what do you expect”, who says that if “it is thus to make money by granting useless patents, I think this is a distortion of what the granting procedure should be.”

The full comment:

I have to disagree as betting that no opposition will come is a mind set up which I cannot consider wise or as an example of good practice.

If it is thus to make money by granting useless patents, I think this is a distortion of what the granting procedure should be.

It is difficult to believe that all applications looked at by an examiner end up with a grant. If it is to close both eyes in order to achieve a given production target, I might show some understanding in view of the present situation at the EPO, but I cannot consider this a being correct.

The problem of patent scope isn’t limited to software. We’ve long complained about patents being granted on nature and life too (it’s like Alice and Mayo at SCOTUS).

Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Jamie Atkins has just promoted in third party sites his new article about the EPO wasting time by dealing with patents that are obviously invalid and fake, even illegal. By sending the case to a tribunal the Office terrorises in violation of the EPC!

The Board of Appeal (BoA) recently issued its preliminary comments in preparation for Oral Proceedings in, arguably, the most high profile appeal at the EPO in recent years (T 0844/18).

The only issue for the Oral Proceedings is whether the priority claim of the patent, namely EP2771468 is valid. Patent EP2771468 is one of the early foundational CRISPR cases, jointly held by the Broad Institute, MIT and Harvard. In a Decision in March 2018, the Opposition Division (OD) found that the priority claim is not valid and revoked the patent for lack of novelty. The Patentees appealed the OD Decision and the Oral Proceedings before the Board of Appeal on this critical issue are scheduled for 13-17 January 2020.

The outcome of this Oral Proceedings could significantly change the patent landscape at the EPO.

Surely these people know that the Boards of Appeal (all of them) lack independence, but large firms like Finnegan and Kilburn & Strode couldn’t care any less about the law; all they measure is money, just like EPO management. They’re even breaking the law to accomplish this.

Techrights’ Interpretation of Koch v EPO: The EPO’s Management Still Attacks Staff Representatives

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 5:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even those with disabilities (caused by the EPO) and even those who have already left the EPO

Handicap parking

Summary: The EPO hopes to get its victims (of EPO abuse) to not only foot their own bills but also the EPO’s

OUR past coverage of Koch v EPO [1, 2, 3, 4]) highlights problems with ILO in relation to the European Patent Office (EPO). It shows that there’s no effective EPO oversight and not even a safeguard for mistreated employees. Here’s the latest from Koch:

We hope to say more about this in the near future as we’re investigating this in parallel to the Thierry Breton series (not that there’s a direct connection, but as we’ve just explained, bad and abusive management causes people depression and many end up desperate, even suicidal).

The Breton-Battistelli Relationship and Breton Hiding His Employment Record at Rothschild & Cie Banque

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 4:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

2015: Battistelli’s Furious Love Affair With French Power: Part V

Breton-Battistelli relationship
EPO and Thierry Breton: “Outstanding inventors from France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland and the US honoured with European Inventor Award 2018″ (warning: epo.org link)

Summary: EPO scoundrels such as Battistelli are closer to Breton than most people care to realise; Breton is hiding part of his career ahead of today’s grilling

FRENCHMEN in charge of the European Patent Office (EPO) cannot escape the connection to Mr. Breton, whose employment history exposes many overlaps (patent trolls, the largest and most controversial French telecom and so on). Frenchmen António Campinos and Battistelli are very much familiar with Breton. They’re from the same “elite club” for lack of a better analogy…

EPO workers tell us “About the EPO and Thierry Breton…”

They certainly seem to be well aware! Remember the many scandals associated with the event shown above (we wrote dozens of posts about these). “EPO President Benoît Battistelli with Michaëlle Jean, Secretary General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, and Jury Chairman Thierry Breton,” says the caption. Thierry Breton is clearly shown in the picture, but he is not mentioned in the text except this caption. This is one of those Battistelli photo ops which may prove costly in the future (like Benalla) because we have an ongoing series which will highlight the Breton-Battistelli relationship.

“Update to the Thierry Breton story” has meanwhile been sent to us by authors of the Breton series. It’s proving to be very timely.


Recent events are increasing the relevance of the exposé.

Yesterday, Tuesday 12 November 2019, Breton scraped through a preliminary examination of his financial and business affairs in the European Parliament, in a tight vote that sets the stage for a tough confirmation hearing on Thursday.

According to the Financial Times, the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee approved Mr Breton’s financial declarations on Tuesday with 12 votes in favour and 11 against — narrowly clearing him for a confirmation hearing with MEPs in order to become Brussels’ new single market and industry commissioner.

Breton’s affairs have been under sharp scrutiny from MEPs. He most recently served as the chief executive of software giant Atos and resigned from all his corporate jobs to take up the Brussels role.

Despite having cleared one of his toughest hurdles on Tuesday, MEPs warned that Mr Breton would be subject to an intense grilling from left and green parties over his financial ties to the tech sector, which he would be in charge of regulating if he is confirmed in the commission job.

The next hearing takes place on Thursday, 14 November 2019, when the three new Commissioners-designate Olivér Várhelyi, Adina-Ioana Vălean and Thierry Breton will face three-hour hearings in the EU Parliament.

Details can be found here:

Hearings of new Commissioners-designate

Commissioner hearings: Várhelyi, Breton, Vălean to face MEPs’ questions

The Breton hearing can be followed live here:

Hearing of Thierry Breton, Commissioner-designate, Internal Market, 14 November 2014, 13:00 – 16:00 CET.

Hearing of Thierry Breton, Commissioner-designate, Internal Market

The following documents are available on the EU Parliament website:

One curious detail here is that in his CV Breton has omitted any mention of the fact that directly after leaving his position as Minister for the Economy in June 2007 he took a job as a “senior advisor” at Rothschild & Cie Banque for about a year before he moved to Atos.

His stint at the Rothschild bank is no secret as it was widely reported on in the French press at the time:

Thierry Breton devient « senior advisor » chez Rothschild | Les Echos

Thierry Breton rejoint la banque d’affaires Rothschild

His involvement with Rothschild & Cie has also been mentioned in recent media coverage of his nomination as EU Commissioner.

UE : Macron avance le nouveau pion Breton

Thierry Breton, Emmanuel Macron et les patrons

“This would not be Breton’s first spin through the revolving door between private and public, between regulated and regulator. He had already previously been plucked from France Telecom (now Orange) in 2005 to become France’s Finance Minister. He stayed in this role for two years. Directly after leaving he took a job at the Rothschild Bank as a senior advisor and within one year he was appointed CEO of Atos.”

Thierry Breton, the corporate commissioner? | Corporate Europe Observatory

“In 2010, when Atos announced it would acquire Siemens’ IT unit, it was a 32-year-old Macron at Rothschild who advised Breton on the deal. Before Breton joined Atos in 2008, he too worked part-time for Rothschild, where he was part of a team of three senior advisers that included the chairman of Rothschild’s German branch, Klaus Mangold, who sat on the board of directors of Alstom from 2007 to 2019.”

Macron strikes back with his champion of champions – POLITICO

So it’s a bit of a mystery as to why Thierry hasn’t seen fit to mention this in the CV he submitted to the EU Commission.

Is he trying to hide something?

A Lot of EPO Staff on Dutch Land Protested (Despite Abusive Threats From Management) and a Strike is Reportedly Next

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hague EPO protest

Summary: EPO management in Rijswijk tried hard to prevent workers from protesting on their free time (lunch break), reaffirming that same old belief that nothing is changing at the EPO and nothing will change without truly disruptive action

AN anonymous European Patent Office (EPO) insider has said: “SUEPO organized a general assembly yesterday in Munich. Märpel has rarely seen the canteen that full, people were standing for lack of seats. It thus appears that President Campinos plans to pressure staff even more and reduce benefits when the EPO yearly surplus are above 400 millions Euros raise some concerns. An official strike ballot is registered.”

Strike next? Depends on the outcome of the ballot. Such a ballot was close to happening less than a year after Campinos had taken Office.

Team Battistelli helped António Campinos by making it even harder for staff to organise for a strike. The management ‘changed’. No doubt, however, EPO management will make it as difficult as possible, as before…

When Dutch media started covering the protest we quickly mentioned it on the same day and now, as we’ve hoped, there’s an English version [PDF], which we reproduce below: (the most interesting tidbit is how EPO management tried to suppress attendance)

Patent Office employees protesting against culture of fear again: ‘President not entering into dialogue’

[Image/photo above]
Some of the employees who demonstrated. | Photo: Omroep West/Mark Kool

RIJSWIJK – Hundreds of employees at the European Patent Office demonstrated outside the Portuguese embassy on Thursday afternoon. The staff at the office, based in Rijswijk, want the new president, António Campinos from Portugal, to enter into dialogue with the staff. According to the demonstrators, a culture of fear has prevailed within the organisation for years now and too little is being done to put an end to this.

Employees at the Patent Office have been drawing attention to the abuses within the organisation for years. One of the demonstrators explained why they were standing outside the Portuguese embassy. “Dialogue with the staff stopped under the previous president of the office. In Campinos, we have a new president with a mandate to talk to the staff but, in the past year and a half, nothing has changed. This is because the team around the president has remained the same, which means that even with a new president nothing has changed.”

The demonstrator did not want to be named. “There is a huge culture of fear. I feel uncomfortable just giving this interview,” he told the reporter from Omroep West who was in attendance. “If I am recognised on the screen then that could and would definitely have consequences for me at work. That’s why we also don’t want any photographs to be shown in which people can be recognised.”

Under pressure

The demonstrator hopes that the protest will not have any consequences at work. “The organisation arranged different events all day long, to ensure that people would not be able to go.” The employee is not afraid that the office will discipline everyone who left during working hours. “You can have lunch between 11.30 and 14.00 and it doesn’t matter where you do that.”

In the end, hundreds of employees took part in the protest. “We travelled from the patent office to the Portuguese embassy on buses, since the president is Portuguese. Although the staff were pressured not to attend the demonstration, we succeeded in filling five hundred places on the buses. With the people who travelled by bike too, there were around 600 demonstrators. It’s absolutely brilliant to see how many people are here today.”

Translations are available in German and French as well in SUEPO’s Web site (direct links: German [PDF] | French [PDF]).

11.12.19

You’ve Gotta Go When You’ve Gotta Go

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO Management Has Gotta Go

Summary: How most staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) feels these days

EPO and EU: People Behind the Faces

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents at 12:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When they say EPO breaks the law. So they alter the lighting.

Summary: It’s no secret that the EPO breaks the law and European officials have taken no concrete steps to intervene; to make matters worse, potentially new EPO allies may soon be put in charge of the EU Commission

THE European Patent Office (EPO) has been run mostly by French people in recent years. Battistelli is the best (or worst) known example and his successor António Campinos is also French (born there, studied there, mother is French, has French nationality). Last year we made this image just to make a point:

French EPO

Some of Techrights’ upcoming posts may seem political in nature, but this is not deliberate; it’s the only way to explain particularly obscene (for lack of a better term) aspects of EPO corruption. France needs to arrest more than just Battistelli and ‘Sarko’. It is a national embarrassment and if not properly tackled it will tarnish the national brand and harm France’s status in the EU. This point was explained already by French politicians, who had themselves been worried and repeatedly warned about it.

“One part (number 17) will look at Breton’s connections to Battistelli and the EPO.”
      –Anonymous
A new series about Thierry Breton is about to kick off. “We have been busy working on a new series,” told us the authors, who in our experience have a sterling record. “It’s about Macron’s latest nomination for EU Commissioner, Thierry Breton.”

Readers would be well aware (if they paid attention) that we are pro-EU. This series is not an attack on the EU.

“This is a subject with a lot of mileage and the material which we have gathered has been spread out over a total of 18 parts,” the authors clarified.

We are going to start later today with a teaser and the first 14 parts are good to go. We’ll set the pace of publication according to current events. Sometimes particular issues or facts arise in response to something we publish. We’ll try to take these into account. We’ll listen rather than just preach with our ears shut. “There is still some work needed on the last four parts,” the authors said. “One part (number 17) will look at Breton’s connections to Battistelli and the EPO.”

“A lot of readers in the “Anglosphere” may not be familiar with Thierry Breton although they have probably heard something about Atos where he was CEO from 2008 onwards.”
      –Anonymous
We mentioned these before, but only in passing and only in social control media. This needed exploring and fact-checking.

“We realise that this is a “political” rather than a “technical” subject,” the authors said, “but it might be of interest to Techrights readers judging by Benjamin Henrion’s comment here.

“A lot of readers in the “Anglosphere” may not be familiar with Thierry Breton although they have probably heard something about Atos where he was CEO from 2008 onwards. This recent article helps to explain why the Breton nomination is so controversial.”

From the article:

After seeing his first pick for Commissioner rejected by the European Parliament due to concerns of conflict of interests, French President Macron seems to have doubled down with a potentially even more controversial nomination: Thierry Breton, CEO of Atos.

If approved, this would likely be the first time that a CEO was chosen to join the College of Commissioners, a move more reminiscent of the Trump administration than the EU civil service. There is a striking and massive overlap between the interests of the company Breton headed and the remit of the Internal Market portfolio Macron has negotiated for him, including industrial policy, defence, tech and space. This overlap creates a maze of potential conflicts of interest that would be very difficult to solve.

[...]

Atos has also been one of the main recipients of EU funding from the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (EU-LISA), to build what have been called “virtual walls”. These are IT systems that control, monitor and survey people at the EU’s external borders. According to the Transnational Institute, these programmes use “stringent controls following generalised threat assessments based on biometrics and features, not in the least skin colour”. Moreover such border control systems can also be seen as trial runs for a possible later deployment in the general population.

An internet monitoring system dubbed ‘Eagle’, which was developed by Atos’ subsidary, Bull, is even now the focus of an investigation by the Paris Prosecutor’s office. The system was sold to various repressive regimes including the Khadaffi regime in Libya, Ben Ali’s Tunisia and the Moroccan secret service, allowing them to monitor citizens and journalists. Breton was a board member of Bull.

If Breton is approved by the European Parliament he would now become responsible for steering EU policy in these areas. The mission letter assigned to Commissioner-designate Breton would put him in charge of investing in technologies like “blockchain, high-performance computing, algorithms, and data-sharing and data-usage tools”; “defining standards for 5G networks”; coordinating an “European approach on artificial intelligence and on the new Digital Services Act”; and, finally, building a real single market for cybersecurity”.

[...]

This would not be Breton’s first spin through the revolving door between private and public, between regulated and regulator. He had already previously been plucked from France Telecom (now Orange) in 2005 to become France’s Finance Minister. He stayed in this role for two years. Directly after leaving he took a job at the Rothschild Bank as a senior advisor and within one year he was appointed CEO of Atos.

Breton is a typical member of the French economic and political elites: 35% of the CEOs of companies listed in the Paris Stock Exchange (CAC40) come from the two top universities, which typically train most of the country’s senior politicians and high officials (the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, where Macron studied, and – the Polytechnique, from which Breton graduated), and the Board members of publicly listed French companies have the highest rate of simultaneous mandates in boardrooms among European countries.

There’s lots more in that article. It’s rather fascinating, but we’ve taken particular interest in his past when it comes to patents.

“Because Breton is being lined up by Macron for a key position on the EU Commission,” the authors of our series wrote, “the issue is a “live” one where there is still time to contact MEPs to ask questions/raise objections about his nomination.”

“If the Breton nomination gets approved by the EU Parliament, then that would give Macron and his clique two key levers of EU policy (the ECB and the Commissioner responsible for industrial policy).”
      –Anonymous
There are also familiar faces that are connected to Battistelli.

“It is worth noting that an old “buddy” of Breton’s, namely Christine Lagarde, has already been parachuted in as head of the European Central Bank by Macron,” the authors noted.

“If the Breton nomination gets approved by the EU Parliament, then that would give Macron and his clique two key levers of EU policy (the ECB and the Commissioner responsible for industrial policy).”

This series takes a great deal of work and preparation. If errors are found along the way, they will be corrected. As always, readers’ input is more than welcome.

EPO Corruption Compared to Cocaine Scandals in Antwerp

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Seaport Antwerp, Belgium
Antwerp, Belgium

Summary: Days after the Dutch protest discussion is sort of ‘uncorked’ regarding EPO corruption (published, as usual, in the form of anonymous comments)

THE latest comments about EPO ineptitude and corruption, as seen in blogs like Kluwer’s and the Kat’s. We quote some below.

On UPC being at risk due to EPO corruption:

Thanks for that, Pfui, even though I read it with a sinking heart. Why sinking? Because I think of the UPC and what people want out of it. Even now, 40 years after the start of the EPO, users can by-pass the EPO by using national Patent Offices instead. Today, when it comes to litigation, the national patents courts compete with each other for the business. To replace these national courts (where the Rule of Law still runs) with a supra-national entity with fuzzy (and perhaps) opaque lines of accountability suddenly (given the way things are going at the EPO) seems like the wrong way to go.

Pfui responded a day or so later (there’s moderation and censorship by the blog, hence lag/latency):

I fear that you may be right again.

Another point which upsets me and which illustrates too well the major democratic deficit of the EPO: a diplomatic conference is overdue for more than a decade as delegates of the member states of the administrative council carefully avoid to inform their ministers of its existence and of the legal requirement for it (and abusing its power, Battistelli never called for it to keep his hands free to do what he wanted).

How can this serve the public when a major international organisation is being highjacked by its member states to their own selfish benefit?

How can a dysfunctional and weaker EPO serve Europe? Why is Europe passive and mute although perfectly aware of the mess – all EU member states are members of the EPO and an EU representative sits as an observer at the administrative council meetings.

Good response to Astra Zeneca and Team UPC pretending (lying) that UPC is somehow not an EU thing (it very strictly is; it’s right there in the text):

“Merpel does not remember ‘the end of the jurisdiction of the CJEU’ being on her Brexit referendum ballot paper.”

If fictitious cats were allowed to vote in the referendum, does that provide a ground for challenging the outcome?

“A friend of the EPO” revisited (as before) EPO corruption by saying: “The question which now arises is how many skeletons, and of which nature, are sitting in the new president’s cupboard for him to keep in place the two worst minions introduced by his predecessor.”

The question which now arises is how many skeletons, and of which nature, are sitting in the new president’s cupboard for him to keep in place the two worst minions introduced by his predecessor. They might have been shifted a bit around, but their power of nuisance remains. As long as those two minions, and especially the female one, are left in position social peace will remain wishful thinking.

The actual president having brought in not one, but chores of people from Alicante, those will certainly not have any intention to say anything, even should they become aware of something “strange”, as all these people are indebted to the new president for their position.

This applies especially to the new VP4 coming from Alicante. VP5 switched from chairman of the Administrative Council, with only some pay on the meeting days, to a full time job at the EPO and the cosy salary coming with it. Once he retires, he will benefit from medical coverage by the EPO for a fraction of his income. VP1 was responsible for trademarks at the UKIPO, so his dealings with Alicante are obvious. I doubt that all those VPs would have been chosen by the AC if the new president would have had any reservations. In other words, the new VPs are also indebted to the actual president.

I agree with Max Drei, there are enough people external to the EPO, but profiting from it, and they have no interest to any change. Let us get patents by the dozen. Their real value does not matter much, it is simply a lever in negotiations between big players.

I doubt the members of the AC will ever agree with removal of the possibility they have to obtain “emergency” dental treatment when being present at AC meetings, and this at the cost of the EPO. EPO is his own insurer for medical care and only employs an insurance broker for the administrative task of reimbursing expenses. Otherwise, it would not have been possible to give this type of medical coverage to members of the AC.

The cooperation budget is also a very powerful tool, to obtain the “correct” votes from the AC. The former president played a lot with this budget. Why would the new president not continue? And who is in charge of cooperation in the future? You guessed it: the other half of PD inHR. Under the former president it was already one of his minions, now retired, who controlled cooperation. Everything stays thus under control.

The level of multiple dependency has reached such a level that the system works like a closed loop, and none of the actors have the slightest interest in breaking the loop.

I think it was Mao Ze Dong who has said that the fish stinks from the head. We have a perfect illustration here.

MaxDrei (attorney) suggested that the Council should “give the President please a mandate, an instruction, to root out the corruption at the EPO before it spreads further and becomes irreparable, like at Antwerp.”

It’s about a high-profile revelations regarding drug trade (article by Der Spiegel):

As we all know, and as EPO Friend reminds us, with any dead fish, the stink sets in at the head, then travels downwards. EPO Friend invites us to think about the closed loop of venality that has been installed by the former “head” of the EPO. What EPO Friend doesn’t offer is a way to break the loop.

Coincidentally, I have just read in Der Spiegel a long article about the trade in cocaine from South America into Europe. The main port of entry is Antwerp, where the battle to stem the inbound flow of cocaine has already been lost. It seems that those who have used cocaine has risen to 5% of the population in Western Europe. Europe’s enemies, the authoritarian rulers of the world outside democratic Western Europe, are delighted that Europe is killing itself slowly.

Do our politicians care? Not at all, it seems. Grotesquely inadequate money and resources are being made available to reduce cocaine consumption. I suppose our representatives salve their consciences with the thought that nobody is being forced to addict themselves to cocaine. And I suppose they do nothing about the mis-government, mis-management and disregard for the Rule of Law at the EPO because, even if they think about it at all, they cannot see who is being harmed.

Well, politicians, we are all being harmed, by the cynicism, the loss of precious trust. But mostly YOU. If you do not care about the Rule of Law, the angry voters will get more and more angry with you and the society that looks up to you as our representatives in the Parliament, the legislature. So, even if it is only for your own long-term self-interest, at the AC, give the President please a mandate, an instruction, to root out the corruption at the EPO before it spreads further and becomes irreparable, like at Antwerp.

SUEPO Showed That the Media Won’t Cover EPO Corruption Until Half the Workers March in the Streets

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And even then it’s treated as just a minor infraction

SUEPO protest in newspaper

Summary: What ought to have been a central (if not ‘the’ central) issue of debate in Europe is still being treated as borderline irrelevant or marginal

THE affairs in The Hague concern me. They affect me. They affect billions of people. Many of these people don’t know about it. Many of them don’t know how patent law works. A very tiny fraction of them would even be aware/infromed — at any point — about the scandals. I mean, it’s not like it involves football or FIFA, does it?

“Why aren’t these affairs covered on a daily basis?”These affairs also affect me as a programmer. These affairs affect millions of Europeans capable of programming. They affect hundreds of millions of Europeans who use computer programs. Perhaps more importantly, these affairs impact every facet of life, including medicine, working conditions, family life, travel, food and so on.

Why aren’t these affairs covered on a daily basis? If not as ‘front page’ news, why not at least the centerfold or some side section (like the above)? If the goal of journalism is to keep the general public informed, what went on last week should be a segment in all major TV channels and all major newspapers. In Munich the protests were barely even mentioned (we’ve found no examples).

“In Munich the protests were barely even mentioned (we’ve found no examples).”Credit goes to Algemeen Dagblad; its article was archived here [PDF] by SUEPO, which added: “(Algemeen Dagblad – AD.nl published in paper version on 08/11/2019). “Personeel patentbureau is het zat”. Scan is available here.

We’ve turned the relevant part into the image above. It’s important to keep this stuff documented. Over the past few years the media pretended — at least to itself — that everything was back in order owing to a meaningless presidential shuffle. Office affairs have barely been touched by Dutch media since a year and a half ago (new but unfinished building being ‘inaugurated’).

“Office affairs have barely been touched by Dutch media since a year and a half ago (new but unfinished building being ‘inaugurated’).”What ever happened to coverage of legal affairs? Do matters pertaining to the law of no interest? What 35 U.S.C. § 101 means to the USPTO‘s Director is what the EPC means to António Campinos and Battistelli at the European Patent Office (EPO). Both of them trash the EPC. In the US there have been lots of media articles about these controversial affairs of Iancu, so why not the same in Europe? Is the public too ‘dumb’ to understand legal affairs? Is this what so-called ‘journalists’ want us to believe?

Owing to media apathy and negligence, in my experience at least, European law was regularly violated. We’re supposed to think that any criticism of this kind is some sort of attack on the “EU” and thus an assault on European peace/coexistence. How convenient and simplistic a narrative…

There’s an upcoming case, G1/19, which proponents of software patents in the US mentioned as recently as yesterday (linking to this, from the US). We’ve also just learned about Microsoft (US) fighting for software patents where those are not legal; anything for “MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING” to keep blackmailing companies while pretending the company is a reformed angel…

“We’ve also just learned about Microsoft (US) fighting for software patents where those are not legal; anything for “MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING” to keep blackmailing companies while pretending the company is a reformed angel…”Bardehle Pagenberg’s Bastian Best had promoted his latest promotion of software patents in Europe, in which he brags that the EPO grants bogus patents that courts would reject, namely: “SQL language extensions for modifying columns in a single statement” (obviously software).

“The European Patent Office considered an SQL language extension for modifying collection-valued and scalar valued columns in a single statement to be technical,” he wrote. “Here are the practical takeaways of the decision T 0697/17 (SQL extensions/MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGY LICENSING) of 17.10.2019 of Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.07…”

Well, the Technical Board of Appeal does not have independence. It is controlled by the Office — the same problem that already disgraces G1/19 (because Campinos meddles in the case/outcome).

“Well, the Technical Board of Appeal does not have independence. It is controlled by the Office — the same problem that already disgraces G1/19 (because Campinos meddles in the case/outcome).”As one can expect, the logic of patent maximalists is that even bogus, invalid, illegal patents can be OK because they’re not litigated. Companies like Microsoft use these fake patents in bulk for blackmail and extortion (or cross-licensing with other monopolies). “In response to Quality,” one person wrote yesterday, “what do you expect, the fact that some Examiners never refuse a case, does not mean that quality has suffered. It is the best Examiners that offer claims of very narrow scope which satisfy everyone. Third parties are not unduly hindered, and the applicant has some protection. Such wise Examiners are now rare, who understood that since most EP patents are not opposed or litigated, no third parties are interested or really care. That means the applicant might not need a huge scope of protection, and protection granted will not inconvenience anyone. Granting patents of fairly narrow scope will satisfy everyone is most instances and the system keeps going without too much fuss…”

So it “keeps going” in whose favour? Law firms? Their biggest clients? Seems like those are the only entities which matter to today’s EPO management.

“Companies like Microsoft use these fake patents in bulk for blackmail and extortion (or cross-licensing with other monopolies).”We’re meanwhile seeing the “HEY HI” (AI) panic reappearing at VentureBeat. Yesterday they published: “In August, three agencies — the USPTO, European Patent Office (EPO), and United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) — received two patent dockets filed by Thaler’s DABUS…”

Oh, maybe the EPO will want to work for large companies’ algorithms now, by awarding them too monopolies?

From the article:

The system has motivated people like former aerospace engineer Dr. Stephen Thaler to turn to AI in pursuit of a better way. He, along with a team of legal experts and engineers, developed DABUS, a “creativity machine” that’s able to generate ideas without human intervention. A “critic” component within DABUS monitors the system’s idea-generating modules, enabling it to isolate and ripen those that evince the most utility. In August, three agencies — the USPTO, European Patent Office (EPO), and United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) — received two patent dockets filed by Thaler’s DABUS. One is for a beverage container, and the other is for a light that flashes in a rhythm that’s hard to ignore.

It’s not unreasonable to say that DABUS has paved the way for AI invention systems yet to come — and opened something of a Pandora’s box in the process. At issue is whether AI qualifies as an inventor under statutes like the America Invents Act, which defines a filer as “the individual or, if a joint invention, the individuals collectively who invented or discovered the subject matter of the invention.” Some scholars argue that “individual” might be interpreted broadly to mean machines as well people and that denying an AI the right of conception could hinder innovation. But others assert that allowing AI to be credited with an invention might deter human developers who find themselves unable to compete.

The EPO does not care about humans; it cares only about corporations. The EPO doesn’t even value humans who work for the EPO. It strives to help corporations and their “HEY HI” replace these humans, even if for vastly inferior outcomes. All that matters is that few massive monopolies (usually American companies) will net all the money, perhaps serving some ‘kickbacks’ to EPO managers.

It’s quite frankly absurd the European media doesn’t cover these issues. When it mentions the EPO it typically just repeats the EPO’s words or prints ‘prepared’ articles from the EPO’s own PR department. I heard inside stories to that effect.

“When it mentions the EPO it typically just repeats the EPO’s words or prints ‘prepared’ articles from the EPO’s own PR department.”It has been hard to look past the EPO’s latest headline (warning: epo.org link) with popular culture reference like “Back to the future” (while speaking about “youth”). Munich’s “TED” — like all “TEDs” — is corrupt anyway (promoting oligarchy), i.e. it’s just like EPO management. To quote the EPO itself: “TED is a non-profit organization that achieved global acclaim through its TED Talk conference. Since inception 30 years ago, the annual event has featured well-known presenters such as Bill Gates, Jane Goodall and Sir Richard Branson. The conference spawned TEDx: A series of events managed by local organisers in cities worldwide. TEDxMünchen forms part of this series.”

And guess whose views are impermissible? It’s like that infamous Davos ‘forum’, except it’s multinational in the location sense.

The EPO tweeted on Monday: “What an amazing day! Congratulations to the @TEDxMuenchen team for putting together an inspiring event & thank you to all of you who have shared your thoughts on innovation with us! From all of us at the EPO, THANK YOU!”

“The EPO bribed and/or intimidated some of them, using its humongous and misused (no oversight!) budget.”I responded sincerely: “No, sorry. The Twitter account of EPOorg does NOT speak for “all of us at the EPO”; it’s a voice of oppression against EPO staff, lying to the staff and to the world on behalf of few corrupt individuals…”

We certainly hope for more coverage about EPO affairs — with or without these staff protests (the protests ought not be a requirement for journalism). My personal view has become so negative, seeing how so-called ‘journalists’ whom I contact refuse to deal with the subject, with publishers (media owners) being largely to blame. They spike stories and discourage writers. The EPO bribed and/or intimidated some of them, using its humongous and misused (no oversight!) budget.

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