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09.17.19

EPO is Not European

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mostly a European gift to the largest companies in the US

Hilton in Paris
Hilton in Paris

Summary: Internationalists and patent trolls are those who stand to benefit from the ‘globalisation’ of low-quality and law-breaking patents such as patents on algorithms, nature and life itself; the EPO isn’t equipped to serve its original goals anymore

THE name, European Patent Office (EPO), can be misleading. It is based in Europe, it employs a lot of German men, but who is actually being served?

Think about it.

It’s not a difficult question.

The push for software patents in Europe — a push intensified greatly in the Battistelli days — serves to show that software developers aren’t being served (not European ones, not even non-European ones). It’s about multinational giants and their law firms. Those are the same giants that ferociously combat 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the US and try to craft legal loopholes around it. They hate judges and courts; they prefer ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ (i.e. collusions and secret deals behind the scenes).

“They already have a co-operation on buzzwords. They use the same ones. They even say this openly. They brag about it. We showed evidence from their own documents!”Consider the ways the EPO’s management has been working overtime to not only grant software patents illegally but also take such illegal patents global, e.g. by labeling such patents “HEY HI!” (AI is their favourite buzzword these days or has been this past year). Yesterday the EPO tweeted: “EPO President António Campinos met @The_IPO Chief Executive Tim Moss & @USPTO Director Andrei Iancu in London to discuss the global patent system, the co-operation between the offices & more.”

They already have a co-operation on buzzwords. They use the same ones. They even say this openly. They brag about it. We showed evidence from their own documents! On goes António Campinos, along with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Andrei Iancu, pushing the patent maximalists’ agenda. Iancu is a perfect fit for the EPO because of lawlessness and chronic disdain for judges (this is well documented).

In the EPO’s own words: “EPO President António Campinos welcomed @uspto Director Andrei Iancu for the first time at the EPO headquarters in Munich.”

The EPO then retweeted UKIPO as saying/writing: “Today @IPO_CEO Tim Moss and @EPOorg President António Campinos met to discuss international cooperation and updates in the #technology sector.”

I asked aloud: “Are they pushing illegal software patents agenda under the guise of “technology”?”

The FFII’s President said “obviously.”

Looking at the official page that the EPO wrote about it (warning: epo.org link), this is the first time in a very long while that UPC gets mentioned by the EPO’s management. Notice the part about “Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court.”

They’re pushing unconstitutional agenda for their US ‘handlers’ who want to sue companies all over Europe in one fell swoop:

The heads of office spoke about their respective strategic plans and also addressed the rising importance of artificial intelligence, both in the patent granting process and as the subject-matter of patent applications, in addition to developments related to the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court.

What “developments” are they speaking about? There have been no developments, no progress. Here’s something written more than four years ago. It’s from Stibbe (entitled “Progress on the Unitary Patent”). What has changed since then? It’s that same old tune for many years now, almost half a decade; IP Kat is singing that same tune nowadays because Team UPC has far too many seats in the editorial team. The blog is a litigation lobby now; it’s a sad transition to lying rather than truth-telling — something it did in fact do for a number of years.

Kan He of IP Kat is starting this week by boosting malicious patent agenda of the front group 4iP Council. It’s a group that works for patent trolls and UPC (under the guise of “FRAND” and other lies) — i.e. the same as LESI more or less (the EPO’s cup of tea). To quote:

The 4iP Council just added its 50th case law on FRAND into its database of national FRAND caselaw. This database regularly updated allows easy access to summaries of FRAND caselaw in Europe. You can search for cases by country, party, case number and keywords and there is even an interactive graphic showing how national courts are interpreting keywords.

They’re even linking to their site. They promote this agenda. These liars love to pretend that they value and cherish small businesses or “SMEs”. But they merely harm SMEs. The EPO knows it. They know it. Everyone knows it. That’s why they’re googlebombing “SME” and “SMEs” every other day. Yesterday the EPO wrote: “Customers and resellers can provide important information about infringement which can be used to enforce patent rights. That’s one conclusion of our SME case studies.”

They added the #IPforSMEs hashtag; this is connected to the EU through EUIPO.

Surely they know that this is useful neither for Europe nor the EU (a subset of it). Surely they know that this is all about patent maximalism. Surely they know (they admit it! The staff says so!) that many patents are nowadays granted in violation of the EPC.

Speaking of invalid or fake or bogus patents, this new one seems like a bogus software patent, yet iSignthis has just issued a paid press release to brag about what’s a rather questionable patent. Australian media too (The Sydney Morning Herald) did this puff piece yesterday:

The iSignthis sharemarket rollercoaster continued on Monday with investors embracing the news that the company had been “notified of the European Patent Office’s (EPO) intention to grant a patent” relating to customer authentication.

A check of the EPO’s register confirmed that the agency had communicated its intention to grant the patent to iSignthis in May this year. The patent in question refers to methods and systems for verifying transactions.

[...]

“Work is usually needed by the patent attorneys to clear it into a form that can be accepted by the company,” said chief executive John Karantzis. The company received correspondence on September 6 with the requirements to finalise the EPO’s notice of intention to grant the patent.

iSignthis seems unaware that many patents granted by the EPO turn out to be fake when courts assess them. Some entities, however (notably trolls), rely on settling outside the courts for some unspecified monetary sum. It’s extortion. The EPO’s abandonment of patent quality best serves those sorts of entities — not a fact that ever bothers today’s management. Iancu denies such a problem even exists.

The EPO’s Central Staff Committee and SUEPO (Staff Union) Respond to “Fascist Bills” Supported by EPO President António Campinos

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Internal appeals against strike regulations”

EPO vs Staff unequal fight

Summary: Raw material pertaining to the latest Campinos “scandal”; what Campinos said, what the Central Staff Committee (CSC) said, and what SUEPO said

THE STAFF of the European Patent Office (EPO) is disappointed to see yet more evidence that Battistelli remains ‘in power’ through his friend António Campinos, whom he left in charge. From Friday:

Munich, 13.09.2019
sc19121cp – 0.2.1/0.3.2

Internal appeals against strike regulations

In his Communiqué No.19 of 3 September 2019 Mr Campinos celebrates the majority opinions of the Appeals Committee that validated the Office’s approach to the right to strike. Mr Campinos fails to consider the solid minority opinions. The decisions will be appealed at the ILOAT.

A bit of “evolutionary history” is often helpful to understand the present.

Changing the rules during the game…

Early in 2013 the SUEPO trade union called for an office-wide action plan 1. This was in response to outstanding concerns of staff, specifically concerning performance management (abolition of warning letters), well-being (house arrests for sick staff), the career system (reduction of the budget), a ban on mass emails, and the investigation guidelines.

The answer of Mr Battistelli was to submit during the on-going conflict a proposal on strike regulations (CA/D 5/13 and Circular 347) which made striking much more difficult by:

- restricting the allowed nature and duration of a strike;

- restricting the allowed grounds for a strike2 (to only relate to “conditions of employment”);

- introducing a 1/20th deduction of monthly salary per day (instead of 1/30th);

- allowing small, non-statutory, ad-hoc groups to bypass unions and initiate strike ballots; and

- preventing a strike ballot being organised by others than the Administration.

Mr Battistelli pretended in front of the Administrative Council3 that the purpose of these amendments was to fill a legal vacuum and that, for the first time in EPO history, the newly introduced Article 30a ServRegs would recognise the right to strike. The then VP5 declared that: “[t]he new regulations had been proposed considering general legal principles, European rights and ILOAT standards.”

Interestingly, and somewhat contradictorily, the Administration argued before the Appeals Committee that it did not consider ILO Convention 151 on Labour Relations to be binding on the EPOrg. However, the right to strike emanates from the fundamental right to freedom of association, a right already recognised in Article 30 ServRegs. In contrast, Article 30a almost voids the right to strike and thus attacks our right to freedom of association.
____
1 “Note to all staff: meeting with the President on 16 May 2013” (sc13074cp)
2 “Strike for climate not possible at the EPO”, CSC Intranet publication of 19 August 2019
3 “Draft minutes of the 136th meeting of the Administrative Council” (CA/64/13), attended by Mr Campinos (CA/52/13 Rev. 1) in his capacity as Head of the OHIM (now EUIPO) and Mr Christoph Ernst (now VP5) as Head of the German Delegation


… and threatening staff on strike on 2 July 2013

On 1 July 2013, the new regulations entered into force4. SUEPO informed staff that Circular 347 was unlawful. SUEPO explained that already in February 2013 its action plan had been successfully balloted, with a credible quorum and an overwhelming majority in all places of employment, for actions until 1 September 2013. Several hundred staff members declared themselves on strike on 2 July 20135. On 9 July 2013, Ms Bergot (PD4.3) sent letters to them in which she refused to recognise the claimed industrial action as a strike and asserted that the staff members had been on unauthorised absence and were liable to disciplinary measures.

The rise of (anonymous) calls for the strike

Towards the end of 2013 (anonymous) groups of staff started organising themselves and circulating petitions to initiate strike ballots. The LIFER call for strike (6 September 2013) was a major success culminating in a massive vote of no confidence in Mr Battistelli who then tried to avoid this situation again in view of the Administrative Council meeting of June 2014 when his re-election would be on the agenda.

To this end, Mr Battistelli refused to organise the ballot for the subsequent IFLRE call for strike (24 October 2013) on the spurious ground that there should be a “one-month cooling-off period”. The ballot for the PEACES call for strike (23 January 2014) was postponed by unduly accusing an expert of the staff representation of breach of data protection. The ballot of the UNITY call for strike (16 May 2014) was deliberately postponed until it was not possible to organise it anymore.

In conclusion, history teaches us that the strike regulations were designed to give the President means to thwart staff’s attempts to contest reforms.

Six years later, in the Appeals Committee

The unlawfulness of the strike regulations (2 July 2013), the brutality of their enforcement (requisitions) and their wrong application (for IFLRE, PEACES, UNITY) triggered a significant number of appeals. Six years later the matter was finally treated by the Appeals Committee.

In his Communiqué, Mr Campinos celebrates the majority opinions of the Appeals Committee (ApC) that validated the Office’s approach to the right to strike. Mr Campinos fails to consider the solid minority opinions and the fact that the Chair of the ApC sided with the nominees of the Administration6.

Among others, we are concerned that the majority found “requisitions in the event of strike to be lawful in relation to opposition proceedings and other tasks which cannot be taken over by a colleague at short notice”. We remind you that an unavoidable consequence of a strike is to cause some work disruption, if the strike is to be effective.

_____
4 “New Circular 347”, VP4 Communiqué of 28 June 2013
5 “Feedback on 2 July 2013 strike”, SUEPO publication (su13092cp)
6 We regret that the Chair was appointed by the President without consulting us. We always pleaded for an appointment based on a joint proposal involving Staff Representation.


Will Mr Campinos question the past?

When the new strike regulations were discussed in the Administrative Council in June 2013 Mr Christoph Ernst, who was head of the German delegation at the time, advised the EPO “to evaluate the rules within one or two years to ensure that the intended aims had indeed been reached.” Such evaluation never took place. Mr Ernst is now Vice-President “Legal Affairs” (VP5) and it is his duty to advise the President. Labour law does not, however, fall anymore under his remit since it has been transferred to Ms Bergot (PD4.3).

Now, Mr Campinos announces that “the right to strike will be revisited in the framework of upcoming discussions between the Office and the unions”.

We acknowledge that Mr Campinos shows readiness to organise meetings but, unfortunately, we also see a marked reluctance to question the past (and partly present) disastrous practice. The concerns of staff, repeatedly expressed since 2013, are still on the agenda, and there is much room for substantial progress.

Next steps

In addition to discussing this topic with the President, his decisions on the strike appeals will be brought to the ILOAT soon. Staff will be informed accordingly.

The Central Staff Committee

What has SUEPO said about it? It’s not the same as the Central Staff Committee and can usually issue more harshly-worded statements:

Mr Campinos has just missed a golden opportunity to reconsider the dubious legacy of his predecessor.

Because they’re the same.

Here’s the full publication:

Strike comment from SUEPO

The new publication by the President of the EPO went as follows (this is what the above alludes to):

Internal appeals against strike regulations

03.09.2019

Outcome confirms validity of the Office’s regulatory framework

Dear Colleagues,

The right to strike is a widely recognised principle, and in the EPO specifically set out in Article 30a of the ServRegs. Recently, the Appeals Committee issued several opinions involving the legal framework regulating the right to strike. On the merits, the Office has endorsed the recommendation of the majority of the Committee in these opinions.

While the opinions concern individual appeals, they also address the legality of certain aspects of the regulatory framework, as adopted by the Administrative Council on 1 July 2013 (CA/D 5/13), and I would like to share with you some of the general findings.

Most importantly, it can be noted that the Committee’s majority considered that the rules regarding strike – to the extent they were relevant for the assessment of the individual appeals – are lawful. In particular, it validated the lawfulness of:

· The rule of 1/20th deduction of monthly salary per day of participation in strike as it applies within the context of absences from working days;

· The decision to allow smaller ad hoc groups to initiate strike ballots;

· The Office bearing the subsequent responsibility to organise a strike ballot, with the Supervisory Committee providing adequate safeguard.

As regards the Office’s obligation to organise strike ballots, it was considered that a decision by the President to postpone a ballot must be both justified and proportionate. In the case of one strike initiative in 2014, this was found not to be the case (UNITY), while in two others (PEACES and IFLRE) data protection issues and the need for a “cooling-off period”, respectively, was considered lawful. With regard to the latter case, I believe the outcome of the most recent call for strike confirmed that constructive discussions may indeed take place during such a period, and make strike unnecessary.

It has also been confirmed that requisitions in the event of strike are lawful, provided they are imposed in a proportionate manner. A distinction was drawn between the type of oral proceedings concerned, and in the cases at hand, the Committee unanimously considered the requisition orders issued in relation to oral proceedings in examination not to be proportionate. However, in relation to opposition proceedings and other tasks which cannot be taken over by a colleague at short notice, the requisition orders were considered to be lawful.

To conclude, these findings confirm the validity of the Office’s regulatory framework regarding the right to strike and the protections it offers. Nevertheless, as mentioned in the Strategic Plan for 2023, the right to strike will be revisited in the framework of upcoming discussions between the Office and the unions. I look forward to constructive and conducive discussions in this regard.

António Campinos

President

Above is “the text of Mr Campinos’ communiqué published on intranet and SUEPO TH’s answer to the matter,” one reader told us. They’re alluding to “fascist bills”:

——————–

What is happening at EPO?

Antonio Campinos President of the European Patent Office and ex EU top official endorses Battistelli’s strike rules inspired by fascist bills.

Was he not elected to re-establish social dialogue and respect the rule of law?

———————


It seems pretty safe to say that staff isn’t happy and the true nature of Campinos continues to reveal itself.

Storm Brewing in the European Patent Office After a Hot Summer

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Storm

Summary: Things aren’t rosy in EPOnia (to say the least); in fact, things have been getting a lot worse lately, but the public wouldn’t know judging by what media tells the public (almost nothing)

THE European Patent Office (EPO) may have seemed quiet this past summer. Not much said, not much done. Under the surface, however, the EPO and the USPTO worked to promote software patents and ‘finish Battistelli‘s job’…

“Another strike may sooner or later come to the EPO, but it’s not easy.”Quality of European Patents is already quite appalling — a subject we’ll tackle separately in our next posts.

Another strike may sooner or later come to the EPO, but it’s not easy. Things are deteriorating very fast in Munich, but the public isn’t seeing it. The media has been muzzled by EPO bribes and threats (we’ve provided proof of both). SUEPO should, in our humble assessment, call for a strike or say something, but its site has been dormant for nearly a month now (last updated August 20th). Staff representatives ought to call for a strike again. It’s clear that nothing is improving, so why wait until it’s too late? Do it for Europe and for the EPO (what it used to be). I myself, as a software developer, am terrified to see the direction the EPO has taken. It’s a threat not only to labour rights and the rule of law; there’s a commercial and technical impact as well.

“The real news in Europe is about EPO and other institutions (the EPO’s rot extends to other institutions).”Some readers have sent us input; no doubt corporate media will ignore all this information, as usual, even if this is Europe’s second-largest body breaking the law. Such media thinks (or ‘feels’) corruption at the EPO is not news, whereas Cristiano Ronaldo merely “reveal[ing] marriage plans” is ‘news’ of the year!

The real news in Europe is about EPO and other institutions (the EPO’s rot extends to other institutions). The real news is not Christiano Ronaldo but the Portuguese tyrant of EPO (and former/ex-EU official, António Campinos) attacking the law itself. He did that at EUIPO, so why not EPO as well?

“…all this while fronting for global robber barons and their protectionist mechanisms, which are neither good to Dutch people nor to Europe.”The past few days have been very busy (relatively speaking) at the higher floors of the EPO in Munich. Bad things. Very bad things.

The EPO has just thrown a major punch on the face of all staff while throwing out this fluff, perhaps in order to distract? (warning: epo.org link)

“EPO welcomes 750 visitors during Netherlands’ national heritage days,” it says. Go on and fake your patriotism. “The EPO welcomed 750 visitors to its new premises at its new premises in Rijswijk last weekend as part of the Netherlands’ national heritage days,” it says. Pseudo-nationalism (or patriotism) from the EPO up on display; all this while fronting for global robber barons and their protectionist mechanisms, which are neither good to Dutch people nor to Europe. What might this help distract from? Details in our next post.

09.14.19

EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 9:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They now rely on EBA to ‘endorse’ such patents (again)

EPO toons

Summary: A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren’t EPC-compliant)

IT OUGHT to come as no surprise that António Campinos — like his ‘handler’ — pushes hard for software patents to be granted by the European Patent Office (EPO). The law does not matter to these people; neither do constitutions. Today’s EPO is totally in the pockets of patent maximalists (just look at all the tweets from Friday; they're in cahoots).

Rather than moan and groan about this sad reality let’s take stock of the latest observations, which merit a rebuttal or two. We hope that by exposing facts we can at least enlighten some examiners; perhaps people in positions of authority can respond accordingly.

Just before the weekend Bristows’ Alan Johnson turned the Kool-Aid nozzle again (link for those curious enough to see it). When Bristows says “Poll indicates businesses’ support for UPC without UK” it refers to propaganda from a UPC think tank; it’s Managing IP's UPC propaganda machine — one that its staff pinged me about in Twitter (as if to impress me with their so-called ‘study’). Suffice to say, it’s a poll that only speaks to and for litigation firms. Bristows is a band of liars, so they spin that as “businesses’ support”; it’s not an independent poll (push polling likely) and it blindly follows that ludicrous idea that a corrupt institution that breaks the law internally would act better outwards. We’ve already written a great deal about the firm behind it; on Friday it spoke — in its very latest article — of “Rising Star Awards”. Paid-for, fake and corrupt awards. The lawyers’ ‘industry’ has been manufacturing these fake ‘endorsements’ for themselves. IAM does this for a living, so why not Managing IP as well? Under the guise of “IP STARS”…

“We hope that by exposing facts we can at least enlighten some examiners; perhaps people in positions of authority can respond accordingly.”It’s that same old business model of lying and calling people/sponsors “STARS”. It’s a common scam/fraud in other domains too; a firm comes with an offer of an award, in exchange for some payment of course; contrariwise, it can blackmail businesses with threat of negative publicity. From Managing IP: “The best rising stars lawyers from across the continent congregated at The Pierre Hotel last night to celebrate Euromoney Legal Media Group’s second annual Americas Rising Stars awards.”

So they booked some expensive hotel in which to give their bogus awards. In the same way they promote the UPC with bogus ‘polls’, after the EPO cooperates with them on UPC propaganda events. IAM does that too. They’re all connected and they fool nobody but themselves. They hope to mislead politicians however. Why?

Look no further than Friday’s post from Kluwer Patent Blog (in which Team UPC admits: “Czech Republic will not ratify UPCA any time soon”… or ever!).

So now they admit they’ve lied about remaining barriers. The opening paragraph states “it may violate the Czech Constitution.”

“So they booked some expensive hotel in which to give their bogus awards.”Not just the Czech Constitution; there are similar issues in Hungary and elsewhere (even the courts ruled accordingly).

Norice that Team UPC is nowadays writing anonymously, e.g. "Kluwer Patent blogger", in order to dodge accountability for lying. “Kluwer Patent blogger” is always or usually Bristows. It’s probably Alan Johnson. Here they go: “The Czech Republic will not ratify the Unified Patent Agreement in the near future, even if the Unitary Patent system takes the hurdles of the Brexit and the German constitutional complaint. According to a Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) report on the impact of the patent package, which was commissioned by the national IP office, the Unitary Patent system could have negative financial consequences for Czech SMEs; moreover it may violate the Czech Constitution. Kluwer IP Law interviewed Karel Sindelka, partner and IP expert of the Czech law firm Sindelka Lachmannova, about the PwC report.”

This is the same PwC which was paid by Battistelli a few years ago to lie about EPO staff.

Pressing on, however, who would actually want the UPC? Litigation firms for sure. It’s also pretty clear that UPC would usher in software patents — something that EPO management is still pushing for. It’s lobbying very hard for illegal software while attacking its own judges into approving that. Based on this new blog post: “It appears that the President is broadly in favour of the patentability of computer-implemented simulations…”

“Pressing on, however, who would actually want the UPC? Litigation firms for sure.”Of course!

IP Kat’s blogger adds: “Running a simulation on a computer in order to determine a technical parameter, the President argued, is also not equivalent to a mental act.”

Well, he never wrote a computer program! His sole skill is drinking wine with the ‘right’ people.

The blogger concludes with: “The EBA is independent of the President and is therefore not obliged to follow his opinion.”

“His sole skill is drinking wine with the ‘right’ people.”Lies from Rose Hughes? Probably not. Maybe she’s simply unaware of recent developments. Consider EBA's recent handling of the 'Haar question'. In this newer one, Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) referral G 1/19, the same issues arise. These are serious issues which we’ve mentioned here many times before, as did IP Kat (albeit it’s run by patent maximalists these days). It sometimes spreads lies for EPO management (and censors comments critical of it), so we shall assume good faith and strive to remain polite. Not an easy task when their latest roundup is full of patent maximalism — same as last week! Annsley Ward (Bristows) is dominant in this blog; she’s promoting patent trolls such as InterDigital (again) and also spent a long time promoting software patents in the past. Yes, in IP Kat! It’s also not easy to overlook the professional affiliation of the author of this article; it’s the litigation department of a pharmaceutical giant/monopoly (Rose Hughes works for one) and she constantly comments on the subject of her business. She has just done that again. So the blog lacks independence and it speaks for lawyers, not even scientists inside companies with patents. This wasn’t always the case!

Here’s what she wrote about G 1/19:

One of the more early awaiting referrals before the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA), is G 1/19, relating to the patentability of computer-simulated methods (IPKat post here). The referral has already attracted a large number of amicus curiae from interested parties, including CIPA, EPI and AIPPI. IPKat will review these observations shortly (once this Kat has had the chance to read them all). In the meantime, the EPO has recently announced that the EPO President himself, António Campinos, has taken the unusual move of submitting his own comments on the referral.

The President’s comments can be read in full here. It appears that the President is broadly in favour of the patentability of computer-implemented simulations (in contrast to his view on the patentability of products produced by essentially biological processes…IPKat post here). In summary, the President argues that the case law of the Boards of Appeal already provides that computer-implemented simulations, claimed as such, may be based on technical considerations. Furthermore, these technical considerations may confer inventiveness on the claim. Computer-simulated inventions may therefore be inventive, and thereby patentable.

[...]

Will the EBA agree with the President? The EBA is independent of the President and is therefore not obliged to follow his opinion. Furthermore, as mentioned above, there have already been a large number of observations from third parties submitted to the EBA, some in favour and some against the patentability of computer-simulated inventions (Article 10 RPEBA). Individuals with strong views on this issue [Merpel: such as certain hyperbolic bloggers...], are encouraged to submit their own!

That last remark might be a vague reference to us; I already submitted letters to the EBA a long time ago. That barely had an effect. It would be even less likely to have an effect now that these judges lack independence.

“Many of these patents are fake. Everyone knows it, even the examiners (or SUEPO which represents them), but there’s pressure to grant anyway and it’s expensive to challenge these in courts or even in formal appeals.”Will the judges feel comfortable going against the wishes of Campinos and guard the EPC instead? That’s a risky career choice. Many of these patents are fake. Everyone knows it, even the examiners (or SUEPO which represents them), but there’s pressure to grant anyway and it’s expensive to challenge these in courts or even in formal appeals. 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the US is proving that the USPTO granted far too many such bogus patents as well; Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) aren’t so cheap, however, so most patents will reach their expiration date without proper scrutiny.

Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the ‘Norm’ in Europe

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The European Patent Office keeps spitting on the laws which govern it (EPC)

Illegal spit

Summary: Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole ‘patent bubble’ lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)

35 U.S.C. § 101 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the EPC at the European Patent Office (EPO) ought to have prevented all sorts of crazy abstract patents or patents on things in nature; but António Campinos follows Battistelli‘s footsteps and only ever strives to increase so-called ‘production’ as measured by things like number of patents granted. This means that bogus European Patents are being granted.

“Too bad the EPO does not follow the rule of law, maybe the other German constitutional complaint about the EPO will end up declaring the EPC construction illegal…”
      –Benjamin Henrion
In response to something we wrote some days ago about Koch v EPO [1, 2, 3, 4] Benjamin Henrion of FFII joked about the FCC (Germany’s Constitutional Court): “Too bad the EPO does not follow the rule of law, maybe the other German constitutional complaint about the EPO will end up declaring the EPC construction illegal…”

Given that the EPO already grants lots of software patents in Europe, one wonders if the EPO is bound by the EPC and Europe’s political system. As recently as days ago the EPO mentioned Fröhlich, a booster of illegal software patents. “Michael Fröhlich,” it said, “our Director European & International Legal Affairs, PCT, will be talking about the most efficient filing strategies at this event. It’s being held in various European cities…”

Michael Fröhlich typically offers tricks and loopholes for obtaining illegal patents. We’ve mentioned Fröhlich several times over the years, e.g. in relation to “blockchain” patents.

“Michael Fröhlich typically offers tricks and loopholes for obtaining illegal patents.”Lawlessness isn’t limited to the EPO itself. As we’ve shown here many times before, it extends to ILO — a subject we shall revisit some other day. They hide the lawlessness using all sorts of legal maneuvering. It would be good for all EPO staff to become familiar with these tricks. As Henrion put it just before the weekend: “Software patents are excluded from the EPC art52, but the EPO grants them anyway. And even if this case makes jurisprudence in Belgium on that topic, the EPO will ignore it and continue to pollute the market with those pesky patents.”

Henrion also took note of some more propaganda from Bardehle Pagenberg; they constantly promote these illegal patents — something they try to specialise in. Here’s Bardehle Pagenberg’s Bastian Best pushing their sales pitch into hubs right now. So does Kilburn & Strode LLP, which we wrote about earlier today (same hubs).

“Video games are software. Algorithms in computer games (as opposed to controllers etc.) are not patent-eligible, even if one calls them “AI” or whatever.”Misleading headlines can now be found in Lexology (original here by Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Thomas Hamer and Matthew Woodhill). It’s a marketing piece by which they try to advance/push fake patents into Europe (where these patent are illegal), riding hype waves and buzzwords such as “AI”. To quote: “A recent report by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) puts the 2018 market size for the video game industry in Europe at €21bn, with a year-on-year growth of 15%. It’s therefore no wonder that the biggest players in the industry want to protect the next generation of hand-held controllers, software and consoles. By looking at publication and grant data for applications at the EPO over the last 10 years, we can observe the technological trends in this time and try to predict what the future might have in store for gamers. [...] The third patent trend: using AI and machine learning (ML) to dynamically improve gameplay.”

Video games are software. Algorithms in computer games (as opposed to controllers etc.) are not patent-eligible, even if one calls them “AI” or whatever. Surely they know this, but they just don’t care. Neither does the EPO, whose management actively encourages applicants to call all sorts of things “AI” and then pressures examiners to grant.

Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to ‘Globalise’ a System of Monopolies on Everything

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monopolies

Summary: Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide

DAYS ago the European Patent Office (EPO) had a meeting with the litigation ‘industry’ instead of scientists. This is rather ‘normal’ these days; António Campinos — like Battistelli — always meets non-scientists like himself. He also puts them in management around him (it’s a lot worse than in the USPTO ). He refuses to face actual scientists except when they’re on stage to receive an award, whereupon it’s an opportunity to make the EPO seem less defunct… or a patent office for science (in the service of “Invention”). The EPO wrote about its latest meetings (warning: epo.org link) just two days ago. To quote: “The EPO also held bilateral meetings with the Swedish, Finnish and Danish national intellectual property offices to discuss how the EPO can further support them in strengthening the local innovation system. They discussed co-operation activities set out in the EPO’s Strategic Plan related to IT tools, knowledge sharing, quality and aligning practices. In addition, activities aimed at raising IP awareness among SMEs and researchers, as well as deploying measures that help bring inventions to market were addressed.”

“They don’t listen to actual scientists and no wonder they promote software patents in Europe even though programmers oppose these.”These NPOs (national patent offices) are mostly lawyers unless they speak to examiners, which of course they don’t. They don’t listen to actual scientists and no wonder they promote software patents in Europe even though programmers oppose these. Mirage News then published “Heads of IPO, EPO and USPTO discuss global patents system” (taking patent maximalism global). We wrote a lot about this roughly a decade ago, based on Wikileaks’ Cablegate. Here’s what these people have in mind:

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Chief Executive Tim Moss hosted intellectual property (IP) leaders at a patent showcase event in London on 13 September.

Tim met with Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Andrei Iancu and European Patent Office (EPO) President, António Campinos.

Topics discussed included their visions for the future of the global patent system, the transformation taking place within IP offices and the cooperation between them. They also shared thoughts on how these developments will benefit users of the global patent system.

The heads of offices met a selection of the UK’s top IP professionals and groups representing the biggest users of the UK patent system.

Notice the role of Tim Moss and António Campinos, who manages the former colleague of Moss. They speak (in this article) of a “global patent system.” Pretty astounding considering the utter mess the EPO has become! European media may choose not to cover it anymore and IP Kat too was threatened into silence (it used to cover EPO scandals before censoring all comments about Campinos), but the cracks are on the surface and some of the latest comments at IP Kat bring up concerns, e.g.

To avoid that everyone is forced to apply the simple take home message from this case, we can ask the EPO to automatically include a sentence like “we intend to pay the fee code XXX mentioned above” in the generated 1038E sheet, when a specific fee code XXX is chosen. The EPO was capable introducing to automatically pre-tick the box “examination is hereby requested”….

That’s a pretty minor ‘scandal’ compared to many of the rest. Here’s a new comment by “Not everything feasible is to be done”; it’s about the EPO granting patents on life itself in defiance of instructions from the EU and irrespective of impact on public health:

That the CRISPR Scientist defends its position and wants to promote the technique is understandable. But not everything which is technically feasible should be done.

Look at the burden the present generation imposes on future ones when it comes to dealing with waste from atomic power plants. Energy generation in atomic plants might be CO2 neutral as such, but what about the waste? It is there for many many more generations!

As long as it is not demonstrated up to the hilt that using this gene editing tool is safe, any gene modification is to be equated with that obtained for GMO and has to be characterised as such.

From what one reads, even here by the CRIPR scientist himself, this is far of being the case, and the EU is right in not have wool pulled over its eyes.

That nature allows to obtain gene modifications by selection and or breeding is one thing. Simply wanting to accelerate the process by some magical tool is not correct as long as it is not possible to foresee the long term consequences of it.

When the likes of Bayer (Monsanto’s new handler, notorious for its role in genocide) have so many lobbyists in Europe it’s no surprise that their cancer-causing products are not just legal but also enshrined as monopolies through patents — those same patents that are then used to sue farmers who dare not use RoundUp (and merely get ‘contaminated’).

“When the likes of Bayer (Monsanto’s new handler, notorious for its role in genocide) have so many lobbyists in Europe it’s no surprise that their cancer-causing products are not just legal but also enshrined as monopolies through patents…”There’s too much ugly stuff on the surface and beneath it. As one person put it this morning, pointing to our recent article about EPO-Serco: “Internet Censorship. News. Irony. British prisons management company SERCO have been hired by the EU to censor unwanted political opinions and deplatform unwanted media sources. SERCO are also the arbiters and custodians of EU patents. Nothing to see here.”

Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli ‘Metastasising’ in Private Law Firms

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO revolving doors totally acceptable when you serve Team Battistelli

Albert Keyack

Summary: The EPO’s Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect

“REAL SOON NOW!”

That’s what Team UPC wants us to think of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). They keep telling me stuff like this in Twitter, but evidence suggests otherwise. I choose not to reply; they try to provoke for a response they can somehow take out of context. It’s an entrapment and opponents of the UPC call it that. They try to put UPC critics in a position wherein they seem ‘clueless’ about what they oppose.

“They try to put UPC critics in a position wherein they seem ‘clueless’ about what they oppose.”Unitary Patent (UP) rebuttals are necessary; there’s lots of propaganda to come shortly from Team UPC, i.e. from people whose entire career for about a decade was advocacy of UPC (for personal gain in the monetary sense). Lots of new FUD is afoot, no doubt about it, and it’s connected to corrupt EPO officials like António Campinos or like Benoît Battistelli. They stand to gain from the UPC, even if the people of Europe stand to lose. The European Patent Office is just some empty vessel for them — something with which to propel and boost interests of the litigation ‘industry’. If the Office dies in the process, so be it; they don’t really care. If European firms suffer? They couldn’t care any less. The only firms they care about is their own, i.e. law firms, unproductive firms.

“If European firms suffer? They couldn’t care any less. The only firms they care about is their own, i.e. law firms, unproductive firms.”As we shall explain in a later post, Lexology was recently bombarded with lots of shameless self-promotion by a firm with special EPO connections. Lexology is connected to IAM, the EPO’s prime propaganda machine.

Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Carrollanne Lindley wrote some days ago (to be boosted by Lexology) that UPC “would allow central revocation, enforcement and litigation throughout the EU [and] becomes more uncertain in the light of Brexit.”

“Uncertain” as in dead? Here is the whole paragraph which is relevant:

​Patents. Clients should be reassured that the implication of Brexit for patents is less substantial as there is little post grant pan-European patent law (in fact the only post grant pan-European law is relatively rare and is at the level of the Court of Justice of the European Union). The European Patent Convention (EPC) is not an EU body. The future of an EU Unitary Patent (UP) and an EU Unitary Patent Court (UPC) that would allow central revocation, enforcement and litigation throughout the EU becomes more uncertain in the light of Brexit.

“Clients”…

This is news? This is what now counts as ‘news’ (in Google News, owing to Lexology as a gateway)?

Private firms’ promotional messages to “Clients” are not news. They’re sales pitch. It’s marketing.

But pressing on, around the same time we saw Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Albert Keyack with his own puff piece (apparently they’ve paid Lexology to promote their stuff, as it shows up everywhere lately).

“As we explained some months ago (after readers too had alerted us), this is a classic case of revolving doors with the EPO (something ordinary EPO staff, such as examiners, isn’t permitted to do; strictly).”Wait, did we say “Kilburn & Strode LLP’s Albert Keyack”?

Yes, that’s the EPO’s Albert Keyack.

As we explained some months ago (after readers too had alerted us), this is a classic case of revolving doors with the EPO (something ordinary EPO staff, such as examiners, isn’t permitted to do; strictly). Now comes UPC advocacy (i.e. lies) from what became the Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP. He wrote:

The UK is set to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019 (‘Exit Day’).

[...]

What about the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court (the UPC Agreement)?

As of mid-2019, 16 EU member states (including the UK) have ratified the convention related to the new pan-European patent (Unitary Patent) and pan-European patent court (Unified Patent Court). The EPO, which is not an EU institution, would administer both the granting of these patents and the courts. All that remains for the new system to take effect is the required ratification by Germany (although ratification is currently under consideration by the German Constitutional Court). IP owners would not be able to use the Unitary Patent system to protect their inventions within the UK, and it is unclear whether post-Brexit rulings by the new court would or would not be enforceable within the UK. The UPC Agreement, once enacted, will be available to protect inventions within the 25 (of 28) EU member states that have joined, but rights holders will still be able to obtain equivalent UK patents (enforced in UK courts) to protect their inventions in the UK from either European patent applications designating the UK filed at the EPO, or UK national patent applications filed at the UK IPO – exactly the system in place today.

Notice that optimism. So he has basically already decided that UPC will come “real soon now” (not a direct quote) and somehow the UK leaving the EU would not be an issue at all. This is great propaganda from one of Battistelli’s own ‘chefs’…

“Our Prime Minister’s (not even elected!) own brother was recently “re-appointed as UK IP Minister” as well.”If the Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP is such a liar, how much better can their lawyers be? Probably the same ‘gene pool’ as Alan Johnson and Edward Nodder of Bristows LLP. They’ve been doing ‘damage control’ after the UK’s ‘IP Minister’ resigned again (that's four times in 3 years!) — revealing the extent of the chaos UPC hopefuls are facing. Just before the weekend Nodder wrote: “Chris Skidmore re-appointed as UK IP Minister [..]. Mr Skidmore was previously IP Minister between 5 December 2018 and 25 July 2019.”

Our Prime Minister’s (not even elected!) own brother was recently "re-appointed as UK IP Minister" as well. What a mess; it’s all nepotism and corruption. Over and over again. No consequences; no investigation, let alone punishment.

“Nothing “community” or “unitary” or “unified” to see here, except in name. United in greed — the law firms’!”As the FFII’s President has just put it (in reply to an EU chief): “The “rule of law”, but the EPO cannot be sued in court for maladministration. Can you explain how the Unitary Patent is compatible with the treaty then?”

It’s incompatible and unconstitutional. I also responded by saying: “At the same time the corrupt EPO threats to sue me, several times, for exposing its corruption…”

If this is what the EU boils down to under the EPO regime (remember that UPC — unlike the EPO — is an ‘EU thing’), then Team UPC liars and nepotists are becoming a credibility threat to the EU. They’re in effect fracturing Europe, not uniting it. Nothing “community” or “unitary” or “unified” to see here, except in name. United in greed — the law firms’!

09.12.19

EPO: Give Us Low-Quality Patent Applications, Patent Trolls Have Use for Those

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The race to the bottom continues at the EPO, which is happy to grant loads of invalid (i.e. fake, bogus) patents in defiance of the law (EPC)

EPO delivery

Summary: What good is the EPC when the EPO feels free to ignore it and nobody holds the EPO accountable for it? At the moment we’re living in a post-EPC Europe where the only thing that counts is co-called ‘products’ (i.e. quantity, not quality).

THE number of applications for European Patents is decreasing. We took note of it earlier this year. Maybe there’s a growing number of businesses and individuals who realise that European Patents are nowadays overpriced and overvalued. A lot of them are bogus. They’re worse than worthless and it wasn’t always like that.

“It’s very clear that the EPO’s management is nowadays in bed with patent maximalists; it works for these parasitic firms and opportunists instead of for science and technology. It doesn’t even work for Europe!”Misleading and bad advice from the European Patent Office (EPO) said this earlier this week: “Even minor technical improvements can meet a market need and be worth patenting. That’s one conclusion of our SME case studies.”

They’re still googlebombing the term “SME” (or “SMEs”) every other day, on average. Also notice the use of the word “minor”. They just want lots of applications and grants (of fake patents). On the same day the EPO again advertised its partnership with patent trolls’ front groups. “How do you implement a sustainable IP management system? Our experts will tell you at this event,” it wrote about its event with LESI. Shameful. It’s very clear that the EPO’s management is nowadays in bed with patent maximalists; it works for these parasitic firms and opportunists instead of for science and technology. It doesn’t even work for Europe!

“This is sadly becoming rather common and it’s very expensive.”The abundance of fake European Patents is becoming a serious peril and a stain on Europe. IP Law Galli’s Cesare Galli had this article promoted/disseminated through Lexology the other day, under the headline “Supreme Court of Cassation reverses patent limitation decision,” and it said that “Supreme Court of Cassation [France, where António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli are from] recently reversed a Milan Court of Appeal ruling on patent limitation.” Wikipedia says it is “one of the four courts of last resort in France. It has jurisdiction over all civil and criminal matters triable in the judicial system, and is the supreme court of appeal in these cases. It has jurisdiction to review the law, and to certify questions of law, to determine miscarriages of justice. The Court is located in the Palace of Justice in Paris.”

Here’s what happened (added emphasis/highlight is ours):

On 14 August 2019 the Supreme Court of Cassation (Decision 21402) reversed a Milan Court of Appeal ruling on patent limitation. The Supreme Court of Cassation found that although the Milan Court of Appeal had held the patent at issue to be valid, it had not granted the patentee’s claims for infringement because the patent had been subject to a limitation procedure and the acts of infringement had been carried out before the application for limitation had been filed. As a result, the Supreme Court of Cassation granted the appeal and ruled as follows:

[...]

The same reasoning applies – as the Supreme Court of Cassation made clear in the grounds for its ruling – considering that the pronoun ‘it’ at the beginning of the last sentence refers unequivocally to the noun ‘decision’ in the previous sentence. This clarifies that only the European Patent Office’s (EPO’s) decision takes effect from the publication of a decision, whereas the subject matter of a decision (ie, the limitation) and, therefore, the text of the claim as amended in the limitation procedure under Article 105b of the European Patent Convention, produces its effects from the beginning of a patent’s life, which is logical, because it is a limitation (ie, a measure that reduces rather than extends the scope of a patent’s protection).

In view of these rules, it is therefore unquestionable that the Milan Court of Appeal’s ruling (which the Supreme Court of Cassation reversed) had not been decided in accordance with the law, as the court of appeal had held that, until the date of acceptance of the EPO’s proposed limitation, the patent in question was null and void in its entirety, even for the scope of protection confirmed by the limitation itself.

This is sadly becoming rather common and it’s very expensive. Law firms pocket a lot of money from these needless disputes. They just want patents on everything. Why? Not because it’s just or because it’s good for science; it’s just good for lawyers, it causes chaos and incurs legal bills. These crazy people have gone as far as actively promoting patents on thoughts, maths, life and nature. Chemical giants (poison/toxins such as pesticides and herbicides) nowadays claim to have a monopoly on plants and seeds!

Incidentally, replying to something said the other day and quoted here in the context of patents on nature/life, “Save the world” then commented to say he/she “agreed on the idea of not ‘banning’ CRISPR, but the relationship between regulations, science and allowing patents on something is a complex one, which to an extent has to be driven by restraint and caution, and not allowing huge agro companies doing whatever they want to. All the potential abuses and things that can go wrong need to be considered beforehand. All major technology has unforeseen consequences, and one great thing about the EU position on CRISPR is that it forces a debate on why it should be considered safe. The ‘certain scenarios’ you talk about could be wiping out indigenous species, changing the economics of local agriculture, and furthering the interests of Western companies in the developing world. How to balance these risks is complicated and must require caution…”

“Law firms pocket a lot of money from these needless disputes.”Debate about patents on life has become one about the harms of GMO — a subject we covered here regularly about a decade ago. “SlightlyDoubtful” then added: “Which confirms my initial thinking that the technology is not as precise as is made out by the article, to the extent that off-target nuclease mediated mutations are part and parcel of the technology, but then to what extent do these events occur in plants, and which known effects (beneficial or nefarious) of such off-target modifications have been described ? Whilst I agree that it seems highly unlikely that joe public will go around injecting itself with transformed plant DNA (although these days, one never knows), it is undeniable that the release of transformed regenerated plant lines into the wild using a genetic manipulation tool that has the capability to create unwanted genetic side effects is no different to the current issues with GMO plants in general, and the article glosses over this point. The question then, is whether the GM plant industry has shown itself to be better capable of explaining, and being transparent, to the public (including commissioners, MEPs and regulators) with regard to all of the potential downsides linked to the usage of this particular tool. When I worked in that industry, it simply wasn’t up to the job in general, with the result that no matter how good the molecular tool or production platform a given entity might have, if the industry can’t communicate correctly to the public and the authorities, then sentiment will turn against it and adoption will remain the preserve of academics.”

Patents on life have long motivated people to protest in front of the EPO. There are also protests against patents on life-saving medicine, which brings about ethical dilemmas. Yesterday we saw Auris Medical bragging about patents up your nose in a paid press release that said “a clinical-stage company dedicated to developing therapeutics that address important unmet medical needs in neurotology and central nervous system disorders, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a notice of allowance for its patent application entitled “Pharmaceutical Composition Comprising Betahistine” (U.S. Patent Application No. 15/887,388). In addition, the Company received an “Intention to Grant” notice from the European Patent Office (EPO) for its related patent application entitled “Intranasal Composition Comprising Betahistine” (European Patent Application 18 703 749.4). Upon issuance, the patents are expected to expire no earlier than February 2038 and will provide key intellectual property protection for the Company’s intranasal betahistine program.”

“This is what happens when the EPO wrongly pursues the goals of patent maximalists.”SWNS Stories wrote about the EPO grappling with the “hey hi” hype (and computer/automatically-generated patent applications). To quote: “A team of academics from the University of Surrey has filed the first ever patent applications for AI-created inventions. That means no human inventor contributed to the development of the invention, and the patent applications are under the name of the AI inventor – DABUS. DABUS (Device for Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience) is the creation of Stephen Thaler, a pioneering AI researcher based in Missouri. According to the Financial Times, Mr Thaler taught DABUS to produce ever more complex items using words and images. [...] Both the UKIPO and the European Patent Office (EPO) accept that the inventions made by DABUS are eligible to receive a patent. In simple terms, this means that the light device and the container are considered to be industrially applicable and brand-new inventions. However, the fact that the inventions are not the product of human development opens up a whole new world for patents. For example, it remains unclear who (or what) will be credited as the owner or holder of the patent, should it be granted. There are no laws in any country in the world to specify how cases like this should be dealt with. And while AI has been on the global radar for decades as the future of creativity, there is no precedence for an AI machine to be granted a patent or to be credited as an inventor.”

This is what happens when the EPO wrongly pursues the goals of patent maximalists. Maybe one day the number of these computer-generated patent applications will exceed that of legitimate (human-made) applications, whereupon the whole legitimacy of this system can collapse. Just like in the financial markets where algorithms nowadays account for the lion’s share of transaction volume. It’s gamed and rigged.

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