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12.09.18

Patents on Life and Patents That Kill the Poor Would Only Delegitimise the European Patent Office

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 5:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They’re also not legal

EPO backlash

Summary: After Mayo, Myriad and other SCOTUS cases (the basis of 35 U.S.C. § 101) the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is reluctant to grant patents on life; the European Patent Office (EPO), however, goes in the opposite direction, even in defiance of the European Patent Convention

TECHRIGHTS has long focused on software patents, but sometimes the subject of patents on life was brought up because it’s equally if not even more controversial. It’s not hard to understand why patents on nature and on life are insane. They’re not inventions. The patent system wasn’t made for this purpose. You breed some things and then all future generations of these things are ‘owned’ by you? Based on what? This is just a ploy, a cynical effort to privatise life itself. What next? Oxygen?

“This is just a ploy, a cynical effort to privatise life itself.”McKee Voorhees & Sease PLC’s Patricia A. Sweeney wrote a few days ago that “The European Patent Office Board holds a rule can no longer be used to Reject Plant and Animal Breeding Inventions” and it’s behind a paywall; we wrote about this subject last week, as did many others. There were two main news stories: one about drugs and another about plants.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International should say more about patents on nature and on life, but in last week’s appeal to the Office/public it focused on patents on medicine instead. That is expected considering MSF’s goals, assuring access to medicines/medical treatment or removal of barriers that would otherwise — in their absence — have saved lives (many poor people die because of the patent monopoly, never mind if the treatment is cheap to produce). There was relatively late coverage about it here; these patents will certainly end up killing people if this goes ahead. To quote: “Recently, 6 European organizations appealed a European Patent Office (EPO) decision to uphold Gilead Science’s patent on the hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir, sold as Sovaldi. In March 2017, organizations from 17 European countries filed a challenge against Gilead’s patent that covers the base compound found in sofosbuvir, alleging that it lacked inventiveness. Despite the accusations, the EPO decided to uphold Gilead’s patent in September 2018, maintaining its exclusivity in the marketplace.”

More press coverage, however, was dedicated to a decision from the EPO’s Board of Appeal, potentially contradicting the Biotech Directive as one comment (among many) pointed out:

Well it’s an exciting turn of events for patent attorneys also as it’s not every day that an EPC rule is declared void.

National courts and the CJEU are bound by the Biotech Directive and so presumably are duty bound to follow the EU’s interpretation of this, which is that the products of essentially biological processes are not patentable, and so I suspect claims to them will be declared invalid in any litigation.

Alas, I think this decision brings forward the day when the EU takes control of the EPO on the pretext of harmony, so whilst this little skirmish against the EU Commission has been won, the battle will ultimately be lost.

There are several more comments like this in IP Kat and Kluwer Patent Blog, mostly from patent maximalists with vested interests. It’s those sorts of people who openly advocate CRISPR and antibody patents, as did this hours-old advert from a site dedicated to promotion of patents on life. Among their questions: “What are the differences between U.S. requirements and EPO requirements?”

“By aligning itself with some of the most loathed companies on the planet the EPO does itself irreparable damage.”The US has long limited the scope of such patents. Likewise, patents on life itself aren’t quite permitted in Europe, but the EPO doesn’t care what law and practice say. The very founding document of the EPO (the EPC) is now being grossly violated and the EPO sets up events to ‘normalise’ this violation (as it does when promoting software patents in Europe under the guise of “AI”, “blockchains” etc.), reminding us that the EPO is a rogue institution that totally disregards the rule of law.

Kluwer Patent Blog, a site of patent maximalists, wrote on Friday about the EPO’s reaction to decision T1063/18 Board of Appeal (the above decision). Champagne at Monsanto (now part of Bayer in Germany), no doubt…

To quote:

The European Patent Office ‘will consider possible next actions’ together with the EPO Member States after a high-profile decision of a Board of Appeal earlier this week, concerning the patentability of plants. In case T 1063/18, the BoA decided that EPC Rules which were introduced by the EPO Administrative Council in 2017 to exclude plants or animals from patentability, were in conflict with 53(b) of the European Patent Convention and they can therefore be considered void.

The decision opens a new chapter in the debate concerning the patentability of plants or animals exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process. Late October the European Patent Office revoked a Bayer patent covering a type of broccoli adapted to make harvesting easier, because of the 2017 amendment of the Rules (27 and 28 EPC) by the EPO’s Administrative Council.

[...]

What will happen next is not clear. The organization No Patents On Seeds, which had hailed the revocation of the Bayer broccoli patent as ‘an important success for the broad coalition of civil society organizations against patents on plants and animals’, said a ‘chaotic legal situation’ has been created by the BoA decision. It declared: ‘This has put the EPO into conflict with its 38 member states that decided to stop these patents, such as those on broccoli and tomatoes derived from conventional breeding.’ No Patents On Seeds is clear about what it thinks should be the consequence of the BoA decision: ‘The EPO must suspend all pending patent applications on plants and animals until sufficient legal certainty and clarity is achieved.’

The exclusion of plants and animals from patentability was introduced by the EPO’s Administrative Council in the EPC two years ago, following a Notice of the European Commission, clarifying that the Directive on Biotechnological Inventions (98/44/EC) intended to exclude these products ‘exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process’. Earlier, in the decisions G2/12 and G 2/13 of 2015, the Enlarged Board of Appeal had ruled that certain tomatoes and broccoli were patentable.

So while the outcome of this isn’t so clear yet, it doesn’t look too good. I’m not against patents, I’m just pro-patent sanity and we’re not there yet; now that the EPO ponders granting (yet again) patents on animals, life, nature, plants, seeds and so on how can one argue that patents reward actual inventors? These are not inventions. They patent nature itself; it’s just as ridiculous as it sounds. We’re not oversimplifying it! People should be up in arms and some are (there were EPO protests over it). Reported by Ben Wodecki just before the weekend were some underlying issues:

Pressure group No Patents on Seeds has accused the European Patent Office (EPO) of putting the office “into conflict with its 38 member states”, following a ruling on a patent on pepper plants.

Agrochemical company Syngenta attempted to file a European patent for a pepper plant with improved nutritional value. Examiners from the EPO denied the application as the patent’s claimed subject matter falls into the EPO’s exception to patentability under article 53(b) and rule 28(2) of the European Patent Convention (EPC).

In 2017, the Administrative Council of the EPO adopted a binding rule 28(2) for the interpretation of the EPC, which prohibits patents on process of conventional breeding, as well as on plants an animals derived thereof.

If EPO management wants to give ‘ownership’ of everything in your vegetable/fruit basket to companies like Monsanto (the very ‘concept’ of the life), what will the public think? By aligning itself with some of the most loathed companies on the planet the EPO does itself irreparable damage.

No patents on beer

EPO ‘Untapped Potential’

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MoU signed by Bergot

Summary: “Campinos is diligently looking for ways to further increase the Office’s output without increasing the number of examiners,” says the EPO-FLIER team

FLIER Number 44 (humour) was published two days ago. It’s written by European Patent Office insiders, who still use the old FLIER acronym (staff representatives used it when still trying to correct things in very diplomatic ways, at times using “IFLRE” and “LIFER”). See what we published last Christmas [1, 2].

The following mentions EPO President António Campinos and is mostly sarcastic (although the underlying facts are serious).

LIFER
7 December 2018
IFLRE

EPO FLIER No. 44

The EPO-FLIER wants to provide staff with uncensored, independent information at times of social conflict

Untapped potential

During his last years in Office Mr Battistelli claims to have increased the production in the examining area by 36%1. We hear that our new President, Mr Campinos is diligently looking for ways to further increase the Office’s output without increasing the number of examiners2. Since putting even more pressure on the examiners didn’t seem the right thing to do, we decided to look for some hitherto untapped potential, and we found it, in the form of … directors!

Directors are normally selected from amongst the highest producers. Until recently we had about 150 directors in DG1. Mr Battistelli reduced their number to about 60. Some of the now directorate-less directors have left the Office. But many are still there. Some have been parked on jobs for which they have no particular skills, and the usefulness of which might be seen as doubtful. This is an enormous waste of their potential. We therefore propose that these directors are reassigned to work as “senior experts” in directorates that are short of staff.

And the directors who still have a directorate could also be asked to make a contribution. Mr Campinos insists that elected staff representatives not be freed 100% for their staff representation but have to do (currently) 50% of other work so that they will remain in touch with the staff they represent. The same logic applies to directors. It will give them a better understanding of the tools examiners use and of the obstacles they face.

The same applies to the managers in patent administration, where the tools are notoriously bad. We are convinced that if formalities managers were obliged to work with those tools and cover the broad range of procedures that formalities staff are expected to cover, they would soon demand improvements.

And while we are at it: why shouldn’t Principal Directors and COOs be asked to show solidarity and do a “fair contribution” in the form of one or two files a week?

We recognize that this will not have a major impact on the overall production, but it would certainly be more motivating for staff than the present “do as I say and not as I do” exhortations for higher production. And, why shouldn’t a few randomly selected patent searches and grants done by Principal Directors and COOs undergo a quality check? It would give them an excellent opportunity to demonstrate to their subordinates that the quality of their ‘products’ is not compromised at the level of production they demand from their staff.
______
1 « Modernising the EPO for excellence and sustainability » pages 50-51.
2 Report on the 121st meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee (CSC, 31.10.2018)

www.epostaff4rights.org

We are going to focus on EPO affairs the rest of the day, then move on to covering some affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

12.07.18

The European Patent Organisation is Like a Private Club and Roland Grossenbacher is Back in It

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Roland Grossenbacher cartoon
Roland Grossenbacher's dissent

Summary: In the absence of Benoît Battistelli quality control at the EPO is still not effective; patents are being granted like the sole goal is to increase so-called ‘production’ (or profit), appeals are being subjected to threats from Office management, and external courts (courts that assess patents outside the jurisdiction of the Office/Organisation) are being targeted with a long-sought replacement like the Unified Patent Court, or UPC (Unitary Patent)

TODAY’S European Patent Office (EPO) is the same place it was half a year ago, except António Campinos (Battistelli’s choice) is in charge and his ‘boss’ (also Battistelli’s ‘boss’) will soon be his assistant instead. It’s just about as backwards as it sounds and it’s hardly surprising that patent quality continues to decline. The Office now openly promotes software patents in Europe, knowing that not even judges associated with the Organisation will dare stop this (and they work to replace outside judges too, at least hoping to with the UPC).

Some readers have been in touch with us regarding the Boards of Appeal Committee (BoAC) and the Boards of Appeal of the EPO (BoA). Some important things happened this week and notable among them are aspects we shall cover below as concisely as possible (due to lack of time mostly).

The EPO is expectedly not covering any of the important news. As a decoy from corruption, for instance, the EPO tweeted almost nothing yesterday except: “It was an immense honour to receive the Corporate Art Award® 2018 for international cultural initiatives at the ceremony held within the European Parliament. Thank you!”

We mentioned this puff piece yesterday and its likely intended (albeit subconscious) purpose. Battistelli used to do that quite a lot. We don’t wish to dwell on it; neither should examiners. Also retweeted by the EPO yesterday was this UK-IPO tweet about a CIPA-centric event in London, scheduled for next week. To quote: “We are teaming up with @EPOorg to deliver an online services workshop, making online filing easier to understand. Join us on 13 or 14 Dec at @TheCIPA in #London.”

CIPA is the most prominent lobby of Team UPC and there’s no sign of the UPC ever materialising (another false rumour about decision by year’s end). Citing an interview from September with Kevin Mooney (Team UPC), never mind the court's refutation shortly after that (it responded to an inquiry from JUVE), Team UPC quoted out of the blue: “On DE [German] #UPC constitutional complaint: “The delay of 18 months in reaching a decision is quite astonishing for an English lawyer.” – Kevin Mooney in JUVE Patent interview. https://www.juve-patent.com/news-and-stories/legal-commentary/im-a-pragmatist-there-will-be-a-upc-agreement/ …

They’re just complaining about courts (a constitutional court even!) while trying to push a kangaroo court for patents. Their disdain for justice, law, democracy and even constitutions is rather revealing. All they care about is money in the form of legal bills. Shall they ever get their way, any thought will be patentable and taxed; the courts will not even assess merit of patents and instead act like rubber-stamping tax authorities.

Perhaps timed strategically for the BoA, Doctors Without Borders issued a statement that we wrote about yesterday. “Doctors Without Borders and five organizations have appealed the European Patent Office’s decision upholding Gilead Sciences Inc.’s patent for the hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir, the international nonprofit announced on Wednesday,” Tiffany Hu wrote. On the same day Neha Bakshi and some other blockchain-centric sites relayed the EPO’s latest propaganda for software patents (event about blockchains). “This criterion came into existence on the basis of case law associating the computer implementing inventions,” they said. In the United States, 35 U.S.C. § 101 would invalidate such patents; in Europe the EPC would do the job, but only if it exits the Office and reaches truly independent courts. As happened before…

We must express our sheer disappointment if not disdain for IP Kat (nowadays connected to CIPA and Team UPC). As recently as yesterday it was publishing puff pieces for the EPO’s management (to help the promotion of software patents). That was rather revealing from Frantzeska Papadopoulou, whose blog colleague Rose Hughes wrote that “IPKat ha[d] received breaking news that the Technical Board of Appeal (TBA) yesterday decided that recently amended Rule 28(2) EPC is in conflict with Art. 53(b) EPC as interpreted by the Enlarged Board of Appeal in G 2/12 (Broccoli/Tomato II). Further, according to the Art. 164(2) EPC the Articles prevail, thus rending the R. 28 amendment void.”

A correction was needed. “One correction,” the sole comment said. “Solynta filed observations in support of Syngenta’s position that the rule was incorrect, as did multiple other parties.”

We wrote about this yesterday. We were not exactly surprised to see a Board of Appeal ruling the way EPO management, i.e. patent maximalists, would want. These people lack independence and Campinos has done absolutely nothing to correct this. He doesn’t care. It’s not even on the agenda.

Adam Lacy and Thorsten Bausch have meanwhile written about the patent procedures, taking note of the fact that Roland Grossenbacher now speaks on behalf of the Boards of Appeal Committee (BoAC).

“I thought Roland Grossenbacher had at long last retired, and am therefore to see him donning a new hat,” one comment pointed out. Battistelli's chinchilla is also in the BoAC.

Here’s what Lacy and Bausch (Hoffmann Eitle) wrote yesterday:

As European patent professionals are all too aware, the Boards of Appeal of the EPO (BOA) have a huge amount of power, particularly over the rights of patentees. In EPO opposition proceedings, the BOA have the final say on whether to revoke a patent across all of the EPC contracting states. This does not apply to parties opposing European patents at the EPO, who live to fight another day in the form of national invalidity proceedings if they fail to persuade the BOA to revoke a patent.

In this light, it is with some concern that we attended the User consultation conference on the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA) held by the EPO in Munich yesterday, where the latest draft RPBA was up for discussion.

The conference was opened by Roland Grossenbacher on behalf of the Boards of Appeal Committee (BOAC) and Carl Josefsson, President of the BOA. Justice Colin Birss did a brilliant job to moderate the conference and manage the sometimes critical contributions from the audience, not shying away from sharing his own experiences as a UK judge and former barrister with the audience. Markus Müller gave an excellent presentation on case management aspects under the new RPBA, before it was Mike Harrison’s turn to explain the procedural hardships provided in the new rules to an audience that was not always amused by them. He recognised that he had drawn the short straw with this assignment and valiantly defended the current draft.

It seems to us that the main purpose of the new RPBA is to make proceedings more efficient and thus help the BOA clear their significant backlog. We are sceptical though whether the new RPBA will actually achieve this aim and we are concerned that the main legacy of this draft will likely be that the EPO system will be skewed even more in the favour of opponents, contrary to the principle of “equally fair treatment” for parties to the appeal set out in G 9/91. Thus, while we welcome many of the new rules of procedure and stand behind their general principles and ideas, we would like to consider a few Articles in more detail in the following where we have concerns from a patentee’s perspective.

This “significant backlog” is a subject we covered here before; the last thing EPO management wants is an effective and efficient BoA that serves to highlight sharp decline in patent quality. As one comment then points out (about Auxiliary Requests):

The natural response of patentees to the proposed changes will be to file more Auxiliary Requests, in order that there are sufficient Requests on file at 1st instance to address every possible (win/lose) permutation for all of the objections raised by the opponents, irrespective of the apparent strength of each of those objections. Even with only a small number of objections under each heading, this could give rise to an alarming number of permutations, especially if any of those objections can be addressed in a number of different ways.

Whilst this would be an understandable response on the part of patentees, it will place an increasingly impossible (and expensive) burden on opponents, especially if – as is entirely predictable – it results in huge numbers of ARs being filed at the stage of final written submissions (ie after the patentee is in receipt of the OD’s preliminary opinion). It will also make it increasingly difficult for oral proceedings to be completed in the allotted time frame without depriving parties the opportunity of a fair hearing with regard to each ground of objection for each admissible request.

It therefore stands to reason that there is absolutely no point limiting the patentee’s ability to amend his case at the appeal stage unless and until there is robust case management at 1st instance. The Boards of Appeal may well be independent but that does not mean that they should be free to introduce rules that, by turning a blind eye to structural defects in the 1st instance procedure, systematically deprive parties of their right to be heard.

And more on Auxiliary Requests from a familiar person (who used to comment in IP Kat until they became aggressive with censorship and self-censorship):

As to the sure fire prediction of an obscene proliferation of Auxiliary Requests, early on in the opposition proceedings, one recalls that the more than likely consequence of an unimaginative amendment of the Rules intended to improve speed and efficiency is to render the proceedings more complex, lengthy and inefficient. Recall, for example, the misconceived and misbegotten rule changes to cap the length of time in which the filing of a divisional is permitted, the resulting ridicule and abuse, and the swift setting aside of those rule changes. The Law of Unintended Consequences is all-pervasive.

I suppose an EPO fee to be paid on each and every Auxiliary Request (or after the first fifteen Requests) would require an Intergovernmental Conference to implement. But it might curb the worst excesses of AR proliferation. Consider how Americans, otherwise willing to stump up large amounts of money, baulk at giving the EPO any claims fees at all. Sometimes, it is best to approach public policy objectives obliquely rather than explicitly. By a nudge rather than a prohibition.

Bloggers, one more thing to think about, when whingeing that these new Rules are anti-patentee.

Might this not be the “hidden agenda” behind the rule changes? We live in times where a lot of influential people see each and every patent as an unwanted restraint of trade, so that the sheer numbers of issued patents has to cropped down to a minimum, regardless what inventors have against that public policy objective. Get rid of all “trivial” patents at all costs, they demand. Uphold only those where the contribution to the art is, from the outset, the application as filed on the priority date, self-evident, substantial and clear.

If so, those pushing for implementation of the rule changes will be delighted with this assessment by members of the Hoffmann Eitle firm.

We don’t suppose that the BoA is going away; after all, the UPC/A is pretty much dead and it’s not getting anywhere. But in the absence or lack of such ‘rubber-stamping authority’ (fast track for injunctions, raids and penalties) the EPO’s management is at least hoping to undermine other form of patent quality control. Who will suffer? Europe.

12.06.18

The Federal Circuit’s Decision on Ancora Technologies v HTC America is the Rare Exception, Not the Norm

Posted in America, Patents at 9:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) didn't even disagree

“Let me make my position on the patentability of software clear. I believe that software per se should not be allowed patent protection. […] We take this position because it is the best policy for maintaining a healthy software industry, where innovation can prosper.”

Adobe Systems (old position explained by Douglas Brotz)

Summary: Even though the PTAB does not automatically reject every patent when 35 U.S.C. § 101 gets invoked we’re supposed to think that somehow things are changing in favour of patent maximalists; but all they do is obsess over something old (as old as a month ago) and hardly controversial

BEGRUDGINGLY adopting 35 U.S.C. § 101, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) nowadays rejects quite a few applications for software patents. Even before any inter partes review (IPR) gets filed.

Patent maximalists keep hoping that the Federal Circuit will get ‘tired’ of invalidating software patents, but in reality it has gotten even stricter than PTAB, as we’ve been pointing out in recent weeks. There are rarely any exceptions, but when they do happen the patent maximalists will carry on obsessing over them for months. Stephen J. Kontos complains that, in his own words, “[e]ven the PTAB thought this was patent eligible,” before the Federal Circuit:

The Federal Circuit found that a method for increasing computer security is patent eligible under §101. The decision is Ancora Technologies, Inc. v. HTC America, Inc., Appeal No. 2018-1404 (Fed. Cir. 2018).

The patent at issue can be found here. The Federal Circuit treated claim 1 as representative.

The concept has to do with using a modifiable part of the computer’s BIOS to determine whether the program is licensed to run on the computer.

[...]

It makes sense. If the PTAB institutes and invalidates the patent, the District Court can dismiss the lawsuit without risk of being overturned at the Federal Circuit.

Anyway, the patent owner appealed to the Federal Circuit, which resulted in the opinion linked above. So maybe the District Court should have given the PTAB’s decision more weight?

We expect this to be brought up again and again in months to come. They’ve already written dozens of articles about this while totally ignoring dozens of cases whose outcome didn’t suit their agenda. Mr. Gross has just taken note of this old IPR nearly a month late and said it proves “once again, that if you can finesse SOME kind of GUI element into your patent claims, you will should be able to overcome 101 rejections at PTAB: https://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/RetrievePdf?system=BPAI&flNm=fd2018004423-11-13-2018-1 …”

The Federal Circuit’s bias on GUI patents is a subject we wrote about a great deal about a year ago and then again months ago in relation to Corel. That was back in October.

Those are, suffice to say, rare exceptions. It is meanwhile being pointed out by Robert Jain that they’re invalidating the patent of a patent troll called Mobility Workx, which is suing in the Eastern District of Texas. The patent has been deemed or “found likely unpatentable” a few days ago:

On December 3, 2018, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 8,213,417 owned and asserted by Mobility Workx, LLC, an NPE. This decision marks the third time the Board has rejected arguments that Unified’s members are real parties-in-interest since the Federal Circuit addressed RPI in Applications in Internet Time, LLC v. RPX. The ’417 patent, directed to a “system, apparatus, and methods for proactive allocation of wireless communication resources,” has been asserted in the Eastern District of Texas against Verizon and T-Mobile.

These patent trolls are a dying breed. They typically rely on very shallow patents and only courts like the ones in the Eastern District of Texas (that are harder to approach after TC Heartland) facilitate blackmail/income sources. PTAB makes it cheaper to challenge and Unified can further reduce financial burden by fronting for multiple defendants.

The European Patent Office Remains a Lawless Place Where Judges Are Afraid of the Banker in Chief

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 8:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Ingve Björn Stjerna Has Just Warned That If Team UPC and the European Patent Office Rigged the Proceedings of the German Constitutional Court, Consequences Would be Significant

Fair trial

Summary: With the former banker Campinos replacing the politician Battistelli and seeking to have far more powers it would be insane for the German Constitutional Court to ever allow anything remotely like the UPC; sites that are sponsored by Team UPC, however, try to influence outcomes, pushing patent maximalism and diminishing the role of patent judges

THE underlying issues at the European Patent Office (EPO) have not been addressed at all. They just rotated the face, swapping one Frenchman with another, António Campinos. In a 20-year period it's expected that almost 17 years will be French-led at the EPO. How ridiculous is that? A reader of ours calls it "La famiglia".

“It’s almost as though Wingrove just writes whatever Bristows’ main office tells him to write and the headline says “Constitutional Court ruling rumours spread” as if this “spread” somehow means there’s truth to it; for all we can tell, the only ones “spreading” it are propaganda sites like the one Wingrove writes for.”We are well aware that the Constitutional Court in Germany (FCC) is assessing the situation. It isn’t helping that UPC propaganda sites (connected to the EPO and Team UPC) are perpetuating falsehoods. Patrick Wingrove is the latest to do this in a patent propaganda site which keeps spreading false rumours that are baseless and created out of thin air by Team UPC. It’s really bad, but we suppose it says a lot about their journalistic standards. They have none; they just have sponsors and an agenda to sell. “Talk is building of a decision from the German Constitutional Court before year-end,” Wingrove wrote, “the UK House of Lords heard evidence about Brexit’s effect, and the Italian Council of Ministers approved national legislation to adopt the Unitary Patent Regulation and the UPCA…”

What is the source for all this? Team UPC. It’s almost as though Wingrove just writes whatever Bristows’ main office tells him to write and the headline says “Constitutional Court ruling rumours spread” as if this “spread” somehow means there’s truth to it; for all we can tell, the only ones “spreading” it are propaganda sites like the one Wingrove writes for. It’s wishful thinking and lobbying; it’s totally baseless and already refuted by the court.

There are many aspects to the complaint, presumably 4 main ones; one of the concerns is that UPC judges are controlled by (re)appointment policy, leaving them subservient to crooked circles like Battistelli’s. It’s not hard to see what Battistelli thinks of justice and judges. There’s ample documentation of that. It’s almost 2019 and the EPO Boards of Appeal still do not have independence; Campinos has changed nothing after corrupt Battistelli illegally attacked judges (the latest update is rather grim, claiming that Judge Corcoran was admitted into a psychiatric hospital).

Nobody wants to go through what Corcoran experienced, so nowadays the boards may seem spineless and subservient to those it rules on (the Office). Kluwer Patent Blog, which recently mentioned Corcoran’s condition, said yesterday that a “EPO Board of Appeal decides plants can be patentable after all” (ridiculous) and to quote:

Those who thought that the battle on patenting of plants had gotten a final blow by the amendment of the European Patent Convention last year and the approach of the EPO examination following that (see this post), have not counted on the EPO Boards of Appeal.

The discussion on the patentability of plants has a long history within the EPO, which culminated in the amendment of Rules 27 and 28 EPC by the Administrative Council entering into force on 1 July 2017 (see this post). This amendment followed a Notice of the European Commission of 3 November 2016, indicating that the Biotech Directive 98/44 should have been interpreted as that plants obtained by essentially biological processes are not patentable.

There is meanwhile another controversy brewing; Doctors Without Borders have just issued the following statement:

Six organizations appealed today the European Patent Office’s September decision to uphold US pharmaceutical corporation Gilead Science’s patent on the key hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir. The appeal—filed by Médecins du Monde (MdM), Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), AIDES (France), Access to Medicines Ireland, Praksis (Greece), and Salud por Derecho (Spain)—states that the European Patent Office (EPO) should revoke Gilead’s patent because it does not meet the requirements to be a patentable invention from a legal or scientific perspective.

The appeal comes exactly five years after sofosbuvir was first approved for use in the US, where Gilead launched the drug at $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a 12-week treatment course. The corporation has made more than $58 billion from sales of the drug and its combinations in the last five years.

Catherine Saez (Intellectual Property Watch) soon followed with this coverage:

Six organisations, including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), today appealed a European Patent Office decision to uphold Gilead Science’s patent on hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir.

In September, the European Patent Office (EPO) upheld Gilead’s patent on sofosbuvir in an amended form (IPW, Public Health, 13 September 2018).

MSF, along with Médecins du Monde (MdM), AIDES (France), Access to Medicines Ireland, Praksis (Greece) and Salud por Derecho (Spain), filed an appeal requesting that the EPO revoke Gilead’s patent. They argue it lacks the patentability requirement “from a legal or scientific perspective,” according to an MSF press release. The filed appeal document was not available at press time.

Intellectual Property Watch has also just published “OECD Report Presents Policies To Balance Innovation With Access To Medicines” and they mean patents rather than innovation (they try to make it synonymous for propaganda’s sake or self-serving purposes). To quote:

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released a new report that presents policy options for countries to strike a better balance between promoting financial incentives for pharmaceutical innovation and ensuring affordable access to medicines. Finding this balance, the report explains, will be essential for ensuring the sustainability of health systems.

Where have the board been when it comes to stopping abstract patents on mathematics and actually enforcing the EPC? The EPO has just finished an event that promotes software patents in Europe and all that Intellectual Property Watch wrote about it was this puff piece, based on this misleading outline (warning: epo.org link) that the EPO published yesterday. To quote:

The number of blockchain inventions is mushrooming, and the European Patent Office wants to ensure it handles the increasing patent applications consistently, officials said at a 4 December conference that brought together around 350 patent examiners and practitioners.

Only them? Well, the EPO is no longer shy to break the law and to promote software patents provided it uses surrogate names and terms. That’s a problem, but who’s going to stop this when one President controls everything, attacking judges and even turning his boss into his assistant in a few weeks? As some insiders rightly claimed, Campinos now makes himself even more powerful than Battistelli and if the FCC was ever to approve the UPCA, things would go truly mental, giving a corrupt Office power over courts in the whole of Europe.

Many of the Same People Are Still in Charge of the European Patent Office Even Though They Broke the Law

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Diversity at the EPO

EPO diversity

Summary: “EPO’s art collection honoured with award,” the EPO writes, choosing to distract from what actually goes on at the Office and has never been properly dealt with

“On this lovely picture [above] one discovers EPO’s “best of the best” and in particular,” a reader told us, dubbing it “La famiglia” and adding: “PD HR Elodie Bergot (pink scarf). Right behind her Gilles Requena (henchman of Battistelli and Bergot’s husband), on the right side of the group, the infamous Alexandre Benalla (bearded man), ex-bodyguard of EPO’s mad king Battistelli (in the center in light grey suit).”

This was mentioned in French media and an English translation is available on SUEPO’s Web site. We covered this several times back then. Here are some posts about it:

  1. Alexandre Benalla, Macron’s Violent Bodyguard, Was Also Battistelli’s Bodyguard
  2. It Wasn’t Judges With Weapons in Their Office, It Was Benoît Battistelli Who Brought Firearms to the European Patent Office (EPO)
  3. Benoît Battistelli Refuses to Talk to the Media About Bringing Firearms to the EPO
  4. Guest Post on Ronan Le Gleut and Benalla at the French Senate (in Light of Battistelli’s Epic Abuses)
  5. The Man Whose Actions Could Potentially Land Team Battistelli in Jail
  6. French Media Confirms Alexandre Benalla Just One of Six Battistelli Bodyguards, Employed at the Cost of €8,000-€10,000 Per Month (for Benalla Alone!)

“To put Benalla’s “interesting personality” in perspective,” our reader said, “one can see a picture of him holding a gun for a selfie (during Macron’s electoral campaign in April 2017).”

“Thousands of EPO workers are depressed and dependent on professional psychological help and here they go speaking about “art” and taking photo ops with the European Union.”We’re supposed to just forget all this. Nothing was even done to address that (in fact the oversight soon becomes assistance, in just a matter of weeks); published yesterday was some fluff titled “EPO’s art collection honoured with award” (warning: epo.org link). It is another bogus ‘award’ whose purpose is to give/lend legitimacy to the rogue, corrupt European Patent Office (EPO). Notice the lies told by António Campinos. Truly laughable. He says that the EPO has something to do with “connect[ing] people” through “contemporary art”:

EPO President António Campinos said: “As an international organisation we are an interface of culture, science and technology. It has always been our conviction that contemporary art has the ability to stimulate creativity and to open new perspectives, and connect people inside and outside our Office.”

Thousands of EPO workers are depressed and dependent on professional psychological help and here they go speaking about “art” and taking photo ops with the European Union. As if everything at the EPO is fantastic. There’s a culture of terror that still gags even ordinary staff representatives (Bergot sends them threats; will she also send them a Benalla?).

12.05.18

EPO, in Its Patent Trolls-Infested Forum, Admits It is Granting Bogus Software Patents Under the Guise of ‘Blockchain’

Posted in Deception, Europe, OIN, Patents at 5:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Does it have data storage somewhere? Patentable! Just claim that it’s “distributed”.

What is the Difference Between a Blockchain and a Database?

Blockchain

Summary: Yesterday’s embarrassing event of the EPO was a festival of the litigation giants and trolls, who shrewdly disguise patents on algorithms using all sorts of fashionable words that often don’t mean anything (or deviate greatly from their original meanings)

YESTERDAY, a day after the embarrassing behaviour had already become evident, Croatian media was having a go again at the corrupt Vice-President of the European Patent Office (EPO). It’s an article about corruption and pedophilia in the Republic of Croatia. We will write about it soon. These cases of corruption are very problematic not only for the reputation of the Office but also that of European Patents. There are many such patents (about a million unexpired ones).

Yesterday there was also an event about blockchains and it was an EPO event. We’ve already written a lot about this subject, e.g. in:

  1. Blockchain and Bitcoin Patents Help Demonstrate How Software Patents Get Used by Giants to Crush Emerging Technologies (‘Threats’)
  2. Blockchain Domain Infested With Software Patents, MasterCard Among the Culprits
  3. Financial Giants Will Attempt to Dominate or Control Bitcoin, Blockchain and Other Disruptive Free Software Using Software Patents
  4. Blockchain Becomes the Target Not Only of Financial Institutions With Software Patents But Also Trolls
  5. Walmart, Bank of America, Allied Security Trust (AST) and the Rush for ‘Blockchain’ Patents

We’re going not to focus so much about what blockchains are; they’re abstract, no doubt, they’re a conceptual thing. Instead we want to focus on what the EPO says an does about blockchains. It’s quite incredible and even disturbing that the EPO is now retweeting the world's most notorious patent trolls and letting them promote software patents in Europe. It’s almost as though patent trolls nowadays control the agenda of the Office. Maybe it can be understood in light of the EPO’s hiring of actual thugs, especially for top positions like hirings themselves. The EPO is perfectly happy to give a platform — keynote even — to people who send me death wishes. The EPO actually retweeted both personal and company’s account of Erich Spangenberg. It doesn’t get any worse.

“The EPO is perfectly happy to give a platform — keynote even — to people who send me death wishes.”This troll has even been mentioned by Team UPC folks. One of them wrote: “My partner Christoph von Praun will tomorrow attend the conference “Patenting blockchain” at the @EPOorg in The Hague. Speakers include @mariekeflament and Claire Weils of @circlepay and @SpangenBlog of @ipwe.”

Team UPC must be very happy to see (in)famous patent trolls on stage. After all, they’re some of the biggest clients of Team UPC. “Today,” wrote another person, “associate Howard Read is attending the #PatentingBlockchain conference at the @EPOorg. The conference explores #IP protection, and in particular the patenting of blockchain technology and its applications in different technical fields.”

“Team UPC must be very happy to see (in)famous patent trolls on stage. After all, they’re some of the biggest clients of Team UPC.”Never mind if it all boils down to software. Here is the EPO’s official account quoting thugs, extortionists, scam artists and trolls [1, 2]. Will Madoff be at the next EPO event?

It is not exactly surprising (or even new) that the EPO promotes software patents under the guise of “blockchains”; it has also just done that with “SDV” and with “AI” when it wrote: “The #patent system can benefit from AI which will make the work of examiners easier. Adding the layer of human intelligence will enable progress.”

So even this blockchains event invokes “AI”. Basically, the EPO now uses a slant on “AI”; it just means algorithms, such as search, mis-framing it all so as to pretend experienced examiners can just be replaced by some machines. Should we also have academic papers automatically generated?

“Basically, the EPO now uses a slant on “AI”; it just means algorithms, such as search, mis-framing it all so as to pretend experienced examiners can just be replaced by some machines.”Watch who opens up this event of the EPO. When clueless, nontechnical politicians ride the waves of buzz and marketing it looks like this [1, 2, 3]. At no point do they demonstrate any comprehension of the underlying concepts. Watch who’s on the panel. The one person there who’s semi-technical comes from OIN, a pusher of software patents (and the "Microsoft loves Linux" lie). He’s there alongside people like Fröhlich (EPO). OIN is being revealed for what it truly is: a shield of the status quo (IBM et al with their lust for “blockchain” patents).

Here’s what the EPO said about him [1, 2, 3, 4]: “The next panel with Mirko Boehm at #OpenInventionNetwork, Benjamin Bai at Ant Financial Services Group/Alipay, Klaus Haft at @hoyngrokh, Richard Bennett at SSM Patent Attorneys & moderated by Michael Fröhlich at EPO will discuss the IP landscape of #blockchain #blockchainpatents pic.twitter.com/EnfjV0cfzN [...] Mirko Boehm: “The fundamental building blocks of #blockchain are open source and will continue to be so in the future. This is how the industry is currently developing. “ #patentingblockchain #blockchainpatents [...] Mirko Boehm at #OpenInventionNetwork: “Over the past 5 years that I have attended EPO events, there has been noticeable progress on the sources of data for prior art and the possibility of identifying it.” #blockchain #blockchainpatents” [...] Where do you see #blockchain in the next 5 yrs? M. Boehm: “It’s a promising technology with drastic impact in the financial & logistics fields” B. Bai: „More patent applications will come. In terms of solving technical bottle necks: The best is yet to come“ #blockchainpatents”

“OIN is being revealed for what it truly is: a shield of the status quo (IBM et al with their lust for “blockchain” patents).”They’re mixing two things, maybe intentionally (the same slant as “AI”); one thing is patents on blockchains and another is use of blockchains to manage patents. So which is it? In this event the separability is virtually non-existent. Here’s the last of this bunch of tweets: “Where do you see #blockchain in the next 5 yrs? Richard Bennett: “I look forward to seeing how the legal framework will developed by the EPO” Klaus Haft : „More activities over next years. In terms of litigation in #blockchainpatents, we’ll see it only after the 5 years.””

That doesn’t even make any sense. What does “litigation in #blockchainpatents” even mean? It means nothing. It’s gobbledygook. Ledgers for court filings?

As Benjamin Henrion (FFII) correctly pointed out: “EPO forgot to invite the critics, OIN was probably invited to justify the “you see, we even asked the point of view of open source”. Disgusting.”

“They’re mixing two things, maybe intentionally (the same slant as “AI”); one thing is patents on blockchains and another is use of blockchains to manage patents.”IAM did the same thing a few months ago. OIN represents large corporations, not the Free/Open Source community. The same is true for the Linux Foundation, but that’s another subject altogether.

Now, watch what the EPO said about Benjamin Bai [1, 2]: “Benjamin Bai: “You cannot patent the fundamental #blockchain technology, however you can patent value added services based on blockchain” #blockchainpatents #patentingblockchain [...] #Blockchain is still a young technology both from a regulatory perspective and patent litigation perspective. It needs the space to grow. But we don’t want to see litigation killing innovation, says Benjamin Bai #blockchainpatents #patentingblockchain”

That thing about “patent value added” is completely nonsensical; these are still software patents, but the Office is corrupt enough to grant them (examiners are threatened to). Never mind if courts would reject them (if it reached that far). Painting algorithms with “blockchain” brushes isn’t a new concept, but this time they do a whole conference/forum to promote this practice.

“That thing about “patent value added” is completely nonsensical; these are still software patents, but the Office is corrupt enough to grant them (examiners are threatened to).”Notice how, as per this EPO tweet, they even admit those patents are “CII”: “Richard Bennett at SSM Patent Attorneys: “In the field of CII, patent attorneys try to get broad claims while limiting only those features for defining the envisaged invention. “ #blockchainpatents #patentingblockchain”

They then retweet this buzzwords salad — typical keyword/buzzword stuffing from proponents of abstract patents: “blockchain, AI, smart contracts, IoT, interoperability…”

Georg Weber and Yann Ménière, who are loyal pushers of software patents (whom Battistelli put in high places in order to grant such patents illegally), are at it again.

“Georg Weber and Yann Ménière, who are loyal pushers of software patents (whom Battistelli put in high places in order to grant such patents illegally), are at it again.”The EPO retweeted this thing: “”The world will be tokenised”. Great insights from @mariekeflament & Claire Wells of @circleinvest and Georg Weber & Yann Ménière of @EPOorg at #patentingblockchain conference in The Hague this morning. pic.twitter.com/XlwCpy3Og9 – At European Patent Office”

So based on lies and deliberate misinterpretation of the EPC they grant patents on something they call “blockchain”; will courts honour such patents? No, even those in the audience are sceptical. Gabriele Mohsler of Ericsson is quoted by the EPO as saying: “At the moment the most pertinent challenge is drafting a good application which will hold in front of the court.”

They’re openly recognising that the courts know these are bunk software patents. So Mohsler then speaks of “the technical effect.” The EPO quotes her as follows: “Gabriele Mohsler shares two tips based on her experience at @Ericsson: drafting claims in an indirect way and better understanding of the technical effect. #blockchainpatents #patentingblockchain”

The term “technical effect” has always been laughable nonsense. We’ve been joking for it for years. The EPO retweeted someone who said “Blockchain patent filings 2008-2018 dominated by China and the US. Numbers growing rapidly!”

“The term “technical effect” has always been laughable nonsense. We’ve been joking for it for years.”That’s just because the term is rather new, just like “cloud”. Distributed databases go a very long way back. There’s prior art. As the EPO admits: “The first patent filing including the actual word #blockchain happened in 2012, says Claire Wells at @Circlepay #blockchainpatents #patentingblockchain”

But it goes a long way back; the words/terminology were just different. Wells then said it is “hard to protect it on an open source basis” (whatever that even means). The EPO wrote: “Claire Wells @Circlepay: “The ethos behind #blockchain took a libertarian stand, but in order to enable to derive value, it is very hard to protect it on an open source basis” #blockchainpatents #patentingblockchain”

Again, this is pretty meaningless and vague. Yes, many blockchain implementations are Free/Open Source software. Now they just try hard to strap software patents (“CII”) onto these. Here they are using the term “CII” again. In the EPO’s words: “The EPO practice of examining #blockchain inventions is predictable, harmonised and offers legal certainty. It is documented in the CII guidelines and is entirely based on case law from the BoA #blockchainpatents #patentingblockchain”

“…many blockchain implementations are Free/Open Source software. Now they just try hard to strap software patents (“CII”) onto these.”They clearly know what they’re doing here.

“If a court in France finds blockchain unpatentable under the EPC,” Henrion (FFII) wrote (referring to an actual court ruling from France), “will the EPO adapt [sic] its practice?”

“Of course not,” I responded. “The EPO repeatedly ignored courts, attacked courts, attacked judges (driving them almost to suicide), and broke the law like it’s a hobby/sport.”

Another person (FFII in Sweden) wrote: “So are records on a blockchain ever since IBM and EPO bent the rules for patent inflation. Its not inventions. Its an abstract exercise in monopolizing language and math that causes risks and harm to society and innovation.”

“He is promoting hype around “blockchain”, but at the same time he labels it “CII”.”In case there’s any doubt, even the EPO’s Vice-President from Spain is admitting explicitly that it’s about granting patents on software (“CII”). In the EPO’s own words: “Alberto Casado, EPO VP Operations : “There are many conferences about blockchain, but this one was the very first ever about #patentingblockchain. I would like to thank everybody for making this good exercise possible” #blockchainpatents pic.twitter.com/cLu7dI2Ybw [] Blockchain inventions are part of CII. The EPO is well prepared for assessing patentability in CII, says Alberto Casado #blockchainpatents #patentingblockchain [] Alberto Casado, EPO VP Operations: Thank you for being with us today. Applicants, scientists, researchers, attorneys – We have learnt a lot from you. #blockchainpatents #patentingblockchain”

He is promoting hype around “blockchain”, but at the same time he labels it “CII”. Remember the EPO’s Lievens? He’s now quoted as saying: ”We at the EPO need to be ready for this #blockchain “invasion” in other fields…”

“…it certainly seems like nothing but an echo chamber of patent maximalists, led by literal patent trolls who even admit that they favour software patents and that blockchain patents are just software patents.”What other fields? The blockchains are just software.

Surveying who the EPO has retweeted (e.g. this thing), it certainly seems like nothing but an echo chamber of patent maximalists, led by literal patent trolls who even admit that they favour software patents and that blockchain patents are just software patents. They also admit their uncertainty about courts’ approval.

Finally came the closing words in the late afternoon. It doesn’t seem as though António Campinos attended. At no point was he mentioned.

In summary, trolls from the United States (who used fake patents to shake down thousands of businesses) are now the ‘face’ of the EPO. How fitting.

The Patent Litigation Bubble is Imploding in the US While the UPC Dies in Europe

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scientists have the upper hand after all; the so-called ‘litigation industry’ loses grip

“The day that the software sector forms a clear front against software patents, as pharma does for a unitary patent system… will be the day our cause comes close to winning.”

Pieter Hintjens

Summary: The meta-industry which profits from feuds, disputes, threats and blackmail isn’t doing too well; even in Europe, where it worked hard for a number of years to institute a horrible litigation system which favours global plaintiffs (patent trolls, opportunists and monopolists), these things are going up in flames

THOSE who make a living out of science and technology may sometimes pursue patents. Readers of ours, including workers of the European Patent Office (EPO), already know too well that we’re not against patents, we’re against software patents. Some people make a living out of litigation alone, notably lawyers and patent trolls. They’re parasites that merely tax science and technology and it would be a shame if these parasites took over the patent system — a subject we’ll address in our next post.

In reality, however, the trend in the US is encouraging; litigation that involves patents — typically software patents — has nose-dived and patent maximalists’ front groups hope for salvation, bringing up news from as far back as October. “ICYMI,” (in case you missed it) they wrote this week, “Fmr. @USPTO Dir. Kappos and Judge Michel in @MorningConsult: #SupremeCourt decisions on #patent subject matter eligibility are undermining health care #innovation. https://morningconsult.com/opinions/supreme-court-patent-decisions-stifling-health-care-innovation/ …”

“In case you missed it,” I’ve told them, “David Kappos is now a lobbyist. USPTO encourages this kind of corruption.” (former officials becoming lobbyists)

Meanwhile, Dennis Crouch published for patent maximalists and then revealed just how patent maximalists react to the implosion of the patent litigation bubble in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). “District Court Patent Litigation Way Down,” says the headline, which is based on data from LexMachina. To quote: “There are several ways to measure the relative amount of patent litigation — but the easiest way is to look at new case filings. The chart below comes from LexMachina data and includes a forecast for the remainder of 2018. Note the continued slide in patent infringement complaints — down about 45% from 2013.”

We took note of it earlier this year. It’s pretty remarkable. It’s also devastating to courts that gambled on attracting trolls.

Now, what about Europe? Data indicates that patent trolls are definitely on the rise in the EU, especially in Germany. This is exactly what Team UPC wants as many of the pertinent firms work for patent trolls, many of which aren’t even European.

Yesterday we stumbled upon not one but several misleading news articles and blog posts. Here’s a short roundup. “Guest contributor” (anonymous person who could just as well be a PR agent of the EPO) wrote this nonsense in a so-called ‘news’ site called “EU Reporter” (little but a marketing site). It’s like an EPO press release (almost). Who’s behind it?

Kluwer Patent blogger (probably Bristows) has meanwhile published “US Food Drug Administration will follow EMA and relocate in Amsterdam”. This may sound like a post about EMA, but it then goes on (pivots) to the completely unrelated lies about the UPC. This is what it said yesterday:

Whether the Brexit will lead to a relocation of the central division of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), specialized in life sciences and envisaged for London, is still an open question. Supporters of the Unitary Patent system hope the UK can stay in the system and London can keep its court branch. There has been a lot of debate whether this is possible – and even more about the question whether the UP system is likely survive the Brexit and the German constitutional challenge.

At a conference earlier this week however, Attilio Fontana, governor of the Italian region of Lombardy, made clear that he thinks the London based branch of the UPC central division should be assigned to the city of Milan.

According to the Italian press agency Ansa he said that after losing the EMA to Amsterdam: “Milan and Lombardy are the best place for the location of the patent court. (…) we must not make the same mistakes as happened with the assignment of the EMA. (…) The seat has to be reviewed immediately after the Brexit, and a joint effort is required of the Lombard government, region and municipality. The conditions for the assignment, I believe, are all there.”

Since the Brexit referendum of June 2016, organisations and government officials in Italy have claimed several times (see this post, for instance) the London division of the UPC should go to Milan.

Notice how they pack the two famous lies (that UPC is about to start and the UK can join with it only being a question/matter of time). It would not at all surprise us if Bristows wrote the above, exploiting the EMA news to interject these lies (repetition).

We’ve just noticed similar talking points from Morrison & Foerster LLP’s Alistair Maughan, Wolfgang Schoenig, Sana Ashcroft, Robert Grohmann and Jana Fuchs and this from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s Sebastian Moore, Sara Balice and Martina Maffei. They published something titled “Italy Moves the Unitary Patent a Step Closer” to give the completely false illusion (delusion) that UPC is coming. Never mind if ‘unitary’ patents were never enshrined/granted and whether Italy can at all do anything when Germany refuses to ratify (Germany is far more important to this than Italy).

As it stands, there’s no “agreement between the UK and EU27″, only a proposed one that will likely get rejected anyway, but watch what “Cambridge Network” published yesterday. It let a bunch of litigation firms lie about the UPC e.g. “retaining the UK in the Unitary Patent Court” (retaining something which does not exist and will never exist?).

Here’s the relevant part:

The document on the intended future economic relationship contains a single point on Intellectual Property: “Protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights beyond multilateral treaties to stimulate innovation, creativity and economic activity”. The meaning of this point is not clear, but could refer to retaining the UK in the Unitary Patent Court (‘enforcement beyond multilateral treaties’) and extending the reach of the EUIPO post-Brexit to the UK (‘protection beyond multilateral treaties’). This will be something to watch closely.

We understand that people who make a living from litigation want lots and lots of patent lawsuits. We totally get that. But at whose expense? Europe needs to find the balance between patents and innovation; overpatenting demonstrably harm innovation. UPC is all about overpatenting (so as to spur more lawsuits).

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