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09.05.19

Jo Johnson Quitting Twice in Two Years is a Terrible Sign for the Unitary Patent (UPC)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jo Johnson

Summary: The UK IP minister has once again quit; this is the fourth time since the Brexit referendum and it has become almost comical; it also says a lot about the state of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

TEAM UPC has long relied on Lucy to deliver its agenda, but she left and so did her successor in 2018. In about 3 years we saw the so-called ‘IP’ minister resigning four times. Yes, 4 times in 3 years! Not kidding. In 2018 we published Jo Johnson's Departure is Another Major Blow for Team UPC (Unified Patent Court) and that wasn’t long after he had done photo ops with a criminal, Battistelli, who put his friend António Campinos in charge of the European Patent Office (EPO) like his brother, Boris Johnson, put him in charge of a key position. It’s nepotism everywhere, so UPC couldn’t look any more like a joke at this stage! It’s all corrupt — like nothing we ever saw at any point in time at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), JPO, KIPO and SIPO/CNIPA (IP5).

Jo Johnson has once again resigned, as Edward Nodder noted this afternoon, as did IAM when it wrote: “Jo Johnson – UK IP minister and brother of PM Boris Johnson – has resigned just weeks after being appointed. There is, he said, “an unresolvable tension” in his role and he is “torn between my family loyalty and the national interest”. Unlike his brother, Jo opposed Brexit.”

“It’s nepotism everywhere, so UPC couldn’t look any more like a joke at this stage!”Let us just state again that this is the fourth time in about 3 years that it happens. Nobody can hold this job. It’s a total mess. It’s like the EPO, which actively undermines European businesses with software patents (against the law in Europe, just like it’s in defiance of caselaw and 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the US). “The final stop in 2019 for our #IPforbusiness training roadshow is Ljubljana,” the EPO wrote today, adding in another tweet:

What are we doing to ensure that we deliver the highest-quality products and services, and how do we engage with our users and take their feedback on board? We’ll be answering those questions and more at this event: https://bit.ly/2MPOAyN pic.twitter.com/rW6P5tIy3Q

Nonsense. The EPO actively destroys, perhaps intentionally, its own quality; its staff union says so in its publications. The coverup won’t work.

“The EPO actively destroys, perhaps intentionally, its own quality; its staff union says so in its publications.”In Lexology we’ve meanwhile noticed this update from Mitscherlich PartmbB’s Sebastian Roth and Lexology promoted an ad from Cohausz & Florack’s Caroline Kersjes. They speak of the Boards of Appeal, which are in limbo and enjoy no independence. To quote: “On 26 June 2019, the new Rules of Proce-dure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA) of the European Patent Office were adopted. They will enter into force on 1 January 2020 and will apply to all pending and newly-filed appeals. [...] In addition, important elements of case ma-nagement have been introduced in the new RPBA. This is intended to give the Boards of Appeal more flexibility in the allocation of cases and scheduling to counteract the backlog of appeal proceedings and to reduce the duration of proceedings.”

“Unless or until these issues at the EPO are being properly tackled expect no UPC, no increase in patent applications (their number is reportedly decreasing and quality declining), no patent justice and more patent trolls in Europe.”These new rules accomplish nothing. No progress or any step/s towards restoring the judges’ independence (which was lost ages ago). This remains one of the biggest barriers to the UPC, never mind other aspects such as Brexit. There’s not even an impression of justice at the EPO and the whole system is at risk of reputational collapse. Unless or until these issues at the EPO are being properly tackled expect no UPC, no increase in patent applications (their number is reportedly decreasing and quality declining), no patent justice and more patent trolls in Europe.

Fake Software Patents in Europe (Invalid Patents) Would Only Discourage or Drive Away the European Software Industry, But Lawyers Don’t Care

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When one litigates for a living computer code looks like something to be taxed, nothing else

Louvre at night

Summary: Patent maximalists are running the largest patent office in Europe and despite the law clearly disallowing abstract patents these continue to be enshrined as European Patents; the EPO’s management wants judges that it controls (already besieged in Haar) to say “OK” to this illegal practice

THE Campinos/Battistelli-led European Patent Office (EPO) is an utter embarrassment to Europe. It disproves perceptions about Rule of Law in Europe and it harms the European industry. In that respect, today’s EPO also discredits the world’s patent systems. It makes them look anarchic and uncaring about underlying laws, constitutions etc.

“It’s a ‘fixed’ game that gives an illusion of so-called “growth” in “productivity” (as measured using ludicrous yardsticks).”Back in 2007 and maybe before that we wrote about software patents in Europe, a year or two after the subject had been hotly debated in European and international media. We wrongly assumed that the European Parliament put an end to these ridiculous patents once and for all. The EPO’s management pretends that it’s still an unanswered question and in the meantime it instructs examiners to grant such patents; it just throws loads of ridiculous buzzwords at them while encouraging applicants to leverage these buzzwords. It’s a ‘fixed’ game that gives an illusion of so-called “growth” in “productivity” (as measured using ludicrous yardsticks).

Earlier this week we saw promotion of an article about “stay of national proceedings pending outcome of opposition,” citing Coloplast v Salts Healthcare. To quote: “With the parallel systems of patent revocation in Europe (opposition before the European Patent Office (EPO) and revocation/nullity before the national courts), where the opposition runs slower than the national courts, there is a risk that a patent found to be valid and infringed by the national courts is subsequently found to be invalid by the EPO.”

Only the lawyers benefit and many parties would choose to settle without actual justice. Fake patents, unfounded and unsound as per the EPC, can result in payments and it’s no secret that patents are an extreme injustice when monopoly is given for unoriginal ideas, trivial ideas, or abstract ideas. Sadly, however, it happens far too often nowadays and the public rarely talks about it. Lawyers lie to the public to keep the public uninvolved. Jargon and lingo contribute to that (e.g. FRAND and other intentionally misleading terms).

“Only the lawyers benefit and many parties would choose to settle without actual justice.”SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, openly speaks about bad quality of European Patents. It says it has gotten far worse very fast. It repeatedly warns that, according to the EPO itself, not many European Patents even comply with the EPC!

Patent maximalists obviously aren’t bothered. Fake patents too are business to them (applications, litigation/lawsuits and so on). Serial litigants couldn’t ask for more!

Rose Hughes has just mentioned T 0703/19, a decision before the EPO’s boards; she very well knows these boards are 10,000 cases behind and won't deal with questions of EPO breaking the law (the blog where she wrote this used to write about this subject regularly before it self-censored and she joined the monopolists). To quote her blog post:

The Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) recently dealt thoroughly with the thorny issue of the consequences of appeal fee payment after the deadline for filing an appeal (G 1/18, IPKat post here). Readers with an enthusiasm for the legal intricacies surrounding appeal filings, may also be interested in a recent Technical Boards of Appeal (TBA) decision (T 0703/19). In this decision, the TBA considered another issue arising from appeal fee payment: when may a user of the EPO have legitimate expectations to be informed of an underpayment of an appeal fee?

[...]

The patent in question, EP11700179, was a Swiss originating patent related to a dental implant. Following a negative decision by the Opposition Division, the patentee filed a notice of appeal by online filing by the deadline for filing an appeal. The notice of appeal included a completed form and accompanying letter. The letter included the statement (in German) that the appeal fee was thereby paid via online fee payment. The form stated the amount of the appeal fee, but not the method of payment. The method of payment was indicated as “not specified” (“nicht angegeben”). An account number for debit of the amount was not provided, and payment was thus not taken.

TBA’s upcoming decision that many people look forward to actually concerns software patents; it has the potential to become ‘European Alice‘, albeit it’s unlikely to happen because of rigging by EPO (Office) management. We saw that before. At the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) the impact of Alice is still being felt; over at Watchtroll this week litigation zealot Robert Sachs calls the demise of software patents (Alice) “Benevolent Despot or Tyrant,” which is a false choice, two negatives. These are greedy litigation ‘activists’ (working for their pockets, for patent trolls etc.) and they are attacking the law itself. It’s not just this one article (“Alice: Benevolent Despot or Tyrant? Analyzing Five Years of Case Law Since Alice v. CLS Bank”) but also another one by Mark Nowotarski at Watchtroll: “If You Want to Protect Your Business Method, Reframe It as a Technical Invention”

They give ‘tricks’ for getting patents that are bogus, in effect invalid (as judged by courts).

“They give ‘tricks’ for getting patents that are bogus, in effect invalid (as judged by courts).”Watchtroll now has a ‘Webinar’ for patents at the EPO (“IPW Webinar: Getting to Grant: How to get your patent approved by the EPO”).

It says: “What are the necessary steps for obtaining a Notice of Allowance at the European Patent Office (EPO)?”

Notice how patent extremists in the US ‘interfere’ with EPO affairs? And the EPO works closely with Watchtroll. Today’s EPO is in bed with people who habitually attack judges, just like EPO management does.

Here in the UK, according to Cambridge Network’s new announcement, the EPO will participate in some patent propaganda very soon. To quote: “The event will feature an impressive array of speakers including a keynote address from Professor Christopher R Lowe (University of Cambridge), and speakers from companies including AstraZeneca, Tokomak Energy and the EPO.”

Notice who the EPO speaks alongside; AstraZeneca et al. (the firms that nowadays have key positions at IP Kat as well).

“Today’s EPO is in bed with people who habitually attack judges, just like EPO management does.”Earlier this week the EPO invited feedback on its software patent policy, G 1/19 (“Patentability of computer-implemented simulations”).

Hardly to our surprise, Hans Wegner and Tobias Kaufmann, two patent zealots from Bardehle Pagenberg (i.e. the usual), are already lobbying the EPO for these illegal software patents. Why? Simply because they profit from frivolous lawsuits over bogus, abstract patents.

Bastian Best, their colleague, wrote in Twitter: “Should computer-implemented simulations be patentable? This is a very important question for the future of the digital economy in Europe. I hope the @EPOorg Enlarged Board of Appeal follows our position.”

Why? So you can destroy yet more European software companies, Bastian?

What he says there is akin to, “I hope EPO breaks the law (as it already does every day)…”

Benjamin Henrion has already noticed this and said: “For those with a brain: “These inventions cannot be classified as merely mental or abstract ideas” Like software is not abstract, nor the other items excluded in the EPC [] Red Dove software patent decision is 50 years old https://www.bardehle.com/de/ip-news-wissen/ip-news/news-detail/amicus-curiae-brief-concerning-g-119-patentability-of-computer-implemented-simulation-methods.html”

“Earlier this week the EPO invited feedback on its software patent policy, G 1/19 (“Patentability of computer-implemented simulations”).”A longterm activist against software patents (hired since then by Red Hat and thus working for IBM now) said: “It’s still called „software“, no matter how much EPO er al try to push „computer implemented X“. We are talking about patents on software. It’s that simple.”

The EPO “breaks the law,” I told him, “and hopes to disguise that using semantics.”

Here’s what the EPO wrote (warning: epo.org link): (“EPO technical tautologism at its paroxism,” as the above puts it): “can the simulation of a technical system solve a technical problem by producing a technical effect which goes beyond the simulation’s implementation on a computer, if the simulation is claimed as such?”

What baloney; I’d gladly submit another letter to the boards as I did a decade ago (to the Enlarged Board); but this time, under the new and profoundly rogue administration (not Brimelow), it doesn’t look like these boards are liberated/permitted to rule as they see fit, i.e. based on the EPC.

“it doesn’t look like these boards are liberated/permitted to rule as they see fit, i.e. based on the EPC.”Buzzwords, buzzwords, buzzwords, buzzwords…

Just stick one in: “AI”? “CII”? What next?

Here come ENSafrica’s Hugo Biermann and Rowan Forster with another promoted pile of literary nonsense entitled “When intelligence is artificial” (just more of the “hey hi” hype in the context of patents, quoting the EPO which exploits the buzzword to grant illegal patent monopolies).

This is what they wrote:

The abovementioned article in The Patent Lawyer discusses the fact that a team led by a university professor has successfully filed the first patent applications for inventions created by AI, with the inventor having been named as DABUS. DABUS is the name given to the machine in question and stands for “device for the autonomous bootstrapping of unified sentience”. Both the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) have apparently indicated that there are no issues with novelty, inventive step or industrial applicability in respect of these inventions.

But what about the fact that the inventor is not human, but rather an AI machine or program? That’s the tricky part. According to the article there “have been claims of AI generating inventions for decades, but an AI inventor has never been disclosed in a patent application.” However, that is likely to change. “Modern AI may fundamentally change how research and development takes place. In some cases AI is no longer a tool, even a very sophisticated tool; in some cases, AI is automating innovation.”

The article explains that no country’s law specifically deals with the issue of whether or not AI inventions can be patented. However, most jurisdictions have restricted inventorship to natural persons, in order to prevent corporate inventorship. The article suggests that the right approach is for the AI to be listed as the inventor and for the AI’s owner to be recorded as the owner or assignee of the patent.

In another article dealing with the DABUS applications, a spokesman for the EPO is quoted as follows: “The current state of technological development suggests that, for the foreseeable future, AI is… a tool used by a human inventor.” We’re told that a UKIPO spokesman has also confirmed that an inventor must be a natural person. Whilst conceding that, change may well be required: “The government believes that AI technology could increase the UK’s GDP by 10% in the next decade, and the IPO is focussed on responding to the challenges that come with this growth”.

There are two aspects to this “hey hi” hype; one is about automating applications (or drafting thereof) and another regards patenting of such processes. The EPO often conflates the two aspects, probably by intention.

“Today’s EPO is a highly dysfunctional patent office which often seems to be run by litigation firms, for litigation firms.”Yesterday we spotted OSE Immunotherapeutics celebrating a new EPO-granted monopoly on cancer treatment. This is nothing to be celebrated, but they issued a paid-for press release [1, 2]; imagine what would happen if the boards weren’t 10,000 cases (appeals) behind and were able to actually decide on the legality of such controversial patents.

Today’s EPO is a highly dysfunctional patent office which often seems to be run by litigation firms, for litigation firms.

Patent Trolls Are Destroying Free/Open Source Software and They’re Coming to Europe, Thanks to the European Patent Office

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Patents at 7:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent trolls already infest London, but that’s good for London-based law firms (not a tourism attraction, just a drain and a stain on the British economy)

London taxi

Summary: The EPO was forewarned about its impact on innovation and facilitation of cumbersome litigation by trolls; but the EPO ignored all the warnings as if its goal was to attract the trolls

TODAY’S European Patent Office (EPO) organises events with front groups of patent trolls.

Here’s a new example: “If you want to create an IP strategy that supports your business strategy, join us at our joint event with @LESIntl in Dublin…”

There were more examples like that earlier in the week. Why is the EPO associating with and even promoting LESI? As if they don’t know who (or what) LESI fronts for…

“Why is the EPO associating with and even promoting LESI? As if they don’t know who (or what) LESI fronts for…”The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) under Iancu also sides with patent trolls while denying such a thing even exists, but that’s another matter. Today’s EPO regularly meets litigation and trolling front groups; it never meets actual scientists! That exposes the alarming bias. António Campinos does this just like Battistelli did. Nothing has changed. Both of them also promote software patents in Europe (not merely tolerating these but promoting these — a subject we’ll cover in our next post).

Mind yesterday’s blog post from Mozilla ([1] below, already included in yesterday’s daily links but re-added because of importance). This patent troll, Skyhook, has quite a history attacking FOSS with patent lawsuits [1, 2]. About a decade later it’s still doing that and it now targets relatively small companies.

What do the lawyers think about all this? Fantastic! Good for business. Theirs.

Audrey Horton (Bird & Bird, Team UPC) writes some new nonsense from the UK, promoted by IAM’s parent company for a fee (for extra audience). Remember the Unwired Planet case in London (there are already several such cases)? Horton uses misleading euphemisms like RAND, ZRAND and FRAND (all the letters in these acronyms are white-washing lies) to describe what boils down to patent trolls infesting Europe, looking to exploit frivolous litigation with questionable and possibly illegal European Patents. In her words:

Under the Unwired Planet decision, it might not be open to Z selectively to claim the right to be granted a RAND licence. If the licence was a unitary, portfolio, worldwide, group to group licence, arguably Z had to take it as a whole or not at all. It did not follow that Z was somehow prevented from saying to T, and the court, that it no longer relied on any licence to which it was entitled to resist the grant of relief for infringement of the UK patents. Such a waiver ought not to be treated as ineffective or invalid. Unwired Planet did not suggest that a patent owner had an independent right to come to the court for a declaration as to the scope and extent of the licence he was required to offer to an implementer, when the implementer expressed no interest in taking such a licence.

The case above is significant (we covered it many times before) because several years ago we saw this troll increasingly turning to British courts. It’s looking to shake down everything that moves. It doesn’t develop anything, so the money sinks into black holes. Germany too is rapidly becoming a hotspot for patent trolls. Thanks, EPO!

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Mozilla Cloud Services Blog: A New Policy for Mozilla Location Service

    Several years ago we started a geolocation experiment called the Mozilla Location Service (MLS) to create a location service built on open-source software and powered through crowdsourced location data. MLS provides geolocation lookups based on publicly observable cell tower and WiFi access point information. MLS has served the public interest by providing location information to open-source operating systems, research projects, and developers.

    Today Mozilla is announcing a policy change regarding MLS. Our new policy will impose limits on commercial use of MLS. Mozilla has not made this change by choice. Skyhook Holdings, Inc. contacted Mozilla some time ago and alleged that MLS infringed a number of its patents. We subsequently reached an agreement with Skyhook that avoids litigation. While the terms of the agreement are confidential, we can tell you that the agreement exists and that our MLS policy change relates to it. We can also confirm that this agreement does not change the privacy properties of our service: Skyhook does not receive location data from Mozilla or our users.

    Our new policy preserves the public interest heart of the MLS project. Mozilla has never offered any commercial plans for MLS and had no intention to do so. Only a handful of entities have made use of MLS API Query keys for commercial ventures. Nevertheless, we regret having to impose new limits on MLS. Sometimes companies have to make difficult choices that balance the massive cost and uncertainty of patent litigation against other priorities.

    Mozilla has long argued that patents can work to inhibit, rather than promote, innovation. We continue to believe that software development, and especially open-source software, is ill-served by the patent system. Mozilla endeavors to be a good citizen with respect to patents. We offer a free license to our own patents under the Mozilla Open Software Patent License Agreement. We will also continue our advocacy for a better patent system.

Bristows UPC Propaganda (in Pseudonymous Form) Shames the Government’s Officials in Order to Install Corrupt Officials

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Team UPC is no better than “Brexit Party” with its extortion-like tactics

A despot of Brexit
Litigation giants are still pursuing a ‘UPC coup’, but in the process they show endless disdain for truth, for the law, for constitutions etc. They actually cause damage to their ‘precious’ UPC and greatly harm the EU’s reputation (they don’t care about the EU).

Summary: The patent maximalists are up in arms and their dangerous agenda is taking more radical forms; lying is apparently not enough anymore as demands are made and doxing-like tactics are approached

THE abuses of the European Patent Office (EPO) will become more apparent this month because workers come back from holidays and more statements are being issued.

“Campinos meanwhile facilitates and covers up corruption at the EPO.”António Campinos has just been mentioned by an EPO retweet that said (with an image of Campinos): “Fruitful meeting @prv_se with Mr Antonio Campinos president of @EPOorg and the delegation. Coordinated meeting with key IP stakeholders in Sweden and strengthening collaboration between the officies on the agenda.”

“…we’re supposed to believe that this criminal administration can somehow administer courts, too?”
Notice who Campinos is meeting; he never meets actual scientists, except on stage when he can ‘steal’ credit for their work in exchange for an award that drains the EPO’s budget. Campinos meanwhile facilitates and covers up corruption at the EPO. Hiding at CEIPI we have the UPC ‘judge’ wannabe Battistelli, whom Campinos invited/welcomed as a 'judge' some months back.

Citing a French article, Benjamin Henrion wrote that “INPI, like most National Patent Offices (NPOs), want renewal fees from the EPO, pushing for patent maximalism (software patents, UPC) to get more money…”

People from INPI also got EPO jobs because of Battistelli’s connections (nobody was ever held accountable for it!) and we’re supposed to believe that this criminal administration can somehow administer courts, too?

Don’t ask Bristows LLP about that; they deny any troubles even exist! Earlier this week, boosted by Kluwer Patent Blog, “Kluwer Patent blogger” ("Kluwer Patent blogger" is Bristows probably) insulted the German government for not ratifying the UPC (Team UPC posts a lie in quote form as a headline). At the time we last checked it only one comment (from Russell Barton) made it past moderation and said:

What is meant by “the German government will have to finish the ratification procedure immediately”?

If this just means that informing “the depository that they have received parliamentary approval to ratify, the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court” will happen immediately, then that works as it allows the provisional application phase (PAP) to start. You would then expect deposit of ratification itself to follow later, at least 3 months into the PAP, when the Administrative Committee indicate that the system will be ready within 3/4 months.

If instead it means that deposit of the ratification will also happen immediately then that would automatically trigger the UPC coming into full operation on the first day of the fourth month that follows. According to notices from Preparatory Committee that would not give them enough time to recruit the judges etc and the court would seemingly be operational before it is ready.

Team UPC offers nothing but a pile of Big Lies and humiliation of those who stand in the way of these lies. And they nowadays write using pseudonyms to avoid being held accountable for lying, insults, etc.

Henrion picked from their own interview an admission of their own lies: “Who is the patent system for? “I think that SMEs will litigate less, because they won’t have the necessary financial resources”…”

So even Team UPC now admits that UPC would harm SMEs. After they spent years lying about it.

09.04.19

The Electronic Frontier Foundation Opposes Software Patents (in the US), So Why Does It Keep 100% Silent About Europe and the EPO?

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

Imagine what would happen if the Electronic Frontier Foundation cared about European Patents as much as it cares about EU copyright law

Electronic Frontier Foundation EPO

Summary: The Electronic Frontier Foundation does good work in the area of patent law, but it has a massive, glaring blind spot for the EPO, where massive abuses are happening and corruption is rampant for more than half a decade

THE U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can issue software patents. Sometimes it does. But citing 35 U.S.C. § 101, as courts often do, judges will throw out such patents. The patent maximalists are furious about it. How dare judges apply the law? They’ve already called for abolishment of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), nowadays they ask for the Federal Circuit to be disbanded and maybe SCOTUS is next. Who needs justice anyway? Mob rule, right?

“Who needs justice anyway? Mob rule, right?”At the EPO (Organisation) things are already profoundly upsetting. The rule of law is almost literally dead now (suicidal judges, due to threats and unjust punishment from Team Campinos/Battistelli). Nobody in the media wants to cover this anymore. Almost nobody! That in and of itself is a scandal — a complicity in silence that we’ve often alluded to.

Science Business, which oftentimes is the European Patent Office’s (EPO) mouthpiece [1, 2, 3], has just done some more EPO propaganda (“Source: The European Patent Office (EPO)”). No journalism involved and it’s not even news: “Switzerland has most European patents per capita”

That just means Switzerland is a rich country, that’s all. EPO numbers are used to convey old lies and myths. Do people know how much a single European Patent can cost? Can one expect an Estonian or an Ethiopian to apply for dozens of European Patents? They’d have to work for several years for just one patent (associated fees).

“When will the EFF make a comment about Europe and the EPO as well? Like it did the EU Copyright Directive…”Anyway, yesterday the EPO brought up (warning: epo.org link) the subject of software patents in Europe, calling them — in the title — “computer-implemented,” as usual (the body says “computer-implemented inventions”). There’s an upcoming case, but the judges lack independence. The President of the EPO (Campinos) knows it; he knows that he frightens them. So this is just the EPO pushing in the usual direction, i.e. to endorse illegal software patents (outcome may be ‘fixed’ like earlier this summer). In their own words: “The President of the EPO has filed his comments in the matter of the referral G 1/19 (“Patentability of computer-implemented simulations”) to the Enlarged Board of Appeal arguing for maintenance of the current practice for assessing the inventive step of computer-implemented inventions and welcomes the opportunity for the Enlarged Board of Appeal to further clarify the practice.”

We don't expect software patents to make a comeback in the US. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has just issued a statement [1] to drill another screw into the coffin of STRONGER Patents Act. Well done, EFF. When will the EFF make a comment about Europe and the EPO as well? Like it did the EU Copyright Directive

The EFF cannot deny the fact that European and American patent laws — or practices — are connected (even their buzzwords). No excuse for the oversight. Do something, EFF. You are not understaffed, so don’t make excuses.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The STRONGER Patents Act Would Make Bad Patents Stronger Than Ever

    Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) has introduced yet another version of the STRONGER Patents Act. In 2017, we explained how earlier versions of the bill would gut inter partes review, a much more affordable way to challenge bad patents. The bill also tears down the Supreme Court’s eBay v. Mercexchange decision, which stops patent trolls from automatically getting injunctions, which gave them the power to potentially shut down productive companies. Unfortunately, these terrible ideas seem to keep coming back.

    The STRONGER Act of 2019 contains numerous provisions aimed at killing inter partes review proceedings altogether. As we’ve explained before, inter partes review, or IPR, is a type of proceeding that lets people facing infringement allegations challenge bad patents in front of administrative judges with technical expertise—the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. These proceedings are much cheaper and faster than trials in federal court for both sides. They improve the patent system’s ability to promote innovation by providing an efficient way to cancel patents that should never have been granted in the first places.

09.03.19

EPO Cannot With a Straight Face Lecture People About the Law (Which It Routinely and Knowingly Violates)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys.”C. S. Lewis

C. S. LewisSummary: The morally corrupt EPO has not improved in any way whatsoever, but here it goes ‘on tour’ worldwide, lecturing people about obeying the law

The (latest) ‘Official’ Journal has just been mentioned again by the European Patent Office (EPO). It was used by corrupt Battistelli to spam for his other employer last year. Corruption such as this had become mundane even before António Campinos came and the same goes for massive declines in the quality of European Patents. Only the catchphrases and buzzwords are changing; software patents in Europe are nowadays being disguised using some other acronyms and cryptic hype waves.

There’s no simple way to put it; to put it bluntly, the EPO is deeply corrupt. We have many more stories in the pipeline (waiting for the right moment to report on). There’s an old saying about judging someone — or something — based on its/her/his friends. That’s very much applicable to the EPO. Consider Elizabeth Holmes.

“There’s no simple way to put it; to put it bluntly, the EPO is deeply corrupt.”This week, i.e. yesterday, Watchtroll protects a fraud (“HBO Tells Only Part of ‘Inventor’ Elizabeth Holmes’ Story” by Bruce Berman). There’s no “other” part. It’s a massive fraud. Of course it’s not helping that the EPO regularly associates with — and is “mates” with — Watchtroll! It’s also pretty bad that the EPO helped make Elizabeth Holmes famous. Her ‘market value’ skyrocketed because of these stupid “Inventor Awards”. Seeing Watchtroll’s attempt to defend a fraud isn’t so surprising. They’ve defended even worse and they regularly attack judges. They attack justice itself. As we put it in our wiki page, “Watchtroll, or “IP Watchdog” as it calls itself, is a strident site that mostly represents the interests of patent trolls.”

Yesterday the EPO retweeted the EU’s IPR Helpdesk as saying: “Boost your knowledge on #business strategy and #IP management at the High-Growth Technology Business Conference by @EPOorg and the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI): Dublin, 4-5 November 2019. Registration is open now – so save your seat…”

Why does the EPO keep cooperating and collaborating with front groups of patent trolls (which is what LESI is)? This is a betrayal of Europe. Why does the EU actively participate in promotion of LESI? Does it not understand what an embarrassment this becomes for the EU? Putting the UPC advocacy aside…

“Why does the EPO keep cooperating and collaborating with front groups of patent trolls (which is what LESI is)?”As we said last week, Team UPC and the EPO are becoming an existential threat to the EU because they’re a credibility crisis. I myself am strongly in favour of the EU, so it pains me to see what the EPO gets away with. The EU’s interests ought to be putting an end to the EPO’s abuses, not looking the other way or actively covering up these abuses.

A blogger who is strongly against the EU has just mentioned a bunch of patent trolls in relation to Qualcomm’s antitrust ruling; he regularly complains about patent trolls coming to his country, Germany, having already campaigned against software patents for a very long time. InterDigital too is mentioned in his latest post. Large and publicly-traded patent troll is what InterDigital is. It’s American and it already turns the UK (and Europe as a whole) into a fertile troll infestation ground. As another new blog post notes:

Earlier this month, yet another SEP/FRAND case was brought in the UK. This time it was filed by InterDigital against Lenovo concerning its 4G and 3G wireless technology. Parallel proceedings were also commenced in the US (US District Court in Delaware – here) after the UK filing. According to the press release, the claim was filed after almost 10 years of negotiations between the parties and more than 6 years since InterDigital last initiated patent litigation. InterDigital is seeking a declaration that the terms it offered to Lenovo are FRAND, a determination of such a licence and a FRAND injunction.

Take note of the patents in question. This is the EPO’s fault, at least in part. The EPO has taken sides; it sidles with trolls and sides with litigation firms.

“In that regard, the EPO itself acts like a patent troll. It’s embracing tactics of intimidation and extortion.”Suffice to say, European media almost never writes about this. Sara Barker’s new puff piece (amplifying the EPO’s Christoph Ernst) is more of less becoming the ‘norm’. There was more like it last week, in several Asian English-speaking sites. It’s like the EPO totally controls the media. No wonder. Some of the media has literally been bribed by the EPO; poor use of our money, no doubt…

Others, including us, were repeatedly sent threats from the EPO’s lawyers. In that regard, the EPO itself acts like a patent troll. It’s embracing tactics of intimidation and extortion. What it does is illegal, but it enjoys immunity, which it is eager to perpetually exploit.

Go ahead, Dr. Ernst, explain to us how the corrupt patent office that breaks the law and commits crimes can honestly pretend to value law enforcement. Here comes the puff piece:

The European Patent Office (EPO) is making a renewed effort to work with Asia to address a growing number of patent applications within the region.

The EPO says that Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia contribute to a growing number of patent applications that come from beyond the European Union member state system.

According to EPO vice president Dr Christoph Ernst, more than half (53%) of the patent applications received in recent years have come from countries including Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, and the United States.

So the EPO is barely even European.

Remember that Dr. Ernst was given as an 'award' a subservient job from the person whom he was supposed to oversee. Today’s EPO remains a complete and utter mess that nonchalantly breaks laws (ethical breaches are an understatement because the EPO preys on the vulnerable, the ill, the disabled) while expecting others to respect patent law, i.e. to respect monopolies of (typically) rich barons of a globalised economy. As for judges? The EPO sends them to ‘exile’ where many disabled people were murdered. Infamous suburb. As if to make a ‘point’…

Dr. Ernst’s educational background and professional experience (and knowledge of history) surely makes him well aware of these ethical issues. Apparently he just doesn’t care; he’ll retire soon.

08.31.19

The Judges of the Boards of Appeal Are Still Controlled by the European Patent Office and European Patent Quality is Therefore in a Freefall

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 1:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

All the Boards are swinging off the Office, which they were supposed to govern by enforcing the EPC (instead of appeasing the debased President of the Office)

Canada's Wonderland

Summary: The lack of justice at the EPO is very much profound and “Munich is officially the new Eastern District of Texas—but on steroids,” according to Florian Müller

THE European Patent Office (EPO) is running out of time. António Campinos kept Team Battistelli in tact and he maintains all the same policies. This end-of-week tweet said they “modernise our [EPO's] IT systems,” but actually they’re wasting a quarter billion euros on a system that does not work, then canning it silently. Leaked details on CQI have revealed that today’s EPO is all about patent maximalism, nothing else! Grant, grant, grant! If in doubt, grant! It’s a credibility crisis. The EPO became like a ‘diploma mill’, with officials who are alleged to have faked their degrees.

“It’s a credibility crisis.”The EPO’s overzealous approach towards patenting (or patent policy/scope) has attracted growing levels — as well as severity — of scrutiny. German blogger Florian Müller wrote some blog posts about it this past week and also a bunch of "tweets" (not formal), including unprecedented rants (there are more, but less noteworthy, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]).

“Munich court will decide tomorrow at noon,” he said. “If this hearing ends the way the first hour went, Munich is officially the new Eastern District of Texas—but on steroids,” he added.

We’ve warned about it for years. And now it’s undeniably happening!

“The EPO’s overzealous approach towards patenting (or patent policy/scope) has attracted growing levels — as well as severity — of scrutiny.”“Pro-patentee extremism on full display at Munich I Regional Court,” he later heralded. “The Munich court appears extraordinarily eager to order a patent injunction against Daimler. They don’t want anything to get in the way. Gotta grant them one thing though: protectionists they are not,” he added. In another tweet he said: “The Munich court won’t adjudicate Nokia‘s anti-antisuit motion against Continental AG from the bench. They‘re going to decide after further deliberation.”

He later summarised everything in the blog posts [1,2,3] below. They’e more detailed than “tweets” and there are official documents there as well. These “tweets” were tucked into some of the articles, which is fine (it takes longer to write long-form articles than mere “tweets”). Müller generally shares our views on the EPO. The EPO isn’t good for Germany or for the German economy; it’s only good for some German or Germany-based (or with branches in Germany) law firms.

As long as the EPO keeps granting software patents in Europe we’ll continue to see the likes of Müller complaining. After all, actual software developers do not want and do not need such patents.

Before the weekend the EPO tweeted: “Germany is the established leader in self-driving vehicle innovation in Europe. But would you have predicted the second- and third-placed countries?”

“The EPO isn’t good for Germany or for the German economy; it’s only good for some German or Germany-based (or with branches in Germany) law firms.”These are mostly software patents on stuff like computer vision and geometry, i.e. maths. Fake patents and easily-debunked/easy-to-invalidate patents oughtn’t be granted in the first place, but the EPO keeps promoting a bunch of buzzwords like “SDV”. In Singapore they like to speak of “FinTech” and even accelerate patent applications that adopt this buzzword.

Days ago a bunch of Asian sites (AsiaOne, Viet Nam News and Business Insider in Malaysia) said that “[t]he European Patent Office (EPO) has seen a growing number of patent applications from Singapore” (all in all, patent applications are decreasing in number, so Christoph Ernst et al would rather cherry-pick nations for the appearance of ‘growth’).

All these sites have the same article, which is a puff piece in which Christoph Ernst reveals himself as ‘tool’ of patent maximalists. To quote a couple of portions:

Dr Christoph Ernst, Vice President of the EPO, Directorate General Legal and International Affairs, said: “Asia is a major centre of innovation worldwide and there is a rapidly growing number of patents from this region. It has become evident that the EOP has been receiving a rapidly growing number of patent applications from this (Asian) region.”

[...]

Dr Ernst said the collaboration between IPOS and EPO has strengthened over the years. About 53% of the 170,000 patent applications received in recent years originated from outside the EU member state system — mainly from the United States, Japan, China and Korea. “Particularly noteworthy is that patent applications originating from Singapore increased by 20% last year to now 523 applications,” he added.

Why would IPOS want to associate with corrupt EPO officials? How did this article come about? It’s pure marketing. It’s also somewhat misleading. But this is what we’ve come to expect from mainstream media; it ignores EPO corruption and only ever says good things about the EPO. So do most law firms.

One booster of the UPC has just promoted through Lexology its article about appeal procedures changing:

On 1 January 2020, the rules governing procedure in ‘Appeals of Decisions’ made by the European Patent Office (EPO) will be changed. The new rules will bring in a host of changes relating to the procedure for appeals. One of the most significant changes will see a restriction on arguments, requests, amendments and evidence that appellants can submit. Appellants involved in existing appeals proceedings (and indeed anyone involved in ongoing examination or opposition proceedings) may want to consider taking action before the new rules come into force to ensure they have the best chance of success in a current or future appeal.

Most appeals at the EPO are from decisions of the Examining Division or the Opposition Division. The Examining Division has primary responsibility for determining whether an invention covered by a patent application is new, inventive, and meets the other criteria of the European Patent Convention (EPC) required for grant of a patent. If the Examining Division refuses to grant an application with an acceptable scope an appeal can be filed by the applicant.

David Lewin, James Ward, David Brown, Robert Margue and David O’Connell (Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP) also wrote about it a few days ago and they’re missing the point — perhaps intentionally — that these Boards of Appeal have zero independence. From Mondaq:

The “convergent approach” has the potential to require patentees to formulate their best sets of claims as the Main and Auxiliary Requests during the first-instance procedure, possibly allowing only necessary adjustments (a) in reaction to the first-instance decision (first level), (b) following developments during the early part of the appeal procedure (second level), and (c) in final preparation for, and at, the appeal hearing (third level).

[...]

The general applicability of the second level of the “convergent approach” from 1 January 2020 urges all parties to EPO appeal proceedings to check that all necessary documents, particularly a patentee’s best claim requests and an opponent’s best attacks, have been provided, and to remedy any deficiencies before 31 December 2019.

Also in Mondaq their colleague (co-author of the above) published “Is A Prima Facie Inadmissible Appeal An Appeal? And If It Is, Where Is It?”

Robert Margue (Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP) belatedly weighed in on the notorious case that showed the Boards’ lack of independence and coverup that ensued.

The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO recently had to decide (G 2/19) an intriguing question arising from the relocation of the Boards of Appeal to the municipality of Haar in the Munich district, which lies outside the boundaries of the city of Munich. The question arose on the back of an Appeal filed by a third party against the grant of a European patent, which had the aim of correcting the allegedly unjustified grant of unclear patent claims.

European Patent EP 2 378 735 B1 was granted on 8th February 2017. During examination proceedings prior to grant of the patent, 3rd party observations had been filed on several occasions by European Patent Attorney P in accordance with Art. 115 EPC. According to the second sentence of this Article, any person who files 3rd party observations does not become party to the proceedings. The only party in the examination proceedings is the sole applicant.

We wrote a whole bunch of posts about the composition of the Board. It refused to even deal with the key question!

“…inverting narratives means that a defender/defendant is framed as an “attacker”.”Going back to Lexology, the other day it promoted this misleading post that frames challenges to weak/bogus patents as “attacks”. It’s that same old propagandistic spin; challenging likely fake patents is not an “attack”; the attacks are these patents being used for lawsuits; inverting narratives means that a defender/defendant is framed as an “attacker”. Here they go again:

On 30 July, the Court of Appeal of The Hague ruled on the formal entitlement to priority following from a US provisional patent application (judgment in Dutch here). The attack on priority in this case is part of a recent trend by parties in patent litigation which aims to challenge entitlement to invoke priority under the Paris Convention and the European Patent Convention.

We’ve meanwhile noticed the same inversion of roles in Bloomberg’s patent maximalists’ section. It wrote about the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that it’s a “Patent Attack” (actually, PTAB helps prevent frivolous attacks). To quote:

New Patent and Trademark Office guidance discouraging simultaneous attacks on the same patent has left practitioners uncertain about using that strategy to seek administrative reviews.

The agency in July said parties filing more than one validity challenge against a patent “at or about the same time” for a Patent Trial and Appeal Board review should explain the differences between and rank them in order of importance. Filing a single petition “should be sufficient” in most situations, the agency said.

Some practitioners are worried that the PTAB may start dismissing some legitimate challenges just because parties file several petitions.

“The European Patent Office (EPO) is not supposed to control any Boards of Appeal, but right now it controls all of them. It even ‘made an example’ of Patrick Corcoran.”Müller bragged that he had been mentioned in this article. “Quotes me as saying there’s no hard evidence of widespread #PTAB abuse,” he tweeted, “new rules to reward those who manage to weak patent claims granted by #USPTO, doesn’t incentivize innovation…”

Going back to the EPO, its PTAB equivalent (BoA) is not functioning. The EPO is certainly granting far too many fake patents and it’s being noticed, albeit not by the Boards. The European Patent Office (EPO) is not supposed to control any Boards of Appeal, but right now it controls all of them. It even ‘made an example’ of Patrick Corcoran. So there’s an actual bite, not just barking.

Three days ago Inventiva bragged about a new European Patent [1, 2]. But does Inventiva know that many European Patents are fake and not legal? Does it realise that many of these patents aren’t usable in court?

On the same day Bart van Wezenbeek wrote in Kluwer Patent Blog about Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH vs Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Inc.

Here’s what happened:

The European patent was opposed by the appellant on the basis of lack of novelty and inventive step. Although the opposition division raised of its own volition an objection under Art. 53(c) EPC they decided to reject the opposition. The opponent appealed and argued that the invention would not be patentable on the basis of the aforementioned grounds. In the summons to the oral proceedings the Board of Appeal mentioned a possible new ground based on lack of industrial applicability. On the basis of the preliminary opinion the patentee filed 4 auxiliary requests. During oral proceedings the Board mentioned that it might change its opinion on the basis of the case law (T 775/97), whereupon a new auxiliary request was filed.

Had examiners been given more time to assess such patents, there wouldn’t be a backlog of about 10,000 (no kidding!) appeals. This just isn’t sustainable.

Physician’s Weekly has just reposted Reuters. Likely fake (bogus) patents are being assessed: “Alexion also awaits an impending European Patent Office (EPO) decision on its patent applications for Soliris, to extend the drug’s PNH market exclusivity in the European Union to 2027.”

“If Europe fails to maintain the high patent quality it was once renowned for, it won’t serve science and innovation. Instead it’ll serve law firms and litigation.”What we’re seeing right now in Europe is a bunch of errors being repeated. They replicate the US patent system and American chaos as it were a decade back when patent trolls were thriving and patent justice was too expensive and thus a rarity (no IPRs, no PTAB). The inter partes reviews (IPRs) help eliminate bad patents more trivially and quickly, on the cheap…

Patent maximalists are losing everything in the US. Watch them at an extremist site, Watchtroll. Greedy law firms that hate science write there (latest headlines are “Alice: Benevolent Despot or Tyrant? Analyzing Five Years of Case Law Since Alice v. CLS Bank”, “Latest Federal Circuit Ruling on 101 Strikes Down Mallinckrodt Method of Treatment Claims; Newman Dissents” and “Have Federal Circuit Judges Summarily Affirmed Your Patent Appeal Without Explaining Why? Tell SCOTUS”). Robert Sachs has let the mask slip; his hatred of Alice/Section 101 he now unleashes openly at Watchtroll, Nathan Lewin is using Watchtroll to attack the Federal Circuit and that third one is familiar. Agenda such as this was brought back by Dennis Crouch the other day (he had been doing it for years). They try to reduce patent quality again.

If Europe fails to maintain the high patent quality it was once renowned for, it won’t serve science and innovation. Instead it’ll serve law firms and litigation.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Munich court hell-bent on pre-emptive strike against Judge Koh’s jurisdiction over Continental antisuit injunction motion against Nokia

    While I doubt rather strongly that the Avanci patent pool firm’s U.S. venue transfer motion (from San Jose to Dallas) will succeed, Avanci contributor Nokia may help that entire group of patent holders (including, inter alia, Qualcomm) avoid the October 2021 FRAND/antitrust trial in the Northern District of California altogether. Nokia currently has the upper hand in Germany over both Daimler and one of its key suppliers of telematics control units, Continental, and may get decisive leverage from patent injunctions–probably in Munich before it does anywhere else–long before the end of the two long years, plus two months, that the build-up to the trial in the Northern District of California is still going to take.

    [...]

    The panel of three judges will announce a decision at noon (Central European Summer Time) tomorrow. As I’ll explain further below, the court hasn’t changed its mind about the appropriateness of the existing anti-antisuit-injunction injunction (“AAII”) against CAS, but the fate of Nokia’ severed pursuit of the same kind of AAII against Continental AG now turns on the question of whether the group parent, though it would undoubtedly be considered a real party in interest by U.S. standards, can actually be enjoined with respect to a motion brought by an indirect (like six degrees removed) subsidiary.

  2. Continental seeks to keep Avanci case in San Jose, says it “will have immediate and lasting effects on the whole IoT industry [...] around the world”

    In a few hours the Munich I Regional Court will finally hear oral argument regarding Nokia’s motion for an anti-antisuit-injunction injunction (“AAII”) against automotive industry supplier Continental. In the post I just linked to, I stated the correct weekday (Thursday) but missed the correct date by one day (meanwhile fixed).

    In the antisuit context, I’ve previously expressed some disappointment that Continental didn’t make it structurally easier for Judge Koh (such as by choosing the ideal plaintiffs and movants from that large corporate group) to grant the U.S. antisuit motion. The motion and the related reply brief made some valid points, but also contained nonsensical parts. And, quite frankly, I don’t understand why they didn’t counter Nokia’s denial of functional identity of the parties by pointing to Nokia’s own argument in the German AAII case, where Nokia essentially tells the court that Continental AG, the Germany-based group parent, controls all Continental entities at any rate–in which case functional identity (between the parties in Continental v. Avanci et al. in San Jose and the German Nokia v. Daimler–as well as recently-filed Sharp v. Daimler–cases) becomes a matter of merely applying the logic of the U.S. customer suit exception here.

    But I must give Continental’s U.S. lawyers credit for now having filed the strongest and most thoroughly researched opposition brief to a venue transfer motion that I’ve seen in almost a decade of watching these kinds of cases. It’s roughly three times as fact-rich as the average opposition brief of this kind that I’ve seen in high-profile cases. While Continental’s filings in the antisuit context contain passages that attempt to substitute words for facts, the opposition brief to Avanci’s motion to transfer the case out of Judge Lucy H. Koh’s court in San Jose (Northern District of California) and to the Northern District of Texas excels with a record density of relevant facts…

  3. Nokia wins again: Munich court issues additional anti-antisuit injunction against Continental’s German parent company to stop pursuit of U.S. antisuit injunction

    Yesterday I attended and reported in detail on the Munich I Regional Court’s preliminary-injunction hearing in Nokia v. Continental AG. Last month Nokia had already obtained an against Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. (“CAS”; not to be confused for the international sports tribunal) of Auburn Hills, MI, the plaintiff in the Northern District of California FRAND/antitrust lawsuit against the Avanci patent pool firm, whose contributors include Nokia, Continental, and various other patent holders. Today the court doubled down on Continental by additionally granting Nokia an AAII against Continental AG, the Hanover, Germany-based parent company of the entire Continental group.

    This is a very significant victory for Nokia’s litigation team, particularly its European head of litigation, Dr. Clemens-August Heusch, and the Finnish mobile company’s outside counsel from the Arnold & Ruess firm: lead counsel Dr. Cordula Schumacher; Dr. Arno Risse (“Riße” in German), the mastermind behind the AAII initiative; and Tim Smentkowski.

    Today’s AAII, which Judge Dr. Hubertus Schacht announced in his chambers (with only one other person than me listening), requires the German parent company to use its influence over its indirect U.S. subsidiary in order to cause it to comply with the AAII already in place against CAS. This means Continental AG must tell a direct subsidiary to tell an indirect subsidiary to tell another indirect subsidiary–and so forth–until at the end of that enforcement chain CAS is directed to withdraw the fully-briefed U.S. motion for an antisuit injunction.

The Admission Phase/Stage: Even Team UPC is Coming to Grips With the UPC’s Demise

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Months ago (acceptance): Even Joff Wild and the Patent Trolls’ Lobby Finally Admit Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead

Admission

Summary: With a growing number of barriers to ratification and loss of enthusiasm alike, pro-UPC AstroTurfing has been diminished to almost nothing but deliberate lies, or at least silence

TEAM UPC had long faked ‘momentum’; it even admitted so last month.

The European Patent Office (EPO) quit talking about the UPC, Battistelli went ‘undercover’ at CEIPI (some believe he ‘stationed’ himself there for a UPC role), and António Campinos barely mentioned the ‘unitary’ anything this year (he did mention it a few times last year). The EPO has basically quit promoting the UPC. Is Team UPC close to giving up as well?

“The UK has said that the UPC cannot come into operation before Brexit in October, as industry experts warn that the long-held plan risks losing momentum altogether,” Max Walters tweeted. That UKIPO is unmasked as a moderate UPC booster is a disgrace, but more interesting in the Walters article is the improvement over his colleague's one-sided puff pieces, which are loudspeakers for Team UPC. This article is better because at least it quotes a couple of moderate UPC sceptics this time around, unlike the last time.

“Is Team UPC close to giving up as well?”The main issue we have is that it makes the UPC sound like a “matter of time”, but it’s dead. Managing IP won’t say it because of its business model. Managing IP has just bragged about being the “official Congress News publisher” at a lobbying platform of patent extremists and it did the same with UPC events. Same issue in IP Kat.

“Alex Robinson, partner at patent attorney firm Mathys & Squire in London” is quoted towards the end (that’s Team UPC itself!) and he too admits what other Team UPC fanatics continue to deny; the UPC complaint isn’t the sole barrier anymore because the German government too has lost interest, irrespective of the FCC. Here are some portions from the article:

The UK has said that the UPC cannot come into operation before Brexit in October, as industry experts warn that the long-held plan risks losing momentum altogether

Sources say a UPC featuring the UK is now unlikely given the UK’s pursuit of a ‘hard Brexit’.

Luke McDonagh, senior lecturer at City University in London – and who has been following UPC matters closely – says if there is a ‘no deal’ then there is “very little chance the UK will remain in the UPC”.

Thorsten Bausch, partner at Hoffman Eitle in Munich, agrees and says that the UK’s participation will be “extremely difficult – if not impossible – for political and legal reasons”.

[...]

McDonagh adds: “Meanwhile, the German Constitutional challenge to the UPC has yet to be resolved. There is a danger that the UPC project has lost crucial momentum.”

Alex Robinson, partner at patent attorney firm Mathys & Squire in London, points out that even if the October 31 date is extended and the Constitutional complaint resolved, the German government has confirmed that it won’t ratify the UPC Agreement until the effects of Brexit are known.

When even Team UPC admits the issue (impasse) it is becoming ever more apparent that the UPC is basically doomed. Even its loudest cheerleaders are belatedly digesting this thing called… facts.

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