Bonum Certa Men Certa

EPO Irrelevancy, Two Decades to be Granted an EPO Patent, Outrage Over Patents on Plants in EPO

Besieged from many directions, the EPO can't just ignore bad news, only attempt to bury these by manufacturing 'good' (somewhat faked) messages to be embedded in news sites

EPO PR



Summary: A roundup of this week's news (with focus on late week in particular), serving to show what the EPO's management is really up against when it comes to shifting public opinion

Benoît Battistelli's EPO has paid truly outrageous amounts of money to seed the press with positive publicity. It's more or less clear why Battistelli wants and needs that. The EPO has become a byword for gross institutional abuse not just in Europe but internationally. Battistelli paid nearly a million dollars for an international firm (based in Washington) to whitewash the EPO in a period of one year. That's almost $100,000 a month in out-of-the-ordinary (additional) PR budget. Good use of budget? What next, private limousines for Battistelli? There are rumours that he wants these too, having gotten tired of just private bodyguards.



Battistelli's focus (as of late) on PR has been rather gross or crude. The greenwashing aside (it's now a fortnight old), there is the "compliance" spin right now. Here is a new puff piece derived from this EPO spin, as covered here the other day. What is this, "media presence" again?

"The EPO has become a byword for gross institutional abuse not just in Europe but internationally."Let's look at some real news, not regurgitation of official press releases (seeded in epo.org and probably sent en masse to thousands of lazy journalists all across Europe). After the press release about the Unitary Patent (which the EPO openly lobbies for) we even found this article whose headline can be translated into "Unitary patent system in the EU on the spot" (according to EPO). Is this the desired outcome of the PR campaign? Either way, it only tells part of the story and is an effort at self-fulfilling prophecies.

Days ago in PTAB Watch we spotted this article which said: "With respect to the European patent, despite the acknowledgement by the PTAB that laws and rules are different in Europe, and a previous PTAB decision (Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. v. Emerachem Holdings, LLC, Case IPR2014-01557, slip op. at 15 (PTAB Mar. 16, 2015) (Paper 13)) that held that whatever happened in the European Patent Office (“EPO”) is essentially irrelevant, the Board determined that the European prosecution history evidence was probative of whether a cited reference is analogous art to the patent under review, and admitted the evidence for this limited purpose. The Board also determined that the post-dated publications submitted in District Court litigation that discussed terms and features recited in the claims were relevant to show how the Patent Owner had been interpreting its claims during proceedings to enforce the patent."

"The thing about the EPO is, it’s going nowhere fast and heading into irrelevancy."The significance of this in light the recent events and the context (see full article for details) is that there's not much respect for the EPO's judgment. As the article put it, "whatever happened in the European Patent Office (“EPO”) is essentially irrelevant" (irrelevancy or irrelevance imply there is no perceived superiority over the decisions or judgments in the US).

The thing about the EPO is, it's going nowhere fast and heading into irrelevancy. Battistelli has accelerated this by orders of magnitude because the dysfunction increased in many areas (or aspects) and new areas of dispute emerged; it used to be mostly about patent scope. Not many people would bother pursuing patents at the EPO unless it maintains a high enough quality to justify the high cost. The EPO charges a lot of money (application and renewal fees from applicants) for several examiners to examine together/simultaneously, but the Office still rushes the process (speed over accuracy). No wonder EPO patents such as those granted to Apple are later -- once scrutinised by a court -- get invalidated. It serves to show that Battiselli's approach shames the Office and harms its reputation.

"19 years to be granted a patent!"Eversheds International, an international legal practice, mentioned the EPO a couple of times yesterday [1, 2], reminding us of Baxter's notorious patent application at the EPO.

Eversheds wrote: "The patent was only granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) on 27 November 2013, despite having been filed on 9 July 1994, with a priority date of 19 July 1993. The extraordinarily long examination stage (19 years), meant that the period of effective patent protection was less than 1 year. Had a SPC been granted, its duration would have been approximately 3.5 years, a highly desirable extension to the term of patent protection."

Got that?

"In Twitter too we were told by lawyers about patents which took two decades to process, so the above is not an isolated incident."19 years to be granted a patent! Some people complain about applications taking ten years. In Twitter too we were told by lawyers about patents which took two decades to process, so the above is not an isolated incident. People right here in the UK experience the same thing when they apply at the EPO.

More interesting in the media right now is actually the response of (real) journalists to this statement from the Parliament. The EPO is under attack from the European Parliament because it compromised patent scope/quality for the sake of short-term profit.

One new article says: "A ban on the patenting of products obtained by conventional breeding techniques, such as crossing, is essential to sustain innovation, food security and small businesses, says a non-legislative resolution voted by the European Parliament on 17 December."

"This is a good example of patent scope gone awry for the sake of profit and protectionism for large corporations such as Monsanto."EPO is being shamed in this article, which is one among many (some non-English sites have covered this too). EUbusiness wrote about it and noted that "No Patents on Seeds! is an international coalition of civil society organisations. It recently published a report containing an overview of patents granted by the EPO and a legal analysis. The report further highlights the need for more political action.

"The call made by the international coalition No Patents on Seeds! to stop these patents has the support of several hundred organisations all over Europe. The coalition No Patents on Seeds! is supported by Arche Noah (Austria), Bionext (Netherlands), The Berne Declaration (Switzerland), GeneWatch (UK), Greenpeace, Misereor (Germany), Development Fund (Norway), NOAH (Denmark), No Patents on Life (Germany), ProSpecieRara (Switzerland), Red de Semillas (Spain), Rete Semi Rurali (Italy), Reseau Semences Paysannes (France) and Swissaid (Switzerland). They are all calling for a revision of European Patent Law to exclude breeding material, breeding processes, plants and animals, their characteristics, their genetic components, the harvest and food derived thereof from patentability."

"The latter involves Gillette, so we cannot help recalling the intervention of Željko Topić regarding razor blades in Croatia."This is a good example of patent scope gone awry for the sake of profit and protectionism for large corporations such as Monsanto. Some companies are now spreading press releases about EPO patents on drugs and there are articles about US patents as they're being used for protectionism and monopoly (to protect a notorious business model). The latter involves Gillette, so we cannot help recalling the intervention of Željko Topić regarding razor blades in Croatia.

Recent Techrights' Posts

IBM Sends Money to Microsoft
Red Hat basically helps sponsor the company that's a attacking our community
When the Cancer 'Metastasises'
We had a red flag
Attacks on the EPC: Reality and Fiction
EPO leaks
 
ZDNet (Red Ventures) Works for Microsoft (Redmond), Many Of Its Pages Are Spam/Advertisements Paid for by Microsoft
Here is the "smoking gun"
Wikipedia Demotes CNET Due to Chatbot-Generated Spew as 'Articles'; It Should Do the Same to ZDNet (Also Red Ventures, Also Microsoft Propaganda)
Redmond Ventures?
The Direction WordPress (GPL) Has Taken is an Embarrassment
it comes with strings attached
March in Techrights (EPO Litigation and More)
One theme we'll explore a lot when it comes to GNU/Linux is the extent to which communities truly serve communities
Don't Forget to Also Follow Tux Machines
We've split the material
Yandex Usage Has Surged Since the Invasion of Ukraine, Microsoft Fell to 0.7% (It Was 1.7% Before the 'Bing Chat' Hype Campaign)
In Soviet Russia, Bing searches user
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 01, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, March 01, 2024
Sellout Completed: Linux Foundation Converging With the Gates Foundation
not a joke
Hitler Rants Parodies on Steve Ballmer
Parody created using clips from Downfall (Der Untergang)
With Windows This Low (27% of the "OS" Market), Steve Ballmer Would Have Thrown Another Chair
The media produced many puff pieces about Nadella at 10 (as CEO), but what has he done for Windows? Nothing.
[Meme] The Naked President
EPO Suffers From Shrinkage
Understanding Cardinal George Pell prosecution, Institutional abuse & Debian cybertorture
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 01/03/2024: Many More Layoffs, "Funerals" for Software Patents in the US
Links for the day
Gemini Links 01/03/2024: OFFLFIRSOCH 2024 and Dark Streets Tech Demo
Links for the day
Links 01/03/2024: Navalny Funeral and Media Under Attack
Links for the day
Gemini Links 01/03/2024: Making Art and the Concept of Work Management
Links for the day
Schriftleitergesetz: Hiding the Holocaust with censorship
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] His Lips Moved
Here is your national "news" for today
statCounter: GNU/Linux Exceeded 6% in Asia Last Month (Compared to 4% Just 12 Months Earlier)
numbers may be biased
What the End of Journalism Looks Like
All on the same day
Links 01/03/2024: Microsoft 'Retiring' More Services and Raspberry Pi Celebrates 3rd Birthday (Launched on February 29th, 2012)
Links for the day
Women's Empowerment
Sponsored by Bill Gates
Gemini Links 01/03/2024: Speed Bumps and Analog Stuff
Links for the day
[Meme] Those Greedy EPO Examiners
Says the litigation industry, charging 300 euros an hour per attorney
EPO Discriminates Against Families of Its Own Workers, the Union Explains Legal Basis Upon Which It's Likely Illegal and Must be Challenged
To the Council, the EPO boasts about its wealth (seeking to impress by how much breaking the law "pays off")
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 29, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, February 29, 2024
Links 01/03/2024: Misuse of Surveillance Against UK-Based Journalism, EPO Conflict Now in the Media
Links for the day
Taking a Break From Paid Promotion of the Illegal, Unconstitutional Kangaroo Court for Patents (UPC)
JUVE returns to its 'roots'?
FSFE admits losing funds from bequest by insulting and ignoring Fellowship representative
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 29/02/2024: Raspberry Pi Incus Cluster and Aya 0.5.0 Coming Soon
Links for the day
Links 29/02/2024: Layoffs at Apple, Expedia, and Electronic Arts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 29/02/2024: Web Enshittification and Firefox user-agents
Links for the day
Spiked Piece/Censoreed Piece: 'Microsoft Copilot is a gimmick', says top CIO
Issues relate to connectivity and cost
Enrico Zini, Mattia Rizzolo, Plagiarism & Debian
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Clergy of GNU/Linux (Corporations Like IBM)
Volunteers as powerless "followers" of companies that "harvest" their labour
There Will Be Lots More Apple Layoffs (Already Years in the Making)
The corporate media still tries to shape the narrative to prevent panic or delay market hysteria
Latest SUEPO (Staff Union of EPO) Report For The Hague Reveals EPO Does Not Obey Court Orders, Refuses to Allow Workers to Freely Talk to One Another
working in a place where communication itself is restricted
[Meme] The Oppression Will Continue Until EPO 'Quality' Improves
wonder why EPO morale is so low?
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Outreachy, GSoC-mentors & Debian-Private may soon become public records in federal court
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock